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Where Angels Fear to Tread
Where Angels Fear to Tread
Actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Rupert Graves, Helen Mirren, Barbara Jefford
Director: Charles Sturridge
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
PG     2006     1hr 56min

While traveling through Italy on an extended vacation, Lilia Heriton (Prime Suspect's Helen Mirren falls for handsome Gino Carella (Fiorile's Giovanni Guidelli) and, against the wishes of her family, decides to stay in Mon...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Rupert Graves, Helen Mirren, Barbara Jefford
Director: Charles Sturridge
Creators: Charles Sturridge, Derek Granger, Giovanna Romagnoli, Jeffrey Taylor, E.M. Forster, Tim Sullivan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 11/07/2006
Original Release Date: 02/28/1992
Theatrical Release Date: 02/28/1992
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 56min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 12
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, Italian

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Member Movie Reviews

Kathleen O. (Kathleen) from WALDPORT, OR
Reviewed on 3/10/2010...
The cast is wonderful except for Judy Davis who overacts a bit. Helena Bonham-Carter, Rupert Graves and Giovanni Guidelli were wonderful.

The story starts off wonderfully but ends... Well, I can't watch it again.

Movie Reviews

(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you did not know this film was directed by Charles Sturridge you would swear this was a Merchant/Ivory production - no small praise. This film is a comedy/tragedy based on Forster's first novel. As with all of Forster's novels, class distinctions and the situations which arise between them are the central focus of the film. Initially, what results from a newly widowed, young woman (Mirren), taking a trip to Italy and impulsively marrying the son of a local dentist, throws her staid inlaws into a tizzy, and makes for several comic scenes. However, when she has a child - the attempts of her inlaws to "save" the child from what they believe will be a poor upbringing has tragic consequences. All of the actors embody the characters as Forster must have envisioned ninety years ago - Judy Davis is especially good as the spinsterish Harriett and Barbara Jefford is an imposing Mrs. Herriton. Helen Mirren is luminous as the flightly, wayward Lilia and Giovanni Guidelli, as her handsome younger husband, is a perfectly likeable rogue. The relationship which develops throughout the film between Phillip, (Rupert Graves), and Caroline, (Helena Bonham-Carter), is a thing to behold! You don't even realize it is happening (and neither do they) until it's too late. Graves is especially good as Phillip - a young man who is drifting through his comfortable life - until this complicated situation arises and forces him to decide if he is going to let life happen to him or just watch it happen to others. The locations in England and Italy are exquisite and the pace of the film keeps you guessing. The final tragedy and ending are especially bittersweet. Just like real life, things aren't always resolved neatly - but out of all the messiness can come true understanding and forgiveness. A wonderful, hopeful film."
Overlooked fine adaptation of Forster's first novel
Jay Dickson | Portland, OR | 02/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD got a bit lost in the shuffle of the film adaptations of E. M. Forster's novels that came out in the 1990s. Neither as much of a crowd-pleaser as A ROOM WITH A VIEW, as appealling to a gay audience at MAURICE, or as dignified and prestigious as A PASSAGE TO INDIA, this film instead featured the stars of each of the previous three Forster adaptations--Helena Bonham-Carter, Rupert Graves, and Judy Davis--and cast them very atypically in roles that seemed like poor fits for them each at the time but now in hindsight show off each of their considerable ranges. The widowed Lilia Herriton (the wonderful Helen Mirren, in a terrific performance) travels to Italy while chaperoning her younger neighbor Caroline Aboott (Bonham-Carter) on her first trip there, and marries a handsome young Italian man mostly to escape her interfering in-laws back in suburban London; they dispatch her brother-in-law Philip (Graves) to rescue her, but he is rebuffed by Lilia and her virile lover. But Lilia is miserable in her new mismatched marriage and dies soon after in childbirth; Philip and his puritanical sister Harriet (Davis) then return to Italy with Miss Abbott to get Lilia's baby at any cost. The story has often been classified as a comedy, despite the tragic deaths that occur in it, and the director, Charles Sturridge, plays up the comic elements of it considerably. Judy Davis dominates this film (as she does every film she's ever been in) with a raucous performance as a hysterical prude that is actually nicely shaded; while Bonham-Carter does much with the tough role of the unsteady Miss Abbott. Sturridge probably does not take as much advantage of the beautiful medieval towers of San Gimignano, where the work was filmed, as he should have, and relies too much on conversation (as might be expected from a director who has worked largely in television). But the film has nonetheless aged beautifully over the years (particularly since Davis's wild turn here is now less unexpected, and can be seen as more of a piece with her other later comic performances instead of as an aberration from her more subtle earlier dramatic work), and it deserves rediscovery in an American DVD version."
Perfect rendition of a glorious novel
Guildenstern | nowhereland | 09/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm always very much torn as to whether I should review the book or the movie in these cases, especially since I'm in an accute stage of E. M. Forster worship; but that in mind, let it be known that the book is possibly my favorite ever, truly incredible, and doubly remarkable considering that it was his first true novel. BUT HERE is the movie review: What a splendid film this is. The casting is really beyond perfect. It's wonderful to see Helena Bonham Carter flourishing in a role that is by no means based on being physically beautiful, but rather, emotionally and spiritually so. She and Rupert Graves are highly de-glamorized by the costume/make-up crew and it's spectacular to see them shine through as wonderful personalities *without* their movie-star looks. Rupert Graves is quite brilliant; he portrays a man with (in Forster's words) "a sense of beauty and a sense of humour" but with no sense of life. As the story goes on you watch him waking up to the world around him, and by the end he is no longer the same person: a really wonderful and moving transformation. Judy Davis is superb as well; "acrid and indissoluable," snapping to an Italian landlady, "I don't care for the lot of you, I'm English!" The film is fantastic all in all: wonderfully paced, acted, shot. And it will move you to tears at the end."