Based on the novel by Henry James, `The Wings of the Dove' is a beautiful film both in terms of locations, story and acting.
Helena Bonham Carter plays Kate Croy, who after being taking on as a ward by her Aunt Maude, is forced to meet illicitly with her lower class lover Merton Densher (played by Linus Roache). When Kate discovers that her new friend Mille (played by Alison Elliot), a wealthy American heiress is terminally ill, she sets about enticing Merton to seduce Millie in order for Kate and Merton to be able to marry through the acquisition of her inheritance.
The cinematography of the film is simply stunning, especially the night scenes in Venice, the costumes too are beautifully made and in my opinion Helena Bonham Carter has never looked better; whilst she may not want to be known as a corset queen, it must be said that her performances in such period films are always superb. It is also obvious why Bonham Carter was Oscar nominated for the film, she succeeds playing a complex character and the scene where she writes a letter to Merton, terrified that her lover will fall in love with Millie is almost heartbreaking to watch, we can truly understand her pain, yet we also understand that this is a pain of her own design.
All in all, `The Wings of the Dove' is to be highly recommended, darker than your normal period drama; the film looks at human manipulation and jealously. The final love scene is incredibly emotive, the viewer can almost see the pain etched on the protagonists' faces, and indeed it is interesting that during an act of complete and utter intimacy, the two lovers have never been further apart from one another.