Carrington Movie Review
If you're like me, you're saying to yourself, "Who is this Dora Carrington, and why would someone make a movie about her?" Well, I still don't have the answer to that one. Carrington was something of a homebody who thrived on shocking Victorian sensibilities with her outrageous behavior, the bulk of which involved sexual promiscuity in some fashion or another. Most notable among her odd and largely meaningless "flings" was a doomed-from-the-start relationship with troublesome writer Lytton Strachey (Jonathan Pryce), a bearded, neo-Oscar Wilde who couldn't function normally without substantial babysitting from Carrington and/or any number of her lovers.
Together, Carrington and Lytton meander through 17 years of love and hate, happiness and anger, life and death. With its promising start, Carrington begins by introducing the real star of the film, Lytton, but shortly thereafter, the movie bogs down in irrelevant, plodding details about Carrington's life and love interests. Soon, I was wondering what the point was to all of this, and I never did find out, as the only remotely empathetic character was Lytton.
Jonathan Pryce, who won Best Actor at Cannes, is deserving of all the praise he's received. He manages to bring Lytton alive so well that when he's not on the screen, the film completely stalls out. In fact, the movie is based on a book entitled "Lytton Strachey." Why screenwriter/director Christopher Hampton (who recently bombed with Total Eclipse) felt Dora Carrington was a more interesting person is beyond me.
Other than Pryce, the raucous comedy at the film's opening, and a great score by Michael Nyman (The Piano), there's not much to redeem this picture. Incidentally, this script was written in 1976, and only now has it been produced. It isn't hard to see why it took so long.