Sitting through Carrington I wished that I was at Braveheart, I did not quite think the opposite at Braveheart. Mel Gibson is going to have to face the fact that dallying with women in their twenties is beginning to look dubious in a man who’ll soon be a grandfather.
Some objected to the portrayal of the Prince of Wales (Edward II) in Gibson’s film, Wales (Peter Hanly), and his gay friends came across as the few rational people in the drama. Maybe Gibson’s (alleged) homophobia comes out in an (a historical) affair between William Wallace (the ‘braveheart’ of the title) and Edward’s wife. It’s a good film if you like lots of blood and guts.
Carrington is about a Bloomsbury (Virginia Woolf ‘n’ all) painter, she dropped her ‘feminine’ forename Dora. the film is actually about Lytton Strachey, who approaches Carrington because he thought she was a “lovely boy”. This should have given an edge to the other pairings she engages in the film, Emma Thompson unfortunately, is not in the least boyish, or even mildly androgynous. Her method of playing a painter is to stand at an easel and look worried while dabbing at it. Carrington’s paintings are wonderful; big, colourful and full of life.
Strachey comes across as a dry stick, no notion of the revolution he wrought in history and biography is conveyed Jonathan Pryce makes the best of a bad job. He says in the course of one scene that there are no lovely boys in Wales which won’t make him popular in some quarters.
Director Christopher Hampton
Writers Christopher Hampton, Michael Holroyd (book)
Stars Emma Thompson, Jonathan Pryce, Steven Waddington
Genres Biography, Drama, Romance
1995 18 2h 1min