Staggering beautiful film! I think it lacks some of the wit of "The Dangerous Liaisons" and at times you might feel like you're watching an unnecessary melodrama about a white, beautiful and filthy rich girl... because Kidman's Isabel is presented like an intelligent, ambitious and even austere woman who eventually succumbs to the obligations of being and acting like a lady. You keep rooting for her to just run free!
2.5 stars. It doesn't approach the book but that would be a tall order. The one who comes off best is Barbara Hershey. Nicole Kidman is her usual opaque self and John Malkovich, who I normally like a lot, looks too much like the rotten man he plays here, by which I mean he couldn't fool anyone. He might as well be called Snidely Whiplash.
So many moments of pure genius from Campion and Kidman, Hershey, and others. Maybe half unintelligible without reading Portrait or a detailed summary beforehand and could have done without one or two particular interpretations/additions but overall incredible, painful, complex, and ambitious.