So you’re catching Robert Pattinson’s latest film, are you? If yes, you’ve probably already heard of it. He’s been in the limelight for the past year, since his break-up with the beautiful Emily and subsequent engagement to the billionaire Chris Roberts. Since then, he’s had a number of film and literary successes, scoring a best seller with his first novel, Wife, and starring in one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, The Lost Honour of Kathrine Sorrento. Now, he’s back with a vengeance, promising to bring his A-game in a new film that’s already caused quite a stir online. Will his return to form live up to our high expectations? Let’s take a closer look.

The Making of ‘The Lost Honour of Kathrine Sorrento’

First off, let’s talk about the making of The Lost Honour of Kathrine Sorrento. It was co-written by Pattinson and Luke Davies, who also co-directed with him, and it focuses on the story of an Italian aristocrat, Kathrine, who, in the early 1900s, seeks to reclaim a lost honour by tracking down the descendants of one of her relatives. Along the way, we learn more about the dark sides of upper-class Italian society at the time, and the lengths to which Kathrine will go to in order to achieve her goal.

As for the cast, it’s a veritable Who’s Who of A-list British and Italian talent. John Hurt plays Kathrine’s uncle, Count Maddaleni, while the always reliable Vanessa Redgrave appears as Kathrine’s great aunt, Grand Duchess Ferdinanda. British royalty pop up in the form of Elizabeth Taylor’s great niece, Princess Stephanie, who plays Kathrine’s on-again, off-again love interest, Sandro. The gorgeous niece of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Rosanna, also appears in a small cameo as a bride, while former Bond girl, Kelly McGillis, plays Kathrine’s other love interest, Gina Caracciolo. One of the most interesting casting choices is that of Matteo Teyli, who plays Kathrine’s cousin, Luigi, and who is best known for his role as Giovanni Volponi in The Great Beauty. In fact, he won a prestigious award for his portrayal of Volponi.

The Review: An Ode to Emily

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty now and talk about the actual film. While we’re aware that it’s not entirely accurate to judge a book by its film adaptation, The Lost Honour of Kathrine Sorrento is such a close adaptation of the source material that it’s almost as if you’ve read the book and are experiencing it for the first time. This is a wonderful thing, as screen adaptations almost always fall short of the original pieces of art that they’re trying to emulate. It’s these types of adaptions that usually end up being the most disappointing when it comes to film.

But you know what? That isn’t the case here. In fact, The Lost Honour of Kathrine Sorrento is a pretty faithful adaptation, considering the fact that it’s based on a novel. It manages to capture the essence of the story, while remaining true to the spirit of the original. And it does this, in part, by wisely not deviating from its source material too much. We get it, they were aristocrats of his time, they were into bad habits, and they were snobs. A lot of people were nasty to each other back then, and that’s what makes it such an interesting period to explore through cinema.

One of the things I love about The Lost Honour of Kathrine Sorrento is how it humanises a lot of the stereotypes that we have about the upper classes back then. The film explores the dichotomy of nature vs nurture, as Luigi and Kathrine both come from aristocratic families, but they’ve grown up in completely different environments. While Kathrine has been brought up to believe that being born into nobility is all that matters, Luigi has been shaped by his working-class family and the people of Teramo, where he was born and raised. As a result, he is the complete opposite of Kathrine, believing that the only true nobility is earned via hard work, not birthright.

I love that the filmmakers stuck to their source material, rather than changing it for the sake of the adaptation. The book is full of colourful characters, with quite a bit of psychological depth, and it was clearly a source of inspiration for the filmmakers. That makes me feel a bit better about the liberties that they took, which I’ll mention below.

The first thing that drew me to The Lost Honour of Kathrine Sorrento was the stellar cast. While it’s great to have A-list talent, it’s even greater when said talent is used to their optimum, which brings me to my next point.

The Verdict: An Epic Performance From John Hurt

Let’s talk about John Hurt first, since he plays a pivotal role in The Lost Honour of Kathrine Sorrento. He not only brings a wealth of stage and screen experience to the role of the aged Count Maddaleni, but his vocal performance is absolutely exquisite. I had no idea that Hurt was capable of doing all of those wonderful, high-pitched, squeals that he does in the film. Apparently, it took hours and hours of recording to get just the right sound for the character.

I also loved watching Hurt’s character evolve from smug, self-centred egotism to reluctant, old acquaintance with Kathrine. It really shows how time and again, our instincts as humans are right, and how even the most unlikely people can change for the better. His performance is truly wonderful, and it’s something that you won’t see replicated, even by the greats, in cinema.

Moving on, let’s talk about Toni Collette, who plays Kathrine’s mum, Adriana. I’d heard a little about her in passing, but didn’t really think much about it. Then, I saw her in Hereditary, and I was blown away. That was probably a couple of years ago, and I’ve been thinking about her since. She is just incredible in the film. Even now, after having seen her in such a variety of roles, she still regularly impresses me. In particular, in this movie, she carries off the difficult role of Kathrine’s mum with ease, portraying a warm, loving, yet strong woman who’s confident in her daughter’s ability, yet determined to protect her from the machinations of the upper classes.

Collette’s performance is subtle, yet effective. She doesn’t say much in the way of lines, but her actions and reactions to the various situations that she faces, speak volumes. There’s an interview with Collette on the disc, and you can just feel the sense of awe from the interviewer, as he struggles to keep up with her. She is someone who draws you in, even if you don’t realise it.

Rosanna’s Cameo Was Brief, But It Was Precious

Now, let’s talk about Rosanna, who plays Kathrine’s on-again, off-again love interest, Sandro. As I mentioned above, she is the stunning, great niece of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. I had no idea that she had this incredible talent, and I’m so glad that the filmmakers gave her this brief moment to shine.

She appears in the film for a couple of minutes, as a wedding guest. It’s a glorious moment, as she effortlessly glides down the aisle, in a stunning dress. Even now, I can’t fathom how she pulled off these various looks so effortlessly. But it’s not just the wardrobe that made her shine, but her acting as well. Watching her interact with other characters was mesmerising, and it reminded me of why I love Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton so much. They were always such an interesting couple.

Rosanna’s cameo was a delight, and it reminded me of why I love cinema. It’s rare that we get to see these famous faces in films. It’s even more rare that we get to see these famous faces from the past, living their lives as though they’re no longer connected to the film. We get to see a different side of royalty and the aristocracy, something which many historical films could never achieve.