CINEMA: ROYAL AFFAIRS

ACTING REIGNS IN A DEFT, REGAL BRITISH SOAP OPERA

The richest woman around has been in mourning for her late husband so long that her sorrow has become a career. Her family can't console her; the managers of the conglomerate she heads are afraid to challenge her. Then her death-in-life is changed by a humble--actually, a quite arrogant--horseman named John Brown. He speaks boldly to her and rudely to her children. He takes her on long walks, gives her counsel; most important, he makes her laugh. She is, again, a woman in love. Gossips derisively call her "Mrs. Brown."

This might be a Gaslight-style melodrama. Mrs. Brown, though, is a...

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