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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Odd Couple
Not sure that this 1995 film is correctly titled, as it is as much about Lytton Strachey as it is about Dora Carrington. Indeed, Christopher Hampton's screenplay recognises this by stating it is based on Michael Holroyd's biography of Strachey. As expected, both Emma Thompson as Carrington and Jonathan Pryce as Strachey manage to infuse their roles with pathos and...
Published on 21 Jan 2011 by Nicholas Casley

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Having read the excellent book 'A Crisis of Brilliance' by David Boyd Haycock about the lives of several artists including Carrington around the time of the first world war, I was keen to see this film. Although it was a pleasant enough film to watch, the story line gives very little idea of Carrington as an artist, focusing mainly on her relationship with Lytton...
Published on 13 Aug 2011 by fiddlelizard


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4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth buying, 7 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Carrington [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
Dora Carrington is an elusive character, and portraying her and her complex life is quite a challenge. I consider that Emma Thompson did a pretty good job but that perhaps she failed to capture her elusiveness and that her Carrington was too one-dimensional. It was never quite clear why she went to bed with people other than Ralph Partridge - and unless you had read biographies, you would not have known how and why men such as Mark Gertler and Gerald Brennan featured importantly in her life. And women featured also, which was not touched upon.

I think that Frances Marshall might have been more strongly drawn; but only on reading her Biography, published after the film was made, is one made aware of the quiet persistence she exercised in maintaining her attraction Ralph Partridge and her refusal to sleep with him while he was married to Carrington.

Christopher Hampton's script was in the main perceptive and aware that in the time available not all characters could be developed satisfactorily; and it did manage to capture Lytton Stratchey brilliantly - and Jonathan Pryce's performance was stunningly good as he not only looked eerily like Stratchey but brought him to life.

I was somewhat unconvinced by the house used for Ham Spray - externally too gloomy. But all in all, the film succeeds in providing a glimpse into the troubled life of Dora Carrington, and an encouragement to the viewer to find out more about her

Helia
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very sad, 9 July 2013
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This review is from: Carrington [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
Very sad account of Dora Carrington's life. Quite a slow start, but keep watching to see her life's events unfold.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jonathan Pryce gives the performance of a lifetime!, 3 Jun 2013
By 
Kate Hopkins (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carrington [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
I rarely review DVDs, but this one tied in with some reading I'd been doing which inspired me to write a review. 'Carrington' tells the story of the painter Dora Carrington (who dropped her Victorian first name as soon as possible) and her longterm, deeply loving relationship with gay writer and bon vivant Lytton Strachey. Strachey and Carrington lived together for years, even though both had other lovers during that time (of both sexes in Carrington's case, which we don't see in the film) and Carrington was also married for much of the time they cohabited. It's a fascinating and rather moving story, and I'm glad someone made a film of it. The trouble, unfortunately, with Hampton's script and with the film in general is that it focuses rather obsessively on Carrington's love affairs, particularly in the later stages, and neglects to tell us much about either artist's work (both were quite remarkable in their way, and Carrington's friend Frances Marshall, later Partridge, described Carrington as 'almost a genius) or about their friendships, which mattered to them quite as much as sex. The result is that the episodes of the film after Carrington's marriage, despite some good dialogue and interesting scenes, come across more and more like the Catalogue aria in 'Don Giovanni', a constant listing of men and affairs. It trivializes Carrington too much, particularly as a lot of details are left out (Carrington and Ralph stayed very close even when the marriage began to fall apart sexually, Carrington didn't just abandon Brenan on a hillside at the end of their relationship, Roger Senhouse, Lytton's lover, was a cultivated man who later translated French literature, rather than a camp poseur). Some of the wit of the Bloomsbury circle is missing from the film, and the rather tortured music by Michael Nyman doesn't help (we breathed a sigh of relief when the Schubert Quintet was played instead).

Still - I would much recommend this film, above all for the superb performance by Jonathan Pryce as Strachey (he also gets all the best lines - who else would expire growling 'If this is dying, I don't think much of it!'). Friends of Strachey say Pryce got him perfectly - he produces a wonderfully witty, but also very touching performance. The scene in which he and Carrington first sleep together is genuinely very moving, and their later dialogues are superb - as are the bigger scenes with Lytton 'holding court'. Emma Thompson does fairly well as Carrington, though she comes across as rather more humourless and tortured than the real Carrington seems to have been, and Hampton overdoes the craven side of her relationship with Lytton in his script. Still, her final scenes are pretty heartbreaking, and she copes very well with the endless parade of sex scenes in the middle of the film. There's also some beautiful photography, and some fine performances from supporting actors including Rufus Sewell as a superbly petulant Mark Gertler (a little over the top?), Steven Waddington in top form as Ralph and Jeremy Northam as the swaggering Beakus Penrose.

