Synopsis by Mark Deming
A woman must choose between secure affection and fiery passion in this romantic costume drama. In 1899, Emilie van Thuile (Johanna Ter Steege), a delicate woman prone to fainting, is still getting over the death of her husband, an archeologist, when his assistant Hugo (Anthony Calf) asks for her hand in marriage. Emilie doesn't find Hugo terribly exciting, but she misses the security of a husband and agrees to wed him anyway. She accompanies Hugo to Italy, where he's completing the project that Mr. Van Thuile was working on at the time of his death, the uncovering and reconstruction of an ancient temple. While staying in a nearby spa and hotel, Emilie meets Capt. Aldo (Massimo Ghini), a doctor who has recently returned from military service in Africa. Emilie is captivated by the ruggedly handsome physician, who seems quite interested in her as well. Emilie impulsively runs off with Aldo, despite the warnings of innkeeper DeSantis (Alessandro Haber), who tells Emilie that Aldo is a notorious ladies' man who will abandon her once he's had his way with her. A Woman of the North received its most positive notices for Gianni Giovagnoni's production design and Goert Giltay's cinematography.