Bride of the Wind
Is a woman's life of any less value if she dedicates it to great men rather than to developing her own talents? This ought to be but isn't the question behind Bride of the Wind, Bruce Beresford's muddled and disappointing exploration of the life of Alma Schindler (well played by Sarah Wynter). Schindler married and romanced some of the last century's greatest artists, including composer Gustav Mahler, Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius, painter Oskar Kokocshka, and poet Franz Werfel. Beresford's pretty images of Victorian Vienna run up against an unfortunately dull script by Marilyn Levy, which presents Alma as a bright and passionate young woman who can't help but attract brilliant men. Alma's life falls into a series of clichés as she marries the much older Mahler (an uncharacteristically flat Jonathan Pryce) to vex her parents and escape their conservative grasp. Hints that genuine creativity as well as romance fuels Alma's soul are only sparingly and unconvincingly offered, as she moves from artist to artist. Whether she serves as genuine muse or takes from each man inspiration for her own artistic development remains sadly unclear.