All in all, this is a fine introduction to the personality of Lytton Strachey, and an interesting way in to one of the greatest and most unconventional love stories of Bloomsbury. But it's very much only a starting point for finding out about these people; watch it, but also read Carrington's superb letters and her biography by Gretchen Gerzina, and Holroyd's fine biography of Strachey to get a picture of what Strachey, Carrington and their friends were really like.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Weird and wonderful., 5 April 2013
By 
Kim (Llandrindod Wells, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carrington [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
Somehow I didn't learn about this 1995 film until 2013. But it's a really great film. It might seem seriously unsatisfactory, in that there is so much sexual infidelity, and the central character of Lytton Strachey is as prissy and effete seeming - and self centred - as one could wish. Yet remarkably one is left with an impression that Strachey and Carrington had some highly admirable form of moral or intellectual strength. Perplexing! Also seems to me to be a good testament to the defective but still alluring Bloomsbury group, though biographic films are bound to be questionable. My favourite Emma Thompson film (so far).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting period piece, 25 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Carrington [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
We are very interested in the Bloomsbury set and their bohemian lives and their art and so this film was a great fit
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting., 25 Feb 2013
By 
Mrs. Darryl Kay (Lincolnshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carrington [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
Best to see the film after reading about the caracters first.
The performances were very good and you get a good feeling for the era.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Carrington, 5 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Carrington [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
I enjoyed very much the film "Carrington" because of the high quality of the actors and sense of the period. There is an aura around works of this era of history, partly seen as "retrò" "bohemian" or/and anticonformist which the director completely latched onto to render the almost hermetic world of the characters. It seems as much anticonformist in our day when oddly matched human relationships are no longer seen to be such but are accepted as the norm, rather than seen through a telephoto lens distorting in a time warp the sentiments of another age. I loved it and love all themes of the "Bloomsbury set"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, but true story, 28 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Carrington [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
After viewing this wonder CD, just had to follow it up with two visits to Yegan in the foothills of the Sierra Navada. Not on many maps, but all worth while.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Carrington, 13 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Carrington [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
Dora Carrington's life was very complex and some aspects were not touched on in this beautifully photographed, pleasant but fairly unmemorable film. Having said that, it was interesting enough to make me want to read more about Lytton Strachey and the Bloomsbury group and Emma Thompson is absolutely lovely in the part of Dora.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adrift in a French farce without a sense of humor, 26 Aug 2010
By 
L. E. Cantrell (Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carrington [DVD] [1995] (DVD)
This film, "Carrington," displays just about all the virtues and faults of the Merchant-Ivory/Masterpiece Theater genre. It is very earnest, very well acted and very pretty to look upon. It's sometimes quite intelligent. It is also very self-satisfied, very slow and very lacking in humor. It's sometimes very dull, too.

The virtues are just that, virtues. Cumulatively, they build up a lot of credit for this film. The faults, depending on a viewer's personal values, may be regarded as lying somewhere on a scale ranging from irrelevant to fatal. I lean to one extreme. My wife leans to the other.

It might even be argued that the self-satisfaction, the humorlessness are neither more nor less than accurate depictions of Dora Carrington, Lytton Strachey and that whole self-absorbed, sexually-perplexed, navel-gazing crowd of twits at Bloomsbury.

I prefer to regard the director-writer, the actors and the whole production as hopelessly gullible in taking their real life protagonists at their own value. The Woolfs, the Bells, Strachey and Carrington herself would, if given half a chance, express themselves as characters in a drama of high-flown aspirations and tragic consequences. I, on the other hand, tend to view them as puppets in a French farce, albeit one written by D. H. Lawrence.

This film, its settings, its characters and its mind-set bear only the most tenuous connection with the real, tangible world. As W.S. Gilbert might have put it, the film and all those in it yearn for Elysian fields, but ignore the fact that they "can't get'em and would only let'em out on building leases" if they had'em. "Carrington" would be well served by the presence of just such a character as Fitzgerald threw in to add a spice of reality to the slow-simmering gumbo of Gatsby and Daisy and Tom: Nick, the narrator, doubter and conscience--a pallid character, yes, but still a whiff of the tax paying, traffic light-bound workaday world.

As a film, "Carrington" is easy on the eye. Its story is interesting enough, although I can't imagine being drawn back to watch it of my own volition again at any time in the foreseeable future. But even as I question the worth of making the film, I can't deny the high level of skill lavished on it.

I think "Carrington" is a film worth seeing--once. That's good enough for four stars as far as I'm concerned.
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Carrington [DVD] [1995]
Carrington [DVD] [1995] by Christopher Hampton (DVD - 2003)
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