The Heart Of Me review

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After shagging Brad Pitt and wearing monkey make-up in recent movies, British institution Helena `Bohemian' Carter returns to what she does best: stroppy posh period trollops with a propensity for nookie.

Here she plays Dinah, a '30s free spirit who looks like she's had a fight with an eyeliner pencil and hair-nesting seagull. It's no surprise then, that her quiet brother-in-law Richie (Paul Bettany) is attracted to her - married as he is to elegant ice queen Madeleine (Olivia Williams). Paul and Dinah are soon embroiled in an ardent affair but war, both global and familial, threatens to tear them apart.

Based on Rosamond Lehmann's novel The Echoing Grove, The Heart Of Me covers all the usual costume-drama bases - English restraint, sumptuous production values and some saucy (pale-skinned) love-making. But this - and even Carter's histrionics - can be forgiven whenever Williams and Bettany are on show. He provides the heart-wrenching emotional core, she's magnificent and glacial. Together they elevate a prosaic bonkbuster into a moving study of sibling cruelty and regret.

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