"...Incisively witty, provocative and acted to perfection, this sublime entertainment is a career peak for producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala..."
"...[Merchant, Ivory and Jhabvala] triumph again....[Thompson] comes into her own...[with] the film's guiding performance..."
New York Times
"...For everyone who's yearned for the dimly remembered satisfactions of traditional filmmaking, for movies of passion, taste and sensitivity that honestly touch every emotion, this is the one you've been waiting for..."Los Angeles Times
"...This is the year's most literate and civilized film..."
"...[The film] crackles with repressed energy....Acting honours go to Bonham Carter and Hopkins..."
"[A]n achingly poignant literary adaptation....The performances remain fresh and appallingly human..."
"[T]here's grace and surprising bursts of emotion in the telling...starting with Thompson's magnificent performance as a well-meaning middle-class matron caught between worlds."A.V. Club