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A VILLAGE AFFAIR

3.0 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


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.

Amazon.com

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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Claire Bloom, Kerry Fox, Michael Gough, Nathaniel Parker, Sophie Ward
  • Directors: Moira Armstrong
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O4C6KS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,675 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Having read the book and now seen the film, still dissatisfied with the ending, but won't spoil it for you. Good characterization around a strong tale. Sophie Ward plays the unhappy, lonely Alice, ripe for an intense relationship with Clodagh, the persistent local extrovert who pursues her. The very talented Kerry Fox obviously enjoys the role, but not even she can carry a jarring change in personality mid-way through. And the writers fail her badly with some cliched, melodramatic lines towards the end. But Sophie Ward is luminous as the blossoming Alice. She manages some extremely difficult emotions with an admirable honesty, and skilfully portrays Alice's changing circumstances. As for art mirroring life, I doubt that she imagined when she played this role that it would be so true for her. Sophie's real life `ending' was a whole lot braver than Joanna Trollope could manage. Certainly worth seeing for quality acting by the main characters, and a sublime supporting cast. END
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Format: VHS Tape
This writer's work has been "bowdlerised", that is, expurgated, andheterosexualised as to be acceptable for mainstream cinematic viewing. The scriptwriter, producer and director (all women, incidently - for shame) are directly responsible for the way that Ms Trollope's novel about self-discovery, via an unsuccessful marriage and cathartic love affair, has been transformed into a cautionary tale about the kind of woman your mother warned you about. Upon discovery of the affair in the film, Alice (our heroine) goes to her husband and asks for a second chance; in the book, she asks for a divorce. In the book, Alice is a weeping wreck and Clodagh (the 'other woman') determined to show her how to appreciate herself and life; in the film, Alice is post-natally depressed and Clodagh a shallow seducer. In the film, Alice harangues Clodagh for not concealing their relationship; in the book, Alice says she would like to tell everyone. In the film, everyone wants a piece of Alice; in the book, Clodagh loves her as she lets her go, reluctantly, to find her own way. And Alice loves Clodagh as they let each other go, knowing too much emotional baggage would not see them through. In the film, Alice drives 'off into the sunset' (and then...?); in the book, Alice learns to be sufficient unto herself. I rest my case; a good queer story, skewed straight. Hand out the awards to Sophie Ward and Kerry Fox (yay, fabulous Kerry, fellow Kiwi!) who, not for a moment compromise their acting (including some sumptuous lip-locks) to a skilfully doctored script. And another award for Joanna Trollope's excellent story. Watch the film - it's well worth it. And read the book to find out what the author REALLY intended.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The central character, Alice, holds the movie together. She has an essential decency and dignity that carry us over a rather improbable emotional arc, sexual and otherwise. Alice is unhappy, but not a selfish woman or neglectful mother. Having an affair, either with her brother-in-law or with the new gal in town, seems a stretch. And her apparent surprise at the downside of this act -- frowning villagers and traumatized relatives -- is also not quite credible. No one in the era in which this film was made would have expected much else from a gossipy English village.
The bias against gay sex comes with the decision of her husband, who one imagines would have been more tolerant of a heterosexual affair. His response to the betrayal comes off as abnormally unglued. Infidelity is infidelity. Never nice, never easy to forgive. But people do manage to forgive, especially a first time offense.
The counterpoint to this bias is the subtext that gay sex is better than the hetero version. This idea is conveyed by juxtaposing two candidates for an affair: one a lounge lizard male, the other an exuberant female. It seems an easy choice to make, and a relatively more healthy one since the gay affair also restores Alice to a sense of vitality. But Alice's character, sedate and obedient as it is, is not one to make this choice, at least not so quickly and so freely. Her decision seems imposed upon her by a too eager writer who has a lesson to teach.
Perhaps the deeper problem, dramatically, is what is supposed to be an ideal marriage. Although we get many signals that all is not right, we don't ever quite grasp what is wrong. I didn't read the book, but would have liked more backstory as to what this couple is all about, before things begin to unravel.
These issues aside, the film offers excellent acting, particularly by Sophie Ward and Nathaniel Parker.
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Another piece of trash shoving lesbians down our throat....your married..your married..lesbian or not....you have children....it seems it is okay to destroy every one's life because you have some perverse notion of what love is.....
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Sweet story and the best lesbian seduction scene ever. However, I was very disappointed at the ending. It's a wonder they didn't have a tree fall on her (the evil lesbian). It's my understanding that this film belied the book's ending so that's a bummer. Kerry Fox was great, as always. And Sophie Ward, well, you go girl!
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Format: DVD
I totally enjoyed this dvd. I had no idea of the plot other than what was described on the DVD cover. I was not disappointed as the superb acting, excellent character rolls portrayed by the residents of a small English Village, all reinforced a plot which developed very nicely into an entertaining story. Well Done !
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