A film that rests almost entirely on the strength of performance, Gillian Anderson manages to bring weight to the liveliest of movements. Even at her most vibrant, she seems somehow out of breath… always charming, but somewhat torn down before her time. The desperation of her situation and age from the onset are undeniable, and even someone removed from understanding the circumstances that breed Lily Bart’s downfall. Though perhaps not as strong an adaptation as it could have been, the film remains one of the strongest period pieces of the decade and I can’t deny my own weakness for the “genre”, and of course it doesn’t hurt that the source material is so strong and so emotionally draining, that it is difficult to fail. The film’s final moments are just as heartbreaking and regretful as they should be.