The other reviews really don't get that this is a very subtle expose on gay relationships in this era. Was Henry James gay? Did he live his perspective through this story of the Bostonians ?. And imagine writing about women's rights movement intertwined with gay women of the day- a man writing in the 1800's! WoW – how progressive even today in 2011 people still debate the legitimacy of gay relationships (not me-please note I am happily married heterosexual). This is in amazing film. Period accurate and an incredible story about the dynamic of class – to be the lover of a women of means but who is really drawn to a traditional marriage – if he has the means to support her. Watch this from that perspective. It's remarkable to think that this was written in the late 1800's and that this film was done in the 1980s – so way ahead of its time. And then look at Christopher Reeve and how he took this movie to break out of his Superman stereo type . Pretty incredible. I think the naysayers here really didn't get the historical significance of this film. Its an amazing film. Thank you Merchant and Ivory you are amazing.
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