Within the 1990s, costume drama has proliferated internationally as a popular, critically acclaimed, and controversial cinematic cycle. While critics lambast British "heritage cinema" as a nostalgic anachronism, Contemporary Costume Film argues that these films use the frame of the past to dramatize postmodern dilemmas. These dilemmas include gender, class, colonial, and queer struggles over representations of the past; "heritage tourism" and cultural identity; love and intimacy in a postmodern age; quality culture and authorship in an age of cultural recycling. Addressing a wide range of important recent films including Orlando, Sense and Sensibility, Portrait of a Lady. The Age of Innocence, Dangerous Liaisons, Gosford Park, Elizabeth, Edward II, and An Ideal Husband, the book combines close readings of specific films and filmmakers with an extensive genre study of English-language costume film. Critical attention to issues of space, place, and the past bring into relief both costume drama's increasingly international scope and the symbolic struggles that take place within its frame.