THE GOLDEN BOWL is Merchant-Ivory's adaptation of the Henry James novel of romantic torment--the novel James named as his favorite. The title refers to a beautiful crystal bowl encrusted with gold, which conceals a single imperceptible flaw--a small crack. The bowl is a simple, effective metaphor for the seeming perfection of the relationships in the film. Some characters in THE GOLDEN BOWL see the hidden flaw, and keep their knowledge of its worthlessness to themselves. Others do not see the flaw, and live their lives feeling that they should be happy, not understanding the root of their unease. THE GOLDEN BOWL features excellent performances, particularly from Nick Nolte as the American billionaire Adam Verver, and Kate Beckinsale as Maggie, his devoted daughter. Maggie marries an Italian prince (Jeremy Northam) who has a secret past with her best friend (Uma Thurman). The film includes the lavishly precise production design expected of Merchant-Ivory works. But the dark emotional complexity of the source novel, combined with the filmmakers's aesthetically bold inclusion of archival footage from early 20th Century urban America, give the film an edge--a palpable sense of the underlying dread of industrialization in the New World.
Merchant Ivory Anniversary Reel, Production Featurette
Release Date: 04 November 2002
Certificate: 12 - Suitable for Persons Aged 12 or Over
Running Time: 130 minutes
Production Year: 2000
Main Language: English