Synopsis by Mark Deming
Based on the novel by H.E. Bates, this period drama stars Embeth Davidtz as Bella Ford, a woman living in rural England during the Victorian era. Bella fell victim to Arch Wilson (Greg Wise), a unprincipled man who claimed to be from the nearby village. He seduced her only to vanish without a trace when she became pregnant. When she is outcast after her child is stillborn, a kindly villager named Ben Wainwright (Tom Bell) allows her to stay with his family in exchange for helping with the chores. However, the presence of a young and beautiful woman in the house creates a certain amount of tension between Ben, his wife (Gemma Jones), and sons Jedd (James Purefoy), a soldier; Matty (Kent Anderson), a shoemaker; and Con (Ben Chaplin), a homebody and social misfit. Con takes a shine to Bella and eventually proposes marriage; Bella accepts, but matters become complicated when she discovers that the dastardly Arch has returned to the village. Ismail Merchant served as executive producer.
family, pregnancy, seduction, sex, village