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The Portrait of a Lady Details


Jane Campion directed this expressive adaptation of the classic novel by Henry James. Isabel Archer (Nicole Kidman) is a young American woman who, after the death of her parents, has been sent to England to visit relatives. While her family's tragedy has left her penniless, Isabel's beauty has earned her the attentions of a number of eligible men. When Isabel turns down a proposal of marriage from the wealthy Lord Warburton (Richard E. Grant) because she does not love him, her cousin Ralph (Martin Donovan), who is also smitten with her, arranges for his father to leave her a fortune before succumbing to tuberculosis so that she may live as an independent woman. Isabel takes a tour of Europe, where she meets Madame Merle (Barbara Hershey), a jaded sophisticate and matchmaker who introduces her to Gilbert Osmond (John Malkovich), a widowed American artist living abroad. Isabel falls in love with Gilbert and they marry, but his sloth and opportunism soon begin to wear on her, and three years later she is desperate to get out of their relationship. The Portrait of a Lady also stars John Gielgud, Mary-Louise Parker, Christian Bale, and Shelley Winters. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:December 24, 1996


Awarded by
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Barbara Hershey Best Supporting Actress 1996 Winner
National Society of Film Critics Barbara Hershey Best Supporting Actress 1996 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Barbara Hershey Best Supporting Actress 1996 Nominee
National Society of Film Critics Martin Donovan Best Supporting Actor 1996 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Janet Patterson Best Costume Design 1996 Nominee


Nicole Kidman
as Isabel Archer
John Malkovich
as Gilbert Osmond
Barbara Hershey
as Madame Serena Merle
Mary-Louise Parker
as Henrietta Stackpole
Martin Donovan
as Ralph Touchett
Shelley Winters
as Mrs. Touchett
Richard E. Grant
as Lord Warburton
Shelley Duvall
as Countess Gemini
Christian Bale
as Edward Rosier
Viggo Mortensen
as Caspar Goodwood
Valentina Cervi
as Pansy Osmond
John Gielgud
as Mr.Touchett


Jane Campion
Steve Golin
Monty Montgomery
Laura Jones
Jane Campion
Stuart Dryburgh
Wojciech Kilar
Wojciech Kilar
Composer (Music Score)
Veronika Jenet
Janet Patterson
Production Designer
Martin Childs
Supervising Art Director
Mark Raggett
Art Director
Ann Wingate
Mark Turnbull
Associate Producer
Janet Patterson
Costume Designer
Peter Glossop
Sound/Sound Designer
Mark Turnbull
First Assistant Director
Colin Englert
Second Unit Director