Having watched this film a little more than 10 years ago, when I was only 13 years old, I was taken away back then by its swooning romanticism and compelling performances by all four main actors -charismatic presences throughout- and it became one of my favorites. Now revisiting it a few days ago, I still admired its narrative clarity and period ambience. Not a perfect film perhaps but one I share good memories with.
Terrible movie adaptation of Byatt's book. However, it is not as bad as you may think if you see it independently from the book. The acting is fine, especially Jennifer Ehle and Jeremy Northam, and the period atmosphere is even better than some overrated movies.
This is an underrated film. Many people seem to hate LaBute's studio efforts, but this is a well-made, well-acted film that really digs into questions of romance and love. We get two characters that don't believe in love, who fall in love, and don't know how to react to the situation. This makes for a very interesting film to me. I would suggest that those who dismiss it give it another chance.