Marya Zelli finds herself penniless after her art dealer husband, Stephan, is convicted of theft. Marya accepts the hospitality of a strange couple, H.J. and Lois Heidler, who lets her live in their house.
It's 1927 Paris. Following the conviction of her art dealer husband, Stephan Zelli (Anthony Higgins), for theft for which he was handed a one-year prison sentence, Marya Zelli (Isabelle Adjani), originally from West India, moves in with her acquaintances, expatriate Brits H.J. (Sir Alan Bates) and Lois Heidler (Dame Maggie Smith). Marya knows that H.J. in particular has more in mind than just providing her lodging out of the goodness of his heart. From behind bars, Stephan encourages Marya to move in with them, not knowing H.J.'s intentions. Marya agrees in part because she, being a foreigner, cannot get work and would thus become destitute otherwise. She learns she is the latest in a long line of lodgers. She also learns that H.J. and Lois' marriage is not all that it appears on the surface. The Heidler's hold on Marya becomes stronger when they convince her that Stephan not only has no money, but has no future in France after his release. Their collective lives become more ...Written by
The first Merchant/Ivory production set in the 1920's since their 'The Wild Party' (1975). See more »
I'm not interested in being kind to anyone. I'm interested in them. In character. In forms of life. You should've married a stockbroker and stayed with him in South Kensington.
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French dubbed version with French credit roll for French Release version. See more »
Jean Rhys wrote this novel about her relationship with the then prominent writer Ford Madox Ford. While a young woman's husband is in prison, she is taken in by a writer and his wife, becoming the man's mistress. It was not a happy affair, but at least Rhys got her revenge with this story.
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