The House of Misses

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Before I started reading an Edith Wharton novel, mainly to prove to myself that I can finish her, I was uncertainly deciding whether it’s “The Age of Innocence” or “The House of Mirth”, obviously the latter won, much to my regret. After reading and watching the movie version, I read a lot of online reviews about how good the book adaptation is of “the Age of Innocence”. Mentally, I made a note to review it sometime soon. While the style of writing is impeccably her own, Edith Wharton is understandably one of America’s greatest woman novelist because of her distinct writing talent. Her keen observations and manner of describing are impressively bound to form a fluid writing style. To quote Miss Lily Bart, the heroine of the novel, “How delicious!”,as I got engrossed with the novel and Edith Wharton’s writing.
However, the film which was directed and written for the screen by the same man, failed to live up to the novel which it is based from. Although the actress who plays the lead character, Lily Bart, Gillian Anderson has an arresting face, made for close-ups as seen in her X-files days, she just gave a mediocre performance, nothing special or maybe it’s her facial expressions that did the work. The lead male character (who’s not so lead but only appears occassionally), is not that convincing or maybe his role doesn’t require much of him. All the supporting characters just seem to do their job without being too memorable. One such exception is the young Laura Linney, playing the conniving and mean Mrs. Julia Dorset. Her performance is like a breath of fresh air amongst the bleak surroundings of upper-class New York. The cinematography, like the film, leaves a blank space but is supposedly a promising endeavor-the affluence of New York, which is mostly Edith Wharton’s usual scene.
The film adaptation definitely did’nt live up to it’s promise, much like Lily Bart, full of potential but lacking in a certain x-factor(?).I just have to read and watch the other Edith Wharton film adaptation, also about New York’s high society. I know how it will go but it seems to be a better work of filmaking, considering it’s written by a well-known novelist who also lived among her novels.

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joanne1srn

Lover of books esp the Victorian ones, also dabbles in writing and drawing. Biggest procrastinator of online nonsense. Owner of multiple blogs locked in cyberspace. Not a pet lover but notorious coffee and tea drinker. Has insatiable appetite for life in spite of its ups and downs.

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