In this final collaboration between legendary producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory, three times Oscar nominees for Best Picture and Best Director (A Room With A View, 1986; Howards End, 1993; The Remains Of The Day, 1994), China provides the backdrop for this exceptional drama of exile, longing and love's triumph over adversity, written by the prize winning author Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains Of The Day). The White Countess takes place in the glamorous, corrupt and boomtown atmosphere of 1930s Shanghai. Two-time Oscar-nominee Ralph Fiennes (1997, Best Actor, The English Patient; 1994, Best Supporting Actor, Schindler's List) stars as Todd Jackson, a diplomat blinded in a bombing. An encounter with Sophia (Natasha Richardson, Maid In Manhattan), an exiled Countess employed as a bar girl, inspires him to open his own club, but only if she will work for him. Sophia's in-laws, played by the Redgrave sisters, greedily pocket her income, but denounce her as a bad influence on her daughter. When Japanese troops invade the city, a mass exodus ensues. Alone and afraid, Sophia clings to the only hope left to her - finding her missing daughter!
A film with great style and class, in China 1936.
- White Countess review by Sonia
This film moved me very much. The sets, the costumes, the Chinese scene, and largely the wonderful acting by Natasha Richardson and Ralph Fiennes. It has an authenticity showing human nature, selfish side, and their unselfish sides.I found Natasha Richardson completely credible as a Russian Countess. Fiennes never disappoints.
So sad she that was later was involved in a tragic accident, so early in life.