Anna and Mike sign up to star in a film set in 19th century England about a biologist named Charles who is engaged to be married but falls win love wityh an outcast called Sarah. During the shooting of the film, Anna and Mike embark on a relationship that runs parallel to that of their characters.
An early building brick in the careers of Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep, with Irons in Victorian whiskers settling into his slightly creepy repressed leading man mould, while Streep shows off her perfected if preserved-in-aspic English accent as the scandalous woman in a cloak who haunts 19th Century Lyme Regis. Both are perfect in their duel roles. Adapted elliptically by Harold Pinter from John Fowles’ daring novel — with cut-aways to the stories of the performers making the movie to stand in for Fowles’ disruptions of the narrative — and directed with his usual deep frozen reserve by Karel Reisz
Aesthetically beautiful and superbly acted, a sure sign of things to come from the leads.