12/02/2007  |  101 min
Rated 18 by the BBFC


Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Jean Rhys, this Merchant-Ivory drama is set in bohemian 1920s Paris. Isabelle Adjani stars as Marya Zelli, a beautiful young novelist who finds herself destitute when her art dealer husband, Stephan (Anthony Higgins) is sent to prison for theft. A rich patron, H.J. Heidler (Alan Bates), and his artist wife, Lois (Maggie Smith), offer to take Marya in for the duration of Stephan's incarceration. Heidler, a shameless philanderer with a history of taking advantage of helpless young women, soon seduces Marya - while Lois painfully accepts his infidelity. The film was screened at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival.