9 March 2001 | CARNEYVA
Outstanding script, superb direction and Emma Fielding
This is not the typical bodice-ripping, 18th century romance, with all of the cliched lurking, thwarted passions. No, the central themes here are beautifully woven into a single strand, with the characters displaying a range and depth rarely seen in American cinema. Anna Massey, Warren Clarke (remember him as "Dim", the slow-witted droog in "A Clockwork Orange") and Aariyon Bakare present powerful and memorable performances. But Emma Fielding as Frances Scott absolutely steals this movie. This enormously talented London stage and RSC actress brings the whole package: extraordinary beauty, emotional range, presence, and a wondrous voice that is itself "sheer theatrical viagra" (forget about the recent overrated displays on the London stage in "The Blue Room" and "The Graduate"). Ms. Fielding richly deserves to be cast in the lead of full-length feature films, and in roles that require intelligence, imagination and her megawatt star-power.