The Serpent's Kiss

views updated

The Serpent's Kiss ★★ 1997 (R)

Great cast can't quite overcome the story's predictability. In 1699, young Dutch landscape artist Meneer Chrome (MacGregor) accepts a job at the remote English estate of Thomas Smithers (Postlethwaite) who wants a magnificent garden to present to his bored wife, Julianna (Scacchi). But Chrome is secretly employed by Juliana's scheming cousin, James Fitzmaurice (Grant), to bankrupt Smithers so that James can regain Juliana affections. Of course, Julianna casts her eyes on the handsome gardener instead, and then there's the matter of the Smithers' teenaged daughter, Thea (Chaplin). Rousselot is better known as a cinematographer (this is his first directorial effort) and the film at least looks gorgeous. 110m/ C VHS, DVD . GB FR Ewan McGregor, Greta Scacchi, Pete Postlethwaite, Richard E. Grant, Carmen Chaplin, Donal McCann, Charley Boorman; D: Philippe Rousselot; W: Tim Rose Price; C: Jean-Francois Robin; M: Goran Bregovic.