The Heart of Me

The Heart of Me

Released: April 29 2004
Cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Paul Bettany, Olivia Williams, Eleanor Bron
Director: Thaddeus O'Sullivan
Genre: Drama/Romance
Rated: M15+ low level coarse language
Running Time: 94 Minutes

Passion Brought Them Together, Love Will Tear Them Apart.

After the death of their father, Madeleine (Olivia Williams), invites her sister Dinah (Helena Bonham Carter) to stay in her elegant London home. Madeleine's husband Rickie, (Paul Bettany), is now effectively head of the family, and a man of persuasive charm and sophistication. Efforts to find a husband for the free-spirited Dinah seem to pay off at last, but having announced her engagement, Dinah is secretly told by Rickie to call it off. The reason remains unspoken - as they are both aware of a profound mutual attraction. So begins a wild affair, as Rickie and Dinah's illicit passion spirals into deception, offering ecstasy and despair in equal measure and, finally as the sister's attempt a reconciliation there is an insight in the heart's capacity for forgiveness.

'The Heart Of Me' stars Helena Bonham Carter (Big Fish, Planet Of The Apes), Olivia Williams (Peter Pan), Paul Bettany (Master & Commander, A Beautiful Mind) and Eleanor Bron.

My Verdict:
'The Heart Of Me' is based on Rosamond Lehmann's 1953 novel, The Echoing Grove (and loosely based on her illicit affair with Poet Laureate, C. Day Lewis) and is set in London in the 30's and 40's. It is lush with its costumes and settings and truly evokes the era. Helena Bonham Carter is simply gorgeous as the headstrong yet fragile Dinah, with such natural beauty perfect for the role. She is assertive one moment and in despair the next, constantly fighting her feelings for her sister's husband, Rickie. Equally, her sister is the same but in reverse. Madeleine appears to always be in control yet she too is fragile in ways she is yet to discover. She is devastated upon learning of her husband's affair with her sister and elicits her mother's help.

Eleanor Bron plays such a dragon and interfering mother and mother-in-law, which she purports to be in everyone's best interests, regardless of anyone's feelings. She is the quintessential enemy. Rickie fights the overwhelming situation he finds himself in, the loyalty to his wife, or the true love of his sister-in-law. What a choice. Ultimately, Rickie discovers peace in an unusual place.The film is shown as flashbacks and forwards into the future to show consequences of decisions made and the emotional heartbreak of the situation. The atmosphere is constantly of passion and feelings, and it is hard not to feel for the characters at the tragedy of their lives. This is not a movie with a happy ending and it didn't need to be either. It is a very emotional journey for the characters and also for the viewers.

Rating : B+

Christina Bruce


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