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Where Angels Fear to Tread [VHS]
Where Angels Fear to Tread is a Merchant/Ivory production in all but name. Lilia (Helen Mirren, in fine form) is a wealthy widow on holiday in rural Italy with her companion Caroline (a dressed-down Helena Bonham Carter) when she falls for penniless local Gino (Giovanni Guidelli). Her horrified relatives promptly dispatch brother-in-law Philip (Rupert Graves) to break things up, but he's too late--she's already married and, in short order, gives birth to a child. Unfortunately, a happy ending is not to be (not for Lilia, at any rate). As with Maurice (Graves) and Howard's End (Bonham Carter), the author is E.M. Forster, but the director is Charles Sturridge (Brideshead Revisited) and, unlike Room with a View (which featured both actors), the tone is tragic rather than romantic. Another Forster vet, Judy Davis (A Passage to India), plays Lilia's sister-in-law, Harriet, while Oscar winner Rachel Portman composed the enchanting score. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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