Socialite Lily Bart (Gillian Anderson) lives on a small income and the generosity of her prominent friends in New York. Seeking a wealthy husband, Lily rejects the romantic overtures of her true love, lawyer Lawrence Seiden (Eric Stoltz). When she is accused of having an affair with the married Gus Trenor (Dan Aykroyd), Lily is abandoned by society and her friends. 

A tremendously moving and magnificent film experience.

The film begins when the book was written, in 1905. The heroine Lily Bart - Gillian Anderson is a woman of class who aspires to a life of luxury and entertainment but doesn`t have the means to achieve it on her own. She has to marry someone rich. She`d rather marry Lawrence Seldon - Eric Stolz - but he can`t afford both of them and besides there`s something about Lawrence that enjoys being single. He enjoys flirting with the married Bertha Dorset - Laura Linney and with Grace - Jodhi May - who`s the companion of Lily`s rich Aunt Julia - Eleanor Bron. Lily makes the mistake of becoming financially liable to George Tenor - Dan Ackroyd, but refuses to accept help from the socially unacceptable Sim Rosedale - Anthony LaPaglia .

With some surprising casting choices, notably Dan Ackroyd and Gillian Anderson of X Files fame, Terence Davies has retained much of the rich texture of language of the original. He`s also produced a house of shadows with the beautiful cinematography of Remi Adefarasin hinting at the dangers lurking there for Lily. Just recreating a timepiece on cinema wouldn`t be enough to make this film wonderful, it has much more than that, it`s the story of a woman who cannot realise the consequences of her actions within the terribly constrained society of her time, until it`s too late.

Perhaps the film`s sombre pace in the early part as Davies establishes the often confusing relationships is frustrating but as the focus falls more and more on the central character The House of Mirth becomes a tremendously moving and magnificent film experience.