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The Golden Bowl

This adaptation of the classic novel by Henry James pits an American industrialist (Nick Nolte) and his daughter against two well-connected but impoverished social climbers (Uma Thurman and Jeremy Northam) who'd rather marry for money than lower their station. Together, they engage in a subtle, fascinating dance with misdirection at its heart. The Golden Bowl marks another triumph from the producing-directing team of James Ivory and Ismail Merchant.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.1
Rotten Tomatoes: Rotten 54%
Critics' score: 54   Audience score: 36   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

Looks exquisite at first, upon closer inspection its flaws become all too apparent.

Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

If not for its high-cult pedigree -- from a Henry James novel, adapted by the tony Merchant-Ivory team -- The Golden Bowl would seem the stuff of raging soap opera.

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

A victim of painfully drawn out excessiveness. full review

Desson Thomson, Washington Post

It suffers mightily from its deliberate pacing, pale characterizations, obvious plot and some woeful miscasting. full review

Rita Kempley, Washington Post

An elegant soap. full review

Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee

coiled, nuanced, resonant tale. full review

Susan Stark, Detroit News

In this movie, all displays of passion feel like gaudy pantomime. full review

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star

It is beautifully, dramatically and grandly long, tedious, boring and slow. full review

Pam Sitt, Seattle Times

Makes the viewer wish that Ivory had cast a more accomplished actress -- Kate Winslet, perhaps, or Cate Blanchett -- who could give dimension to the character and indicate subtext in a way that Thurman can't. full review

Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle

A handsome production and a story well told. full review

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

Ivory has been away from period literary adaptations, backbone of the Merchant Ivory reputation, for some time. It's good to have him back, but Golden Bowl shows he needs to do some work to reacquire his golden touch. full review

Steven Rosen, Denver Post

A fairly satisfying flick. full review

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

On the whole, though, it's easy to think of this Golden Bowl as half full rather than half empty.

Jay Carr, Boston Globe

May not be the best film to come from the Ismail Merchant/James Ivory team, but it's certainly one of the most beautiful. full review

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It kept me at arm's length, but that is where I am supposed to be; the characters are after all at arm's length from each other, and the tragedy of the story is implied but never spoken aloud. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The Golden Bowl is a feast for those who love nuanced conversation, unspoken emotion and guarded looks. full review

Louis B. Parks, Houston Chronicle
full review by Peter Rainer, New York Magazine
full review by Time Out, Time Out
full review by Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
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