MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

In this drama, gorgeous cinematography, languid pace, and brilliant acting clash with depressing characters and a sordid plot. This post-World War I English film tells the story of bisexual painter, Dora Carrington (Emma Thompson), and the celebrated writer, Lytton Strachey (Jonathan Pryce), an avowed homosexual. Shortly after Carrington, as she prefers to be called, meets Strachey, they set up housekeeping. From here, the movie goes downhill as Carrington has a series of lovers, one of whom she marries, and Strachey seeks out young men to seduce. Strachey becomes rich and famous for his brilliant work, EMINENT VICTORIANS. Following Strachey's death, Carrington destroys his effects and her own, then kills herself. A disturbing British civility masks the desperate emotions occurring in these characters who, finally, are complete debauched. Written and directed by Christopher Hampton, who gave us DANGEROUS LIAISONS, CARRINGTON's beautiful scenery and outstanding performances are not enough to override its depressing story.

Strachey and Carrington never consummate their love because he finds women's bodies offensive, and he revels in the low morals of young men along with their quietness. How tragic that such talented people as Strachey and Carrington were so immoral and that they literally wasted their lives. Sex is the key word throughout this film. Many scenes feature people in bed together - same or opposite sex. There is also considerable nudity, especially side, upper female nudity. This odd couple seems to live for sexual liaisons. Objectionable language and violence are minimal. In Strachey's death-bed scene he reveals his empty life when he says, If this is dying, I don't care much for it. CARRINGTON deserves every bit of its negative acceptability rating given the extreme degrading sexual content and its frequent nudity. It's a lesson in how to ruin one's life.

Preview Reviewer: Bonnie C. Harvey, Ph.D.
USA Films (Gramercy), 9333 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills CA 90210

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Twice - Mild

Obscene Language: Few (4) times - F-word 1, other 3

Profanity: Many (6) times - Regular 1, Exclamatory 5

Violence: Few - Moderate (death-bed scene, woman shoots herself off-screen, carbon-monoxide suicide attempt)

Sex: Several times (couples shown in bed together, and other places, with breast nudity)

Nudity: Several times (side breast nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (references to genitals and intercourse)

Drugs: Few times (smoking cigarettes and social drinking)

Other: Homosexual man is conscientious objector; immoral lifestyle provides a negative example for young people.

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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