Author(s): Hugo Manso
"The Elusive Flame"
Directed by Joe Wright
Adapted by Nora Ephron
Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski
Music by Dario Marianelli
Alexandra Holden …. Lydia Wybourne
Joe Anderson …. Edward
Patricia Neal …. Aunt Alyssa
William Houston …. Henry Black
Shirley Knight …. Mrs. Livinston
Justin Ashforth …. Carl
John Goodman …. Kurt
Tagline: "Some flames just won’t die"
Synopsis: Winter of the year 1845. Lydia Wybourne (Alexandra Holden) is a young lady who lives with her stepmother’s sister, Aunt Alyssa (Patricia Neal). Lydia was found on a ship when she was 5 years old, she only knows that she’s british. Alyssa is a pretty aged lady. Before she dies, she leaves everything clear up in her testament, at least that’s what Lydia thinks. The day after the death of Aunt Alyssa, Henry Black (William Houston) arrives to the mansion with the purpose of throw Lydia out of the house. With the help of his friend Carl (Justin Ashforth), Henry manages to expulse Lydia. Lydia is sure that Henry has manipulated her aunt’s testament but there’s nothing she can do.
Lydia is now forced to leave New England. She has to go back to England, her homeland. Mrs. Livinston (Shirley Knight), the housekeeper, helps Lydia to take some clothes, food and resources. Lydia leaves her house. She has to manage to get on a ship as soon as possible since Henry is trying to imprison her. He’s trying to convince everybody that Lydia had killed her aunt for money.
Lydia, frozen, breathless and wet, faints. She’s helped by Kurt (John Goodman) a fisherman. Kurt walks her to a tavern. There she tells him her story. Kurt advice her that she has to be fast. He tells her that there’s a man who will leave to London that night. Lydia, after giving thanks to the fisherman, runs toward the port. When she gets there she looks for the ship. There it is. Trying to find the owner she walks into the ship. Once there she slips up and falls. She wakes up the next morning without her dress. Edward (Joe Anderson) is the owner. He found her last night and took her to the bed.
They start to meet each other, eventually falling in love. When she asks for something about him he refuses to tell anything. In the long journey they keep increasing their love. At one point Edward finds out that Lydia was the little girl who used to live in the house he used to serve. At first Edward acts weird, he can’t fall in love with her, it’s not appropiate. But when Lydia finds out, everything changes finally she discovers her past. Together they will arrive to London, they’ll meet Lydia’s family and finally they’ll marry each other and be happy forever.
What the Press would say:
'Nora Ephron has done an amazing job adapting Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’ novel. The script is just sensational. Joe Wright is the director of this masterpiece, just another great film from the creator of Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. The Elusive Flame is not the classic romantic comedy, it’s treated as a historical drama with touches of adventure, but you can do nothing but adore the romance between Lydia and Edward. The script while great is helped by the stunning performances. Alexandra Holden is almost an unknown but she steals the show. Her look match perfectly with the fragility of Lydia along with her beauty. Another unknown as Joe Anderson surprise with his professionalism and skills. There’s something between them that, for sure, helps the movie to shine even more. The supporting job is done as well perfect. There two performances to stand all the way out: Patricia Neal and William Houston, both have done such a great job. The former has demonstrated that when it comes to act there’s nothing age can do. At the age of 81, Patricia Neal has done a devastating performance as the dying aunt. William Houston is perfect as the villain, also as an unknown he has make an unlikable character quite likeable. With a marvelous cinematography, a great editing and a perfect music score this movie will rock come the awards season.
Best Director – Joe Wright
Best Adapted Screenplay – Nora Ephron
Best Lead Actress – Alexandra Holden
Best Lead Actor – Joe Anderson
Best Supporting Actress – Patricia Neal
Best Supporting Actress – Shirley Knight
Best Supporting Actor – William Houston