The Aspern Papers (film)

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The Aspern Papers
Directed byJulien Landais
Produced byGabriela Bacher, Julien Landais
Screenplay byJulien Landais, Jean Pavans, Hannah Bhuiya
Based onThe Aspern Papers
by Henry James
StarringJonathan Rhys-Meyers
Joely Richardson
Vanessa Redgrave
Music byVincent Carlo
CinematographyPhilippe Guilbert
Edited byHansjörg Weissbrich
Distributed byCohen Media (US, Canada)
Release date
  • 30 August 2018 (2018-08-30) (Venice Film Festival)
Running time
90 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Aspern Papers is a 2018 period drama, co-written, co-produced and directed by Julien Landais, based on Jean Pavans' scenic adaptation of Henry James' eponymous novel.[2][3] The film stars Jonathan Rhys-Meyers,[4] Joely Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave; Academy Award-winner James Ivory acting as executive producer.[5][6]


Set in Venice in the late 19th century and based on Henry James' novella of the same name,The Aspern Papers is a story of obsession, grandeur lost, and dreams of Byronic adventures.

Ambitious editor Morton Vint is fascinated by the Romantic poet Jeffrey Aspern and by his icon's short and wildly romantic life. Having travelled from America to Venice, he is determined to get his hands on the letters Aspern wrote to his beautiful lover and muse, Juliana Bordereau.

Now the ferocious guardian of their secrets, Juliana lives in a grand but rather dilapidated Venetian palazzo with her niece, Miss Tina. Posing as prospective lodger, Morton charms Miss Tina, who leads a very quiet life dominated by her aunt. At first hiding his real intentions, he eventually confesses his true passion to Miss Tina. She reluctantly agrees to help him.

But Juliana is suspicious of Morton, and a confrontation between the two of them shows how frail the strong-willed old lady actually is. Morton flees the house. When he returns, he learns of Juliana's death. Miss Tina is now willing to share the infamous letters with him, but the condition she sets is one that Morton finds he cannot fulfill, after all.

Deeply ashamed by the rejection, Tina overcomes her embarrassment and hurt and finds an unknown inner strength. When Morton reconsiders his decision, she confronts him with a revelation.[7]



The Aspern Papers was first screened at the 2018 Venice Film Festival.[8]


  1. ^ "The Aspern Papers". Regal Cinemas. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  2. ^ Mitchell, Robert (15 February 2018). "ARRI Media Boards Henry James Adaptation 'The Aspern Papers'". Variety. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  3. ^ McNary, Dave (4 August 2017). "Jonathan Rhys Meyers Joins Vanessa Redgrave in Period Drama 'The Aspern Papers'". Variety. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  4. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (4 August 2017). "Jonathan Rhys Meyers To Star In 'The Aspern Papers'". Deadline. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  5. ^ "City of Florence Honors James Ivory at 'Room With a View' 30-Year Anniversary". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  6. ^ "The Aspern Papers". Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  7. ^ "The Aspern Papers : Current Highlights : International : ARRI Media". (in German). Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  8. ^ Anderson, Ariston (13 August 2018). "Venice to Debut 'The Aspern Papers' Alongside Vanessa Redgrave's Golden Lion Award". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 December 2018.

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