DVD White Countess [2006] [English] [Region 1] (DVD 51754),
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White Countess [2006] [English] [Region 1]

  • PG-13
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • The final entry in the canon of quietly rich tales from producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory, THE WHITE COUNTESS enlists Kazuo Ishiguro (REMAINS OF THE DAY) and master cinematographer Christopher Doyle (CHUNGKING EXPRESS) to weave its sumptuous magic. The incomparable Natasha Richardson stars as Sofia, a former Russian countess who has fled with her dead husband's family to 1930s Shanghai, where she works in a seedy dance hall to earn the household's only income. But Sofia's dependents are less than grateful, turning up their noses at her fallen stature while remorselessly accepting her money. The blue blood runs thick in Sofia's house, with two other Redgraves, Vanessa and Lynn, flawlessly portraying deposed nobility; Sofia's daughter Katya (Madeleine Potter) is her only source of joy. Meanwhile, blind former diplomat Todd Jackson (Ralph Fiennes) patronizes Shanghai's colorful drinking establishments, and dreams of opening one of his own. This he gains the courage to do when he meets Sofia; she saves him from being robbed one night, intercepting some thuggish types and seeing him to safety while also capturing his imagination. She becomes his muse, her history injecting Jackson's bar, the White Countess, with just the right note of tragedy and romance. Their relationship, however, is kept strictly on the level of a professional friendship. But as the tension between the Chinese and Japanese mounts towards war--catalyzed in part by Jackson's friend, the mysterious but powerful Mr. Matsuda (Hiroyuki Sanada)--Mr. Jackson is forced to accept that he cannot keep the world at bay inside the White Countess, and must instead deal directly with his feelings for Sofia.
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 11718

  • Credits
    Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave, Lynn Redgrave, Hiroyuki Sanada, Henry Sanada, John Wood, Madeleine Potter, Allan Corduner, Lee Pace
  • Critic Reviews
    "Fiennes gives a nuanced performance....The conclusion is moving and satisfying."
    USA Today

    "[A] gilded-canvas work of graceful and touching skill -- a repressed love story that basks in smoky wisps of period intrigue." -- Grade: B+
    Entertainment Weekly

    "[T]he chaotic climactic scenes of a city under attack achieve a mournful power....There are lovely supporting performances by Madeleine Potter as well as Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave."
    Movieline's Hollywood Life

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