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The House of Mirth (2000)

Gillian Anderson , Dan Aykroyd , Terence Davies  |  PG |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gillian Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Eleanor Bron, Terry Kinney, Anthony LaPaglia
  • Directors: Terence Davies
  • Writers: Terence Davies, Edith Wharton
  • Producers: Alan J. Wands, Bob Last, Olivia Stewart, Pippa Cross
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2001
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXSA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,888 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The House of Mirth" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes with director's commentary

Editorial Reviews

Gillian Anderson, Dan Aykroyd. Lily Bart is a lovely single woman with limited romantic options in turn-of-the-century New York City. Based on Edith Wharton's classic novel. 2000/color/140 min/PG/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LOVE AND HONOR AT WHAT PRICE... August 20, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
In this beautifully costumed and lavish period piece based upon Edith Wharton's novel of the same name, Gillian Anderson gives an inspired and luminous performance as Lily Bart, a rising young New York socialite who is ultimately done in by a ruthless friend , deliciously played by Laura Linney, who cruelly sacrifices Lily to save her own reputation.

The dry repartee in which Lily engages and passes for wit in this bygone era sets the tone for the film. It is a carefully orchestrated show in which marriageable society girls engage in order to snag the wealthiest suitor. While Lily Bart is the cream of the crop, she has the misfortune to have given her heart to a socially acceptable, yet financially constrained, lawyer, Laurence Selden, wonderfully portrayed by Eric Stoltz. Her heart claimed by this most unsuitable of suitors, she dallys, refusing to commit to any others, while her star is still on the ascent.

Lily finds herself making an unwise financial transaction which puts her at the mercy of an unscrupulous and smarmy financial investor named Gus Trennor, well played by Dan Akroyd. When he puts Lily in a compromising position in return for the money he now claims that she owes him, she indignantly spurns his advances and incurs his emnity. Meanwhile, her aunt, upon whom Lily is financially dependent, hearing of her financial indiscretion, is appalled and vitually cuts Lily out of her will, leaving her a small determinate sum, rather than making Lily her sole heir as expected.

Meanwhile, her friend, devilishly played by Laura Linney, is on the verge of having her marital indiscretions made known to her circle of society friends.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film Of Great Emotional Depth June 7, 2001
Director Terence Davies sensitively directs a fine group of actors who portray the characters in Edith Wharton's most famous novel. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH is an excellent art house presentation with the added allure of Gillian Anderson in the uncharacteristic role of Lily Bart-----a beautiful, vulnerable, but shortsighted woman who knows what she wants but is driven to pass up every opportunity for a "brilliant" marriage to a scion of New York society. Miss Anderson's personality is a bit too modern for the role of Lily, but she does a commendable job in the part. There is perhaps a bit too much of a feminist message in her comments on a woman's role in society. We are, after all, seeing the events of a century ago, and judging the past by present day standards always gives the sense of belatedly condemning history. But despite the cross-cutting of emotions, class and subtle sexism, the general theme of the story is that most people find out the truth about themselves and their milieu too late.
Eric Stoltz is remarkably affecting as Lawrence Seldom, a man who understands Lily, the world, but not himself. The scene in the garden at the Trenor party where he and Lily almost declare their love for each other is one of the most memorable I've seen in years.
Anthony LaPaglia as the social climbing businessman and Dan Aykroyd as the lustful Gus Trenor are right on the mark with their characters. Terry Kinney as the weak-willed George Dorset has an understated intensity that few actors could successfully convey. Laura Linney as his malicious and scheming wife Bertha turns in an excellent performance as the woman who dramatically delivers the coup de grace to Lily's social ambitions.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The House of Wharton March 28, 2001
"I have tried hard, but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person."
So opines the tragic Lily Bart (Gillian Anderson) in Terence Davies superb adaptation of Edith Wharton's blistering indictment of the vacuous, convention-constraining life of New York society in the early 20th century. Gillian Anderson is stunning as the waveringly unconfident Lily whose tenacious morality is unsuited to a world where insincere people idle away endless hours in gossip and back-stabbing. Her lack of ruthlessness causes her irrevocable downward slide over the course of the film's two years.
The beautiful Gillian Anderson, in her juiciest role to date, dominates the entire film, gracing virtually every scene. Her Lily is entirely believable, earnestly trying to follow the rules to support her plush lifestyle, by speaking with affected tones and mannerisms, and feigning a stiff upper lip during the many adversities she encounters. But she only follows the rules half way, and when the chickens come home to roost, her deep vulnerability leads to a heartbreaking catharsis. Anderson's performance is doubtless one of the best performances of 2000 (male or female), all the more amazing when one considers that she wasn't even rewarded with an Oscar nomination, the same slight that befell Bjork who was absolutely superb in Von Trier's Dancer in the Dark. What a pity.
Terence Davies' facile treatment of the material admirably maintains Wharton's restraint, faithful to the era. The audience, sensitized to the "civility" of the period, shudders when the emotional confrontations arrive -- confrontations based on mere insults or raised eyebrows which are no less powerful than had they been punctuated with the physical violence which accompanies modern day fare. Special mention should also be made of the gorgeous photography of Remi Adefarasin whose camera soaks up the Renoir-like beauty of the era at every turn. An altogether remarkable film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars True to the book
Very depressing but true to Edith Wharton's book. You need to be strong to watch this. I wouldn't watch this if you are going through hard times.
Published 1 month ago by Carmen Velarde
1.0 out of 5 stars A Movie That Takes Forever
I kept on watching this movie thinking something had got to happen eventually...but nothing really ever did. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Garnet
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Mirthful
If you are expecting THE HOUSE OF MIRTH to be joyful, this film based upon Edith Wharton's mournful novel is anything but. Read more
Published 6 months ago by L. M. Keefer
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly BAD
I'm a big fan of Edith Wharton novels and have read them all over the years. Although the costumes are beautiful, the rest of this movie is just bad. Read more
Published 7 months ago by T.M.D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie!
This is a great adaptation of Edith Wharton's literary work. I absolutely loved it and I totally recommend it to anyone.
Published 7 months ago by Mary Ann Sheets
5.0 out of 5 stars From Saturday Night Live to Gus Trenner
I love the sweeping landscapes, the period costumes (especially Gillian Andersons' costumes!!) I love cranky, sickly and condescending An't Julia,(she reminds me of a long, passed... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lambie's MOM
1.0 out of 5 stars TRIED TO GIVE THIS A ZERO
Truly a mess of a film. Certainly good intentions, and talented actors, but woefully directed and scripted. In so many places it becomes a caricature of itself. What a waste. Read more
Published 8 months ago by JamesJames
1.0 out of 5 stars Miscast, sluggish, disconnected acting.
The House of Mirth is a good example of an ensemble of actors that are miscast and that inhabit separate worlds as they play their disconnected, superficial characters. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rob
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst movies I have ever seen
I love period pieces and wondered how I had missed this one when it was produced 12 years ago. Now I know. I doubt that the film enjoyed much success at the box office. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Glo in Philly
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag
W-e-l-l, it's a mixed bag. It's slow. The acting feels stilted most of the time. The story is choppy, and there is a whole lot going on inside the actors' heads that is clearly not... Read more
Published 14 months ago by taaj
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