After renting this highly intollerable movie, at the suggestion of a friend, I read three reviews of it. One was favorable and the other two told it "like it is".
For Christopher Hampton, author of Dangerous Liasons, this his first attempt at directing; it has been a waste of talent, as far as I am concerned. Like the film, ENGLISH PATIENT, this film, the story of the relationship betwen painter Dora Carrington and author Lytton Strachey, portrayed in CARRINGTON, leaves me caring not one whit about any of the characters or their fates. The fact that this story is based on the lives of real people depresses me. The people in question must have been two of the most pathetic humans to ever have graced the planet. My own neurotic and co-dependent tendencies are enough for me. I shouldn't have to pay to see those same tendencies displayed on the screen for over an hour in the personalities of sad and self-destructive individuals.
Emma Thompson, for as long as I have been familiar with her work on screen, has been one of my favorite actresses. Watching her play the role of a woman bent on creating her own sadness and ultimately her own untimely death, was difficult.
I am not familiar with the films of Jonathan Pryce who plays the homosexually bitchy Strachey. I think he plays Peron, dictator of Argentina in the recent movie EVITA.
Carrington, who during the very early part of the film, has a disdain for both men and sex, grows to love this woman hating man who can never really fullfill her as a woman, and throughout the movie, she subjects herself to watching him love other men the way she wants him to love her. She does get involved in sexual liasons with other men who fall in love with her. But her heart belongs only to Strachey, a most unlikable character who passes all kinds of judgements on society in a very uncomplimentary manner which makes the viewing audience turn off to him.
As one reviewer remarked, Carrington, who was a handsome woman, drove several men quite mad with sexual frustration and, once she overame her own fear of sex, had no trouble hopping in to bed with some of them.
When Strachey finally dies, presumably as a result of one of his many venereal diseases, Carrington takes her own life, shooting herself in the breast with a shotgun. Ho hum.
Rufus Sewell plays painter Mark Gertler whom Carrington initially frustrates, and Stephen Waddington plays Ralph Partridge, the man whom Carrington marries. Samuel West plays her lover Gerald Brenan.
Please save your money and your sanity with this one. Pass on it.