Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Feast of July|
Actors: Embeth Davidtz, Tom Bell, Gemma Jones, James Purefoy, Ben Chaplin
Director: Christopher Menaul
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
A compelling tale of passion's dark secrets -- critics applauded FEAST OF JULY as one of the best films of the year! A mysterious young beauty, Bella Ford, searches hopelessly for the lover who betrayed her. Weary and alon... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Jeannine W. (jrelehw) from LONDONDERRY, NH
Reviewed on 12/30/2007...
A sad but good movie about love and personal challenges. I wanted to see this because of James Purefoy, but he is a minor character even though he is a very personality in his roll. Worth seeing!
Gary K. | Anchorage, Alaska | 12/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A credible step back in time, this beautifully filmed period piece set in 19th century England follows the fortunes of a troubled young woman taken in by a family with three unmarried sons. Hospitality is sincere but conflicts of affections naturally develop. The mother in the household, severe and stoic in her aspect, slowly warms to the earnest and unassuming nature of their guest and a tenuous bond forms until conflicts emerge.
The film portrays a variety of male characters with their array of emotions and situational ego struggles in an historic setting that draws you into the period as well as the story's building drama. Even the young woman's villianous past lover receives comprehensive treatment of the qualities of his character.
The high-strung son's unbridled passion and the young woman's responding compassion that suddenly envelops these two uniquely tender and intense hearts is compelling and lifts the story above cliche. A fateful dilemma, born of sudden violence, confronts and pursues the young lovers and makes for a desperate moral/psychological impasse, the conclusions of which are hauntingly profound.
Casting of this film is flawless. Davidtz is just the sort of woman to stir any man's heart and her performance is utterly magnetic. As the center of a gripping and soulful story that stretches the heart to maximum understanding and acceptance, her poignant final scene is one that lingers in its hopeful promise."
One of the Best Period Dramas Ever Filmed!
anna-joelle | Malaysia | 03/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have watched literally hundreds of period dramas over the years and own many on VHS and DVD. Believe me when I write that "Feast of July" ranks as one of the best and should be owned on DVD. This movie has it all - absolutely BRILLIANT acting, beautiful cinematography and a storyline that is at once heartbreaking, romantic and dramatic. I could not tear my eyes away from the screen and I am sure I must have unconsciously held my breath for long seconds during the many poignant and suspenseful scenes.
Set in late Victorian England, the story is about a young, penniless girl named Bella Ford (beautifully played by Embeth Davidtz) who arrives at the small industrial town of A- to look for her lover, Arch Wilson (Greg Wise) who has seduced her and left her destitute. She is found wandering in the night by a rural farmer, Mr Wainwright who takes pity on her and brings her home to stay with his family. She recovers her health and gradually adjusts to life with the Wainwrights. But she did not count on the 3 sons of the family (Jedd, Con and Matty) falling in love with her. Jedd (James Purefoy) is a soldier, smooth-tongued and quite the ladies man. Con (Ben Chaplin) is quiet, strong-willed and a loner. The youngest, Matty (Kenneth Anderson) is an industrious man who makes beautiful leather shoes. The matriach of the family (played by Gemma Jones) only very reluctantly accepts Bella into her family because she foresees that Bella can cause trouble among her 3 sons. Each son has his own way of courting Bella and only one will eventually win her heart. And just when the future appears to look rosy for Bella, she crosses path with her past lover, Arch Wilson (a most despicable scoundrel), resulting in violence and tragedy for all concerned.
I cannot remember the last time I cried so much at a movie. It is not just the eventual tragic scene. The romantic scenes (guess which son?) are wonderful and so full of beauty and passion that I felt so happy, I cried! Tears sprang to my eyes during the marriage proposal scene - in that suspenseful moment when I thought Bella might just say "no" and cause a major heartbreak, I must have stopped breathing! After an incredibly long silence, when Bella finally speaks, my tears just flowed from sheer happiness and relief.
I was sorry the movie did not end happily but I knew the ending will be tragic so I was 'prepared'. Though sad, I felt that the ending was appropriate as it reminds me of the saying that "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." And Bella has loved and been truly loved in return.
This movie was made in 1996 and executive-produced by the incomparable Merchant-Ivory team. I feel that Embeth Davidtz deserves an Oscar nomination for her flawless, heartbreaking performance here. She is so beautiful and talented, but yet is so under-rated. And I must gush about Ben Chaplin who is absolutely brilliant in this film (and really good-looking too!). You can tell both actors have put their whole heart and soul into playing their characters.
This movie affected me deeply and I had to write this review in the hope of getting some of the "emotions" out of my system. But I will never forget this wonderful film and the beautiful performances. The DVD does not have any special features but it has subtitles for those who require it. The picture and sound qualities are excellent. This sumptuous film is a must-watch and I highly recommend it!"
Miles W. Mathis | Bruges, Belgium | 06/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the hidden gem you are looking for. It spent about a week in the theaters and few have heard of it, but it is as good as Room with a View or Howard's End. Darker but deeper than both. Not as popular perhaps because the ending is tragic, but the story and acting are top-notch. Embeth Davitz is fabulous (and fabulous to look at). I will never understand why these wonderful period actresses come and go with barely a whisper, while sub-mediocre actresses like Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts prosper. Titanic makes a billion and this movie makes almost nothing. Flee the topsy-turvy world and buy this movie. It is a great escape to quality and feeling."