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James Ivory

Review: Proper portraits in Merchant-Ivory-Jhabvala's 'The Bostonians'

Review: Proper portraits in Merchant-Ivory-Jhabvala's 'The Bostonians'

Editor’s note: A restored version of the 1984 film “The Bostonians” opens Dec. 7 at the Laemmle Royal. The Times originally published this review Dec. 6, 1984.

You may have already heard or read that in “The Bostonians,” Vanessa Redgrave is Olive Chancellor incarnate. And so she seems to be, illuminating the rich, introverted Boston suffragette at the heart of Henry James’ brilliant novel with fine intelligence and quiveringly passionate fervor. You can even look at James’ description of Olive, a woman “who took things so hard,” whose “white skin had a singular look of being drawn tightly across her face,” the tint of whose eyes made one think “of the glitter of green...

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