Hampton's solidly performed directorial debut is a tasteful account of the intense, bizarre relationship between the effete author Lytton Strachey (Pryce, particularly good) and the young painter Dora Carrington (Thompson). This devout but chiefly spiritual affair, which eventually drove Carrington into the arms of other members of the bohemian set, should have made for an intriguing, if ironic, study of exploratory eroticism at odds with conventional morals. Instead, Hampton falls into the usual 'heritage movie' traps: the sex scenes are so timid they appear voyeuristic; the seasons in graceful rural England seem always to be late spring or early summer; and in general there's a sense not of a film but of an illustrated book. The few good lines come from Strachey; though you'd hardly know he was a writer, or Carrington an artist, so little attention is paid to their work.
Cast and crew
Emma Thompson Jonathan Pryce Steven Waddington Rufus Sewell Samuel West Janet McTeer