White Countess, The
Source: Catholic News Service
Lavish, final collaboration of director James Ivory and the late Ismail Merchant with an original screenplay by novelist Kazuo Ishiguro about an impoverished Russian countess (Natasha Richardson) supporting her young daughter and ungrateful family (Vanessa Redgrave, Lynn Redgrave, John Wood, Madeleine Potter) while working as a hostess in a nightclub run by blind ex-diplomat (Ralph Fiennes) in 1930s' Shanghai, China, just before the Japanese invasion. Though the narrative isn't totally convincing, it has an epic sweep, and after an uncertain start builds to a satisfying conclusion with excellent performances. Some crass language, sexual innuendo, suggested prostitution, gambling, drunkenness, some barroom and wartime violence. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
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