This past weekend, I borrowed "House of Mirth" DVD from the library. I was surprised it played at all since it looked as if someone used it to play floor hockey.
The movie stars Gillian Anderson as Lily Bart, a socialite on the look out for a wealthy husband. All the while, she is in love with a less than rich lawyer, Lawrence Seldon (Eric Stolz). Lily has to maneuver herself through the schemes of her rich friends, such as the back stabbing Bertha Dorset (Laura Linney).
The best acting was done by Gillian herself, in a very convincing and sympathic role as a woman coming apart. There were also great performances by Anthony LaPaglia, as Sim Rosedale and Elizabeth McGovern as Carry Fisher. Most of the other actors, including Laura Linney and Dan Aykroyd, seem fake, but I suppose it's rather difficult to be sincere when you're playing a bunch of phonies. Sim and Carry were probably the most sincere characters in the story anyway. Jodhi May, who played Grace Stepny, looked like she needed an anti-histamine. She spent the whole movie with watering eyes and a over the top acting (She was great in "The Mayor of Casterbridge"). I wasn't very impressed with Eric Stolz as Mr Seldon either. He wouldn't have been my first choice. I was also disappointed that the character Gerty Stepny wasn't in the film.
Overall, the film was beautiful and Gillian's performance makes up for all the bad. It won't live up to the book, of course.