Portrait of Jennie
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Time Out saysA companion piece to the Dieterle/Selznick Love Letters, also starring Jones and Cotten; but where the earlier film remained rooted in superior romantic hokum, this one takes wing into genuine romantic fantasy through its tale of a love that transcends space and time as Cotten's struggling artist meets, falls in love with, and is inspired by a strangely ethereal girl (Jones) whom he eventually realises is the spirit of a woman long dead. Direction and performances are superb throughout, but the real star is Joseph August's camera, which conjures pure magic out of the couple's tender odyssey, from the gravely quizzical charm of their first encounter in snowy Central Park (when she is still a little girl, strangely dressed in clothes of bygone days) through to the awesome storm at sea that supernaturally heralds their final parting. Buñuel saw it and of course approved: 'It opened up a big window for me'.