Format: DVD from NetFlix on The New Portable.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Merchant/Ivory productions. Oh, I’m happy to admit that they are pretty and that they are well made. They just don’t interest me that much. Historical romances don’t really do a great deal for me in the best of situations (“Not always true!” I hear you say. “You loved Sense and Sensibility!”). It just seems that so many of the Merchant/Ivory movies are so timid, like everyone feels like touching another person will cause one of them to break. That being the case, I can’t say that I was too excited about The Bostonians.
The Bostonians is a weird sort of love triangle, one that today would almost certainly delve into the clear lesbianism of at least one of the characters, but that’s not what happens here. As the title suggests, we’ll be spending a great deal of our time in Boston, in this case about 10 years after the American Civil War. The apex of our love triangle is Verena Tarrant (Madeleine Potter), the daughter of Dr. (Wesley Addy) and Mrs. Tarrant (Barbara Byrne). He is a “mesmeric healer” while Verena has discovered a talent for oratory and a penchant for speaking on women’s rights. In this role, she has earned a number of followers and a friend in the press in the person of Mr. Pardon (Wallace Shawn).