'White Countess': Fitting Merchant-Ivory Finale

Natasha Richardson stars as Sofia in 'The White Countess'

hide captionNatasha Richardson stars as Sofia, a White Russian refugee in Shanghai, in the Merchant-Ivory film The White Countess.

Sony Classic Pictures

The White Goddess is the last film made by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory before Merchant's death.

Set in Shanghai on the eve of World War II, the film stars Ralph Fiennes as a blind diplomat and Natasha Richardson as a White Russian refugee.

Critic Bob Mondello says the movie is a fittingly literate end to the Merchant-Ivory partnership.

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