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The White Countess Details


James Ivory directed this historical drama of a man who has shut himself away from a world he cannot change. Todd Jackson (Ralph Fiennes) is an American expatriate living in Shanghai in the late '30s. While Jackson was once an American diplomat who came to Shanghai with great optimism about China's future, the bitter political squabbling and military violence that are a part of daily life in China caused him to become bitterly disillusioned. Jackson also lost most of his sight, and he has retreated into Shanghai's decadent underworld of bars and brothels rather than face the world. When a wager on a horse race wins Jackson a small fortune, he decides to indulge a long-time fancy and build the perfect Shanghai bar, one that would ideally reflect that corrupt beauty of the city, and he is joined in his project by Matsuda (Hiroyuki Sanada), a Japanese man with a mysterious past and an appreciation for Shanghai's underbelly. While assembling his pet project, Jackson meets Sofia (Natasha Richardson), a Russian countess who fled her home during the revolution and now lives in Shanghai, supporting her family as a dance-hall girl and occasional prostitute. In Sofia, Jackson discovers a fusion of beauty and tragedy that fascinates him, and he asks her to become the hostess at his new bar. As Jackson becomes closer to Sofia, his cynicism begins to wear away and he develops a deep concern for Sofia and her family. The White Countess also co-stars Vanessa Redgrave, and Lynn Redgrave -- respectively Natasha Richardson's mother and aunt. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:December 21, 2005


Ralph Fiennes
as Todd Jackson
Natasha Richardson
as Countess Sofia Belinsky
Vanessa Redgrave
as Aunt Sara
Hiroyuki Sanada
as Matsuda
Lynn Redgrave
as Olga
Alan Corduner
as Samuel
Madeleine Daly
as Katya
Dan Herzberg
as Frenchman
Jean-Pierre Lorit
as Antoine Jacquier
Lee Pace
as Crane
Madeleine Potter
as Greshenka
Pierre Seznec
as Russian Singer
Wang Luoyong
as Liu
John Wood
as Uncle Peter


James Ivory
Ismail Merchant
Kazuo Ishiguro
Christopher Doyle
John David Allen
Andrew Sanders
Production Designer
Steve Simmonds
Art Director
Chen Shaomian
Art Director
Richard Hawley
Paul Bradley
Yue-Sai Kan
Associate Producer
Rahila Bootwala
Associate Producer
Patrick Ko
Executive Producer
Andreas Schmid
Executive Producer
Marcus Schöfer
Executive Producer
Andre Morgan
Executive Producer
Lan Bin
Set Decorator
Bian Qi
Set Decorator
John Bright
Costume Designer
Wang Shanqing
Set Decorator
George Every
First Assistant Director
Karole Armitage
Celestia Fox

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