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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.
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Netflix Rating: 3.2
Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
54%  
40%
 
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

See all The Golden Bowl Reviews

 
It suffers mightily from its deliberate pacing, pale characterizations, obvious plot and some woeful miscasting.
Rita Kempley, Washington Post  full review
 
coiled, nuanced, resonant tale.
Susan Stark, Detroit News  full review
 
In this movie, all displays of passion feel like gaudy pantomime.
Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star  full review
 
It is beautifully, dramatically and grandly long, tedious, boring and slow.
Pam Sitt, Seattle Times  full review
 
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.
Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
 
The Golden Bowl is a feast for those who love nuanced conversation, unspoken emotion and guarded looks.
Louis B. Parks, Houston Chronicle  full review
 
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.
Steven Rosen, Denver Post  full review
 
A fairly satisfying flick.
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail  full review
 
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.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution  full review
 
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.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times  full review
 
A handsome production and a story well told.
Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News  full review
 
A victim of painfully drawn out excessiveness.
Desson Thomson, Washington Post  full review
 
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
 
Looks exquisite at first, upon closer inspection its flaws become all too apparent.
Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune
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