• Publication date: August 1, 2011

The Golden Bowl

Adam Verver (Nick Nolte) is one of America's first billionaires, a beneficiary of ...

Adam Verver (Nick Nolte) is one of America's first billionaires, a beneficiary of both the industrial revolution and the country's rising prosperity. Like many of the country's wealthy, he has relocated to Europe in search of culture; in particular, Adam is a collector of rare artifacts and hopes to spread European sophistication to a young America. To accomplish this, he intends to build a museum in his home town and put his rarities on display. While Verver is one of the world's richest men, he suffers from the plague of 'new money.' His modest upbringing and unglamorous lineage prohibits him from truly mingling in high society. Adam cannot necessarily alter this perception of himself, but he can take steps to introduce his offspring to society's most privileged and esteemed. That's where an impoverished though respected Italian prince enters the picture, a prospective husband for Verver's daughter, Maggie (Kate Beckinsale). For Prince Amerigo (Jeremy Northam) his decision to wed Maggie is purely pragmatic; it is an attempt to reintroduce wealth into his otherwise prestigious family. Amerigo's true love is a modestly affluent woman named Charlotte Stant (Uma Thurman). Charlotte realizes that the prince must leave her due to societal necessity, yet both remain deeply in love even after Maggie's marriage. By chance, Charlotte and Amerigo rekindle their relationship with unintentional help from Maggie's aunt (Anjelica Huston), who suggests that Charlotte marry Maggie's widowed father. Mr. Verver's loneliness troubles his daughter, and the idea seems wonderful; the fact that Charlotte was a former schoolmate makes Maggie even more comfortable, though she is unaware of their past liaisons. Now living in extremely close proximity, the prince and his true love remain partners without interrupting their sham marriages. Both Adam and Maggie sense something strange is occurring between their spouses, and the secret is destined to literally shatter before their eyes. The Golden Bowl is based upon the identically titled 1904 novel by Henry James, a book many literary enthusiasts consider his most brilliant. Rating: Rated R for a sex scene.