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Portrait of a Marriage

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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(Jun 06, 2006)
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Product details

  • Actors: Janet McTeer, David Haig, Cathryn Harrison, Diana Fairfax, Peter Birch
  • Writers: Patricia Hodge
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: June 6 2006
  • Run Time: 219 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000F4RHBQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,765 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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Product description

Product Description


BRITISH ARISTOCRAT AND WRITER VITA SACKVILLE-WEST and diplomat Harold Nicolson married in 1913, and their love endured and deepended over the course of their 50 years together. Each, however, was knowingly and repeatedly unfaithful to the other, Vita most famously with fellow writer Virginia Woolf. But only one affair threatened their union: Vita's tempestuous liaison with her childhood friend Violet Keppel. This BBC drama is the story of that affair based on extraordinary literary biography by Nigel Nicolson, Vita and Harold's son.

Award-winning actress Janet McTeer (Tumbleweeds, Carrington) stars as Vita with David Haig (Two Weeks Notice) as Harold, and Cathryn Harrison (Clarissa) as Violet.

Portrait of a Marriage opens with deceptive calm-- a husband and wife working in a garden look up at planes flying overhead. But the planes are off to bomb Germany and moments later a phone call thrusts the wife--poet and novelist Vita Sackville-West (Janet McTeer, Tumbleweeds)--into a bittersweet reverie from the previous war. Five years into her marriage with Harold Nicolson (David Haig, Two Weeks Notice), Harold confesses his affairs with men--but swears his only true passion is Vita. She accepts this, but when her childhood friend Violet Keppel (Cathryn Harrison, Clarissa) arrives, the two women begin an affair. Soon Vita and Violet find themselves deeply enmeshed, traveling through the gay demimonde of Paris with Vita in men's clothes. The affair becomes all-consuming and starts tearing at Vita and Harold's marriage and the lives of their two children. Portrait of a Marriage practically bursts with revealing psychological details and startlingly steamy sex scenes--as Vita and Violet's relationship grows more carnal, so does the miniseries. But there's nothing casual or exploitive about it; the sex deepens the hold the women have on each other's hearts and leads to emotional pyrotechnics. The tension constantly thickens, made all the more complex because Vita and Harold genuinely love each other, regardless of their sexual longings. The vivid and meticulous recreation of the period frames the superb performances by McTeer, Harrison, and Haig. This four-episode miniseries from 1990, based on the biography by Vita and Harold's son Nigel, is yet another example of the BBC's mastery of literary adaptations. --Bret Fetzer

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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.1 out of 5 stars 32 reviews
Monikin East
5.0 out of 5 starsControversial in its time,... moving
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Almost 50 Lassie fan
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent....
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Roger W. Davenport
5.0 out of 5 starsthe agony of longing
August 6, 2006 - Published on
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19 people found this helpful.

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