Tuesday 17 August 2010

The Mammoth Movie Meme: Day 20

Day 20 - Favourite kiss

Nicole Kidman and Viggo Mortensen - The Portrait of a Lady (1996)


"[T]he next instant she felt his arms about her and his lips on her own lips. His kiss was like white lightening, a flash that spread, and spread again, and stayed, and it was extraordinarily as if, while she took it, she felt each thing in his hard manhood that had least pleased her, each aggressive fact of his face, his figure, his presence, justified of its intense identity and made one with this act of possession. So had she heard of those wrecked and under water following a train of images before they sink. But when darkness returned she was free." - Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

James rewrote the final encounter between Isabel and Caspar Goodwood in later drafts of The Portrait, creating a much more intense and erotic conclusion to Isabel’s journey. Jane Campion evidently took note: “Kissing and the absence of kissing are central to this story.” In her superb adaptation of the novel, and never more so than in its stunning final moments, Campion comes up with intoxicating visuals to match The Master’s prose. Kidman and Mortensen’s brilliant performances and  Wojciech Kilar's extraordinary score help too.

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