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"THE GOLDEN BOWL"
(2001) (Uma Thurman, Jeremy Northam) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild None Heavy Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Extreme Moderate Moderate *Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A woman and man, former lovers but now married to a billionaire expatriate and his unknowing daughter respectively, try to keep their affection for each other secret from their spouses and others.
PLOT:
It's 1903 Rome and Prince Amerigo (JEREMY NORTHAM) is showing his former lover, Charlotte Stant (UMA THURMAN), through the dilapidated mansion in which his aristocratic ancestors sunk all of the family money. In need of wealth, Amerigo has agreed to marry Maggie (KATE BECKINSALE), the proper daughter of Adam Verver (NICK NOLTE), a wealthy American expatriate who made his fortune in the American coal business. Still being in love with the Prince, Charlotte isn't happy about losing him to Maggie - who isn't aware of the lovers' past -- even if the two women have been friends since childhood.

Years later, Amerigo and Maggie are married with a young son in England, while Adam and Charlotte have also tied the knot. Yet, and despite the four getting along rather well, Charlotte still longs for her former lover who's discovered that his wife and her father are still as inseparable as they were before the marriages. Although the two agree that they must constrain themselves for the sake of their new spouses, Amerigo and Maggie end up spending ever more time together, a point that doesn't sit well with Fanny Assingham (ANJELICA HUSTON), the woman who introduced the two despite being aware of his past relationship with Charlotte.

As the years pass and Amerigo and Maggie eventually have an affair, they try to keep their adulterous behavior secret from their respective spouses who eventually become suspicious and jealous of the time and attention the two pay to each other.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or of period "costume dramas," it's highly unlikely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For a sex scene.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • UMA THURMAN plays a woman whose affection for her former lover causes her to cheat on her husband and try to keep that secret from him and others.
  • JEREMY NORTHAM plays the married man who has an affair with her and tries to keep it secret from others. He smokes a few times.
  • KATE BECKINSALE plays his wife who becomes suspicious of the time those two spend together.
  • NICK NOLTE plays her wealthy father who also happens to be married to Charlotte and likewise becomes suspicious of her. He also smokes cigars.
  • ANJELICA HUSTON plays an aunt who feels both mad and guilty about setting up Maggie and Amerigo, due to knowing of his former fling with Charlotte and realizing that they're not through with each other.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. A man and woman have an affair (thus cheating on their respective spouses) and we briefly see them fooling around (in a sensuous scene that includes passionate kissing, heavy breathing and the man caressing her clothed breast and fondling her crotch - the later isn't explicitly seen, but there's no doubt what he's doing). Beyond that, there's some other brief passionate kissing, a somewhat sensuous theatrical production, and some classic artwork (sculptures, paintings and sketches) that shows some nudity, including that of male full frontal.

    Beyond that affair, various people lie about it, and it creates some tense family scenes between two married couples. Some characters drink and smoke (one doing a lot of the latter), profanity consists of 2 uses of "damn," and a visualized scene from the past show the shadows of guards using spears and a sword to punish one or two people (a man and his stepmother) who were having an affair.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you more closely examine our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in it.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some people carry glasses of wine at a ball.
  • Fanny and her husband have drinks.
  • Some people drink at a party.
  • Charlotte has a drink.
  • People have wine or champagne at a dinner before a play, including Maggie and Charlotte.
  • We see some drinks on a table as several characters play some sort of card game.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • In a visualization of a past indiscretion, we see that a man is having an affair with his stepmother.
  • Amerigo doesn't let Maggie know that he and Charlotte were former lovers.
  • He and Charlotte then have an affair (thus both cheat on their respective spouses) and then try to conceal and lie about that.
  • Some woman comments on Italians being devious (thinking that Amerigo has cheated in a bicycle race).
  • Some may see Fanny as having both for not telling Maggie the truth about her husband and Charlotte's past and current behavior.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • It's possible that some viewers could see a visualization of a past indiscretion -- where an adulterous man and his stepmother are physically removed from the bedroom in which they were having an affair and we then see the shadow of guards repeatedly jabbing one or both of them with spears, while another person repeatedly strikes one or both of them with a sword -- as somewhat unsettling or tense.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Spears/Sword: Seen being used in a visualization of a past indiscretion by guards to kill one or two people (we see the shadows of this behavior).
  • Stage knife: Used in a performance by several characters to "kill" others or stab themselves (no blood, and all obviously faked in an old-fashioned sense).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Damn you" and "Whore" (both in English subtitles).
  • Some adults use large serving trays as sleds to ride down stairs in a house.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of dramatically suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 damns (1 in subtitles) are used as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • In a visualization of a past indiscretion, we see that a man is having an affair with his stepmother (we see the two of them on top of a bed, fully clothed, but it's implied that they've been fooling around to some extent).
  • Some classic art sculptures/statues show male full frontal nudity, while some sketch artwork shows some nudes (but nothing explicit - bare rear ends) and a painting shows a bare female breast and side of a rear end).
  • Charlotte tells Amerigo that she came to their place so that the two of them could be together one last time and that it will only take an hour or so.
  • Maggie and Amerigo briefly passionately kiss.
  • Charlotte shows some cleavage in several scenes.
  • Fanny's husband tells her to come to bed and she comments on that always being his solution to any problem. He then playfully growls at her and the two then kiss (but we don't see anything else).
  • Amerigo and Charlotte passionately kiss for a moment before being interrupted (both are clothed and standing).
  • Charlotte and Adam briefly kiss.
  • A woman and man passionately kiss.
  • We see Amerigo and Charlotte apparently after they've had sex. He's sitting in a chair with a jacket on but no shirt, while she's in bed wearing a nightgown. She then comes over and sits on his lap in the chair and they passionately make out. He then grabs her clothed butt and lowers her down to the floor where they kiss some more (with heavy breathing). He then caresses her clothed breast and then runs his hand down to her crotch (resulting in more heavy breathing). We can't see what he's exactly doing, although it's implied that he's fondling her crotch. She then climbs on top of him as he lies on the floor and the scene ends there.
  • Maggie shows some cleavage.
  • In a performance of some sort, women wear bikini-like tops, while others are dressed in traditional belly dancer garb and a man is shirtless. The man then sensuously runs his hands along the outline of a woman's body (not touching her).
  • A man narrates a slide show and talks about a former Duke's son being caught in flagrante delicto.
  • SMOKING
  • Adam smokes or carries cigars around 10 times, while Amerigo smokes cigarettes a few times, Charlotte does so once, and a miscellaneous person also smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The affair puts a strain on the respective marriages.
  • Adam briefly talks about his wife dying when Maggie was young, and we later see him looking at a photo of her and getting a bit teary-eyed.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Affairs and the aftermath of them.
  • The subdued way in which most of the characters react to learning of the indiscretion.
  • VIOLENCE
  • In a visualization of a past indiscretion, a man and his stepmother are physically removed from the bedroom in which they were having an affair. We then see the shadow of guards repeatedly jabbing one or both of them with spears, while another person repeatedly strikes one or both of them with a sword.
  • Fanny purposefully lets a bowl falls to the floor where it breaks into several pieces (while trying to make Maggie feel better by doing so).
  • Charlotte slaps Amerigo.



  • Reviewed May 3, 2001 / Posted May 18, 2001

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