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Brideshead Revisited
Brideshead Revisited
Actors: Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon, Greta Scacchi, Patrick Malahide, Sarah Crowden
Director: Julian Jarrold
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
PG-13     2009     2hr 13min


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Movie Details

Actors: Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon, Greta Scacchi, Patrick Malahide, Sarah Crowden
Director: Julian Jarrold
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Miramax
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/13/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 13min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Karmen F. from CHICAGO, IL
Reviewed on 8/27/2012...
Recently borrowed DVD from my public library. Was very interested in viewing the redone and redacted version of BR. I had viewed the original so many years ago on PBS. Very disappointing.

Acting: Matthew Goode's Charles is played much more dewy and wide-eyed than that of Jeremy Irons'. Direct aim for the young teen crowd. Ben Whishaw as Sebastian Flyte has no appeal and gives no indication of the moth-like flame personality that drew people to him.
Emma Thompson was very flat and not believable as the very-Christian Lady Marchmain. The supporting cast portraying Julia, Bertie & Cordelia (Sebastian's siblings) were presented and acted as 1-dimensional.

I nodded off midway - even as they were in Venice.

The only part well-done (vs original) was bringing forward Sebastian's homosexuality.

Recommend returning to the original otherwise.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Nina E.
Reviewed on 5/2/2011...
I've seen this movie, I've just requested it to own. Too bad for the negative criticism... everyone has an opinion...this movie is time piece, set in a more gentile day, excellent actors, it travels through Europe, and off course magnificent Brideshead estate...see this movie...if your tastes favor the British'll love this, maybe as much as I do.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sandra S. (ratracesandra) from CUMMING, GA
Reviewed on 7/24/2009...
Found this movie to be long and drawn out, but still enticing enough to keep my attention. "At Brideshead, everthing comes at a price"...
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Vanessa V. (sevenspiders)
Reviewed on 2/4/2009...
There's nothing better than a good dramatic, romantic movie with people in fancy old-fashioned clothes and upperclass British accents. Sometimes they can be thought-provoking, sometimes they can be escapist fantasy, either way, they're enjoyable. Brideshead Revisited is neither.

The original story has been not so much adapted as rearranged to fit the stereotype of what the director thinks a Merchant-Ivory movie should be. Everything controversial and interesting in Evelyn Waugh's novel (religion, class, family conflicts, homosexuality, alcoholism, lust, sin) is completely watered down.

The relationship between middle-class atheist Charles Ryder and Lord Sebastian Flyte of the fantastically wealthy Catholic Marchmain family is the center of the original story, but here its delegated to a 3-minute montage of the two handsome collegiates frolicking on the lawn. The focus is then on the romance between Charles and Lady Julia Flyte, which arises without explanation, is completely devoid of any kind of sparks or chemistry, and sputters out without any real emotion from either party.

Emma Thompson is of course, excellent as the rigidly Catholic Lady Marchmain. Michael Gambon is also great in his few scenes as the renegade Lord Marchmain. And Ben Whishaw is believably tragic as the tortured alcoholic, homosexual and perpetually adolescent Sebastian Flyte. But the two romantic leads are about as interesting and romantic as dishwater. And since the moviemakers have in this case chosen to make these two star-crossed jellyfish the focus of the story, the overall quality of the movie follows suit.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Brideshead disfigured
Howard Holley | 06/28/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Take a beautiful work of art, the original mini-series, based upon a profound story, Waugh's novel, and subtract beauty, memorable music, character complexity, subtlety, and deep meaning. Add modern sexual preoccupations, hostility to religion, gross stereotyping and a cast who have no idea of the characters they are asked to portray. Mix throughly and you have this awful movie. Anyone who has any affection for either the mini-series or the novel is advised to guard their memories by avoiding this perversion of the originals."
W. BUTLER | NEVADA USA | 08/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's doubly ironic, before being taken over by Disney Miramax under the Weinsteins used to produce wonderful adaptations of British novels. For instance Gwyneth Paltrow was such a definitive "Emma" we've been permanently spared the Keira Knightly cockney version.

But for this debacle there's no one to blame but British filmmakers. Every "Brideshead" fan on both sides of the Atlantic being insulted by the choice and performances of the worst imaginable British cast. After a while one suspected all involved looked at the perfection of the internationally acclaimed Made-for-TV series - and proceeded to do the opposite.

So by way of apologizing for the depths to which these British filmmakers sank this is my review written for and posted on Amazon UK ...

This entire British crew - especially scriptwriters Andrew Davies and Jeremy Brock are to be congratulated for their courage in making so many judicious alterations and omissions to help modern audiences comprehend what Waugh really meant to say in his much-loved but unusually loquacious novel "Brideshead Revisited".

Their most important improvement being to use a montage of flashbacks to let everyone know this was going to be a wholesome love story. And to erase any possible confusion cast an anemic actor as the "arrestingly beautiful" Sebastian thereby eliminating any sexual ambiguities in Waugh's first four chapters when Charles and Sebastian are obsessed with each other and Julia treats his "chum" with undisguised contempt.

Despite the limited time at their disposal the 2 scriptwriters ingeniously fabricated 9 scenes (from their imagination) to spruce-up Waugh's carefully constructed meandering storyline which confined Charles and Julia's maudlin romance to the last quarter of the novel.

But very soon the only fun to be had watching this appalling adaptation came from spotting every non-Waugh moment. This is my checklist from one viewing. Amazon reader may have noted many more.

1)Conversation at Sebastian's get-together when Charles sensitively explains what it means to be an artist before he knew he might become one.
2)Julia doesn't return to London - but accompanies the boys to Venice to gambol in the sand.
3)Julia and Charles are irresistibly attracted after a Venetian Carnival scene (not in the book). Sebastian instantly becomes a dipsomaniac.
4)Lady Marchmain invites Charles to witness the Flytes pray in their RC chapel.
5)Fictitious 21st Birthday Party for Julia - with obligatory elegant dance scene where everyone chats.
6)Lady Marchmain drives to Paddington for a one-on-one with Charles.
7)Charles becomes extremely macho - twice promising to "fix" Rex.
8)Julia overhears Charles purchasing her from Rex in exchange for 2 pictures- causing heartbreak on account of his putting such a cheap price on her head.
9)Dramatic moment when the happy pair's departure for wedded bliss is forestalled by the sudden return of Lord Marchmain to die in England - almost instantaneously.

I'm sure all those involved have reasonable explanations as to why 20 minutes of spurious scenes were added while 4 important characters - Mr. Samgrass. Anthony Blanche, Rex Mottram and Cordelia were reduced to ciphers. And why the audience was left in the dark as to the fate and location of the 3 Flyte children. Perhaps a sequel is in the works? No bets are off after the creativity of "Becoming Jane".

Speaking of Julian Jarrold it seems the challenge of recreating a novel which many consider one of the masterpieces of 20th century English literature turned-out to be a creative burden. Or was it the folk at Buena Vista who asked him to mangle Waugh's plot? But surely he alone instructed Emma Thomson to play Lady Marchmain as a malicious "head-matron" rather than the "flirtatious and feminine" mother Waugh describes? One wonders too why he cast an actor resembling a permanently drunk farm labourer as a noble English aristocrat?

The more important question is how much longer can the British film industry survive if it continues to milk English history and allow second-rate writers to eliminate the last vestiges of English cinematic pride with implausible fabricated period junk every time a Hollywood Production Company requests just one more embarrassing dip into our literary well?