Based on the bestselling novel by Joanna Trollope
Recently returned to England from New York City, vivacious heiress Clodagh Unwin befriends a couple new to her village. The husband is entranced by the young aristocrat, but Clodagh has eyes for someone else: his wife, Alice.
Alice has a gilded life--beautiful children, a handsome husband, and a stately home. Secretly, she’s depressed after the birth of her third child and unhappy in her marriage. Clodagh proves irresistible. But when tongues start wagging, the women learn that love might not be enough.
Based on the bestselling novel by Joanna Trollope (Friday Nights, The Rector’s Wife) and filmed in picturesque countryside, this British production stars Sophie Ward (The Shell Seekers), Kerry Fox (Welcome to Sarajevo), Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries), Jeremy Northam (Emma, The Tudors), Michael Gough (Batman), and Claire Bloom, with a young Keira Knightley in one of her first screen roles.
DVD FEATURES INCLUDE cast filmographies and Joanna Trollope biography.
Some people, like Sophie Ward's Alice Jordan, seem to have it all: picture-perfect house, handsome husband (Nathaniel Parker, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries
), and charming children (Keira Knightley plays her daughter). Soon after she and Martin, an attorney, move back to his village, however, her mother-in-law, Cecily (Claire Bloom), tries to control their lives. And a bout with post-partum depression, has left the couple's marriage bed cold. At a party, the Jordans meet uninhibited heiress Clodagh (Kerry Fox) to whom Martin takes a shine, but Sophie finds her discomforting. Despite the thriller set-up, Moira Armstrong's sympathetic adaptation of Joanna Trollope's 1989 bestseller doesn't depict an outsider trying to worm her way into another woman's life, but an extravert who helps to bring an introvert out of her shell (Joanna claims Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope as a relation). Once Sophie realizes that Clodagh isn't after her husband, they become friends, and Sophie even begins to paint again, but when friendship turns to romance, coinciding with a visit from Martin's wastrel brother (Jeremy Northam), Sophie risks losing everything she holds dear. If Alice is too sensitive to qualify as a femme fatale, she isn't exactly a heroine either, since she can be just as controlling as Martin's mother and still depends on her parents to provide her income (Michael Gough plays her soft-touch father). In the U.K., Ward made waves when she came out of the closet shortly after making this better-than-average TV movie, unintentionally adding to the story's verisimilitude. --Kathleen C. Fennessy