Contrary to the gentility and Christian nature of Jane Austen stories, THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY shows an American woman, Isabel Archer (played with intensity by Nicole Kidman), who bucks social expectations of what a lady should be and marries a unsavory man, with drastic consequences. The movie contains intense dialogue, imagined sexual situations and psychological manipulation.
THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY shows an American woman, Isabel Archer, who bucks the social expectations of what a lady should be and marries a unsavory man with drastic consequences. It begins with Isabel refusing the marriage proposals of two men. Isabel has dreams of travel and discovery. A mentor, introduces her to a man of leisure, Gilbert Osmond . For a while, life is idyllic, but soon, Isabel becomes very aware of the cruel and manipulative manner in which Mr. Osmond treats his daughter. When Isabel’s ailing cousin calls for her to come to his deathbed, Isabel must decide to go to her dying cousin and defy her husband, or stay and keep up the false PORTRAIT OF A LADY.
Director Jane Champion has all the story telling techniques of today’s best filmmakers. She not only incorporates straight narrative, but infuses it with stunning lighting and surreal images to create a maddening representation of Isabel’s plight. In THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY, a married couple faces inner torment and strife, because the decision to marry was based on selfish desire rather than on righteousness and truth. THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY is a study in mental and psychological torment. Less obscene than THE PIANO, THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY nevertheless does have some objectionable content and adult situations.
(B, C, L, V, S, A, M) Moralistic worldview with some Christian content; 3 vulgarities & 6 profanities; man slaps woman with glove, chase scene & depiction of corpse; seduction & depicted but imagined scene where three men kiss & stroke clothed woman; alcohol use; smoking; and, psychological abuse