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Portrait Of A Lady (Special Edition) (1996)

Nicole Kidman , John Malkovich , Jane Campion  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nicole Kidman, John Malkovich, Barbara Hershey, Christian Bale
  • Directors: Jane Campion
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: December 11, 2012
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009B1EPQ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,045 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman stars in The Portrait Of A Lady, based on the Henry James novel of freedom and seduction. Isabel Archer (Kidman) is a young woman of daring independence and equally fierce desires. Her headstrong innocence is no match, however, for the manipulations of her duplicitous friend Madame Merle (Barbara Hershey) and the devious Gilbert Osmond (John Malkovich). Featuring an all-star supporting cast including Sir John Gielgud, Shelley Winters, Christian Bale, Viggo Mortensen and Mary-Louise Parker, writer/director Jane Campion’s (The Piano) vision is a lavish, richly layered epic of seduction, betrayal and hopeful triumph. Nominated for Two Academy Awards Including Best Supporting Actress (Barbara Hershey)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to James' novel July 24, 2012
This movie has haunted me since I first saw it in its theatrical release. I hadn't read the book when I saw the movie but corrected that after viewing. The movie is mysterious at the end and I hoped to gain some insight in reading the book. I did. The movie is very true to James' novel which ends ambiguously. The movie slowly unfolds and for some there won't be enough action but if you like period pieces that are very literary and allow one to think during scenes you will like Campion's direction of this story.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the book, watch this movie April 7, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I purchased the Henry James novel, Portrait of a Lady, several years ago and what I remember most about the book is that I could not manage to remain interested long enough to move beyond the first few chapters. During his lifetime, Williams James criticized his younger brother's novels for, in so many words, containing too much tedious detail that only stood in the way of the plot. I could not agree more, However, what Director Jane Campion has done with this story is anything but tedious. She begins with rich settings and unusual camera angles then brings the characters to life with a very convincing all-star cast. Nicole Kidman does a fabulous portrayal of Isabel Archer, the independent-minded and impetuous young American heiress who is so intent on remaining single - if only to avoid marriage to a 'proper man of means' because it is what's 'expected' of her - that she finds herself running from the one man who, out of genuine love and concern, pursues her across an ocean while she allows herself to be swept away by the cold and cunning Gilbert Osmond, most excellently portrayed by John Malkovich. Be sure to watch the bonus feature, 'The making of Portrait of a Lady.'
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful film April 8, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I haven't read Henry James' novel, but I thought that the film was absolutely beautiful no matter how faithful or unfaithful it was to the original story. Jane Campion does not disappoint: each still from the film is like a painting. Gorgeous settings and exquisite costumes. The story is pretty clear for someone who like myself is not familiar with the novel. Young, beautiful and innocent Isabel Archer does not want to get married to the first or second gentleman who proposes to her. She believes that there is more for her in life. She wants to see other choices and experience an adventure. She meets Madame Merle and gets enwrapped in her manipulations. However, I do not want to tell you the whole plot. Some reviewers complained about the acting, but again I found no fault with it. Kidman's Isabel was genuine gentle misguided creature, whose suffering I could feel while watching the film. Hershey's character from the very beginning had some malignancy about her, and Malkovich was purely evil. Donovan's character was my favorite: quiet, sensitive, intelligent and loving. So give it a chance, watch it and savor it yourself. Get lost in the beautiful painting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the movie February 6, 2014
By Emma
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As a fan of Jane Campion (after all, she wrote & directed my favorite movie of all time---'The Piano'), I was expecting a lot from this movie. It didn't disappoint me--it had some great scenes and dialogue, but it wasn't as passionate as I wished it to be. If you're looking for a great Henry James novel that was turned into a movie, I suggest 'The Wings of the Dove'---Beautiful !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic story and movie August 11, 2013
By joyce1
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Nice adaptation of the this Henry James story - nice to have and updated version of the story as well. Shipped well and quickly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a Lady makes Henry james come alive! May 21, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have been wanting a copy of this classic Jane Campion film for a long time.
I like the director's mini-documentary on the making of the film. I like to listen to the thoughts of a great creative mind working and making a great film. It's so smart.
I recommend this film to ANYONE who loves literature, particularly Henry James. It's really a psychological drama with so much to think about.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performances but curtailed ending March 15, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
First of all, no adaptation can ever equal the great book by Henry James. He had a gift not only for writing about displacement but also for writing complicated women - women who strive for a better place, a better solution and a better role to fill than the limited one afforded to them by society. Isabel Archer is one of his greatest creations and I thought she was wonderfully played by Nicole Kidman. This is a difficult role and it could not have been easy for her to take it on as Isabel runs the gamut of emotions from start to finish. She inhabits the role of Isabel - of being that woman who longs for something more, something elusive, something different. Her co-stars provide her with the very thing she longed for, to the ultimate sad outcome.

Martin Donovan and Barbara Hershey deserve extra accolades for the believability they lent to their characterizations of Ralph Touchett and Serena Merle. Ralph is the unacknowledged heart of the story until his sad demise and Isabel's realization of his unintended contribution to her now sad life. Merle, the consummate American sophisticate and expatriate, is peeled apart layer by layer on screen. She manages expertly to be a mosaic of a person - a different character with every person she encounters - but she is ultimately trapped by the choices she has made. In some ways, she is more tragic than Isabel and in other ways, she is more devious than Gilbert. The hardest roles to fill onscreen are those of the selfless (Ralph) and the complex (Merle). Martin and Barbara were perfectly cast.

The direction by Jane Campion was a bit frazzled as she inserted certain dream sequences which I found unnecessary and bizarre.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great No Problems Would seller again.....
Published 2 months ago by Larry Jay Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very pleased !
Published 2 months ago by douglas mccampbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Qick and speedy.
Published 2 months ago by Terrie Cummins
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very Good
Published 3 months ago by Elaine Zimmerman
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Conceived, Acted and Directed Film
This is an intelligently conceived and directed film. Ms. Campion begins her film about 40% of the way into the book and that is a minor problem because if the audience has not... Read more
Published 3 months ago by shrinkucci
5.0 out of 5 stars very good!
I pourchasse it for a psychology class. It gave us a great example of the historical structure for a psychoanalytic class
Published 5 months ago by Irene Sancho
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie..
When I ever first borrowed this from the library I thought the story very different and interesting. If you like Henry James you will love this. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Janet Signore
5.0 out of 5 stars IT MOVES SLOW
Published 6 months ago by SHIRLEY TODD
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book - Good Movie
I am probably biased here as I love Nichole Kidman's work. I believe her to be a well casted for the role. I enjoyed it.
Published 8 months ago by Carmen Velarde
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie is not worth watching
Considering the excellent actors starring in this movie, I was greatly disappointed in the plot; in fact, I couldn't discern a plot other than deceit. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sherry
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