As you might expect from a Merchant Ivory production, the period styling is gorgeous even if the story is a little finicky. Set on the eve of Japan's WWII invasion of China in 1936, the film follows Sofia (Richardson) who lives in Shanghai, where she supports her family of exiled Russian aristocrats by scratching out a living as an exotic dancer and prostitute. She meets expatriate American Todd Jackson (Fiennes), who recognizes Sofia as the ideal hostess for his new nightclub, The White Countess. Richardson and Fiennes truly make the viewer care about their wounded characters, even as their business and personal relationships spirals downwards thanks to the chaos of war.
Sony Pictures Home Video, Sony Pictures Plz., 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, Phone: (310)244-7306, Fax: (310)280-2485, URL: http://www.spe.sony.com, Remarks: Formerly Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
Available on DVD
Running time 138 minutes.
Originally from United States, Chinese, British, German.
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