USA Today - 12/21/2000
"...[Anderson handles] the role [of Lily Bart] skillfully..." -- 3.5 out of 4 stars
Entertainment Weekly - 12/22/2000 Ranked #2 in Entertainment Weekly's "Lisa Schwarzbaum's BEST MOVIES OF 2000" -- "Gorgeous, bracing....[Anderson is] magnificent..."
Box Office - 11/01/2000
"...Gillian Anderson is a revelation....The scenes between Anderson and Stoltz are impressively charged..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/22/2000
"...Davies does a splendid job as a writer and director..."
Total Film - 03/01/2001
"...Gillian Anderson turns in a compelling performance for this excellent Edith Wharton adaptation..."
Terence Davies (DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES) triumphs with his sumptuous, painterly adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel, which is set amid the vicious moneyed classes of 1905 New York and features a heartrending, perfectly nuanced performance by Gillian Anderson as doomed heroine Lily Bart. Lily, though strikingly beautiful and socially prominent, remains unmarried at the late age of 29. She jokes that marriage is a woman's vocation, but she is conflicted between her desire to marry a wealthy man and her love for handsome, elegant Lawrence Selden (Eric Stoltz), who, unforgivably, must work for a living. Lily's options begin to narrow, however, when her backstabbing friend, Bertha Dorset (Laura Linney), informs potential suitors of her gambling debts. In a world where the slightest hint of impropriety equals social death, Lily's self-professed genius in doing the wrong thing at the right time leads to trouble. A potential solution to Lily's downward social spiral arrives when a useful secret falls into her lap. In order to save herself, Lily must struggle with her na´vetÚ, pride, and ineptitude at playing the elite's deadly, coded game. Davies's beautifully composed, richly textured images and Anderson's skillful evocation of quiet desperation make for a visually stunning, emotionally resonant tale.
New York City |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical release: December 22, 2000.
Filmed on location in Glasgow, Scotland.
Terence Davies approached Gillian Anderson for the role of Lily Bart because he felt her beauty was reminiscent of women in John Singer Sargent's paintings.
Anderson has played Special Agent Scully on the popular television sci-fi drama THE X-FILES since 1993; she won an Emmy for Best Dramatic Actress in 1997.
Director of photography Remi Adefarasin received an Oscar nomination and won a BAFTA award for his work on ELIZABETH. He also won acclaim as the 2nd unit director for the desert scenes in the Oscar-winning THE ENGLISH PATIENT.
Laura Linney (Bertha Dorset) won rave reviews for her performance in YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, the Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.
Dan Aykroyd (Gus Trenor) is best known as an original cast member and writer on television's SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.
All three Newsday critics (John Anderson, Jan Stuart, and Gene Seymour), Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News, Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, Armond White of the New York Press, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, and Film Comment named THE HOUSE OF MIRTH one of the 10 best films of 2000.
Gillian Anderson won Best Performance in the Second Annual Village Voice Film Critics' Poll, and the film was named the third best of 2000 in the same poll.
Gillian Anderson was named Best Actress at the British Independent Film Awards.