A Family's Dark Drama
John D. Cofield | 08/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Forsytes are a nouveau riche London family, a generation or so removed from their yeoman roots, who by the 1870s are prospering nicely through their real estate and banking interests. Soames Forsyte, the up and coming leader of the younger generation, needs a wife. His cousin Young Jolyon Forsyte is already married, but he has fallen in love with his daughter's governess and a scandal is about to ensue.
Soames and Jolyon are the two main Forsytes in this series. Soames is "a man of property" who knows what he wants and intends to keep what he has. He falls in love with the beautiful Irene Herron, a poor girl who has no option but to marry a wealthy husband, even though she doesn't love or even like him very much. Jolyon leaves his wife and settles down with the governess, enduring ostracism by the other Forsytes for many years. Eventually the lives of these two branches of the Forsytes collide, not once but repeatedly, with Irene as one of the catalysts.
The producers of this series must have been very brave indeed to film it in the wake of its earlier and highly esteemed predecessor from the 1960s. This series is much shorter and perforce must leave out some of the subplots and lesser characters. But its a very beautifully done production, filled with the most perfect of English summer days and with some of the finest actors of our time, particularly Rupert Graves and Gina McKee."