A really superb World War II period piece!
ophelia99 | USA | 12/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the story of a large extended, relatively well-off British family from just before WWII up through the early years of the war. The film breaks off about half way through the war while the novels continue through until the end of the war. The way the film ends it feels as if the people making this intended to continue in another season, so it finishes with a lot of loose ends. Despite that fairly serious flaw, the superb character development and the rich range of very real individuals who range from young children to very elderly, from sleazy to incredibly noble and self-sacrificing, makes this something not to be missed. This is about the home front and is a bit more about the women than the men, but the male characters, I thought, were as well developed as the females. In the interest of not offending those who are more puritanical than I, I should mention that there is a very tender, very closeted lesbian relationship involving one family member. In addition, there is a male family member who is less than faithful to his wife. In neither case does much happen on camera. The Cazalet's are in the main generous and loving people. You will be glad you met them. If they had continued with the rest of the story line from the novels, I would have given this 5 stars as a first installment."
Beautifully photographed and acted!
Sara Brideson | Sacramento, CA | 08/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This mini-series certainly helped to pass the long days of summer vacation for me! Usually anything from Masterpiece Theatre is excellent--but this one surpassed many other mini-series they've done. The intertwining stories of all the members of the Cazalet family are artfully put together in such a way that it keeps the viewer constantly interested. The costumes were very true to the era and the jazzy theme music sounded like a real tune right out of the 1940's. Among the engrossing characters there were two who stood out the most. Louise, one of the young Cazalet daughters, had to struggle with a perverted father while trying to move up in the theatre. The other was Christopher, a Cazalet counsin who objected to the war. His father wanted him to join up, but he eventually has a breakdown because of it. If you love character sketches and period pieces, this one is for you!"
Fantastic BBC production - if you can ignore the US addition
Gabrielle | Melbourne, Australia | 07/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have always loved the cazalets, but this American release was rather annoying.
From the constant "brought to you by ExxonMobil" voice overs to the fireside-feel basic WW2 history blurbs delivered after each episode, there are additions in this version which are unnecessary and spoil the 'BBC Englishness' which I reasonably expected. (It seems odd that the history blurbs were not made into a separate added-feature, instead of being embedded in the episodes)
The Cazalets appears to be unavailable on amazon.co.uk, so any non-American buyers should be aware of the changes. If it weren't for them, this would be five stars - the sound and picture are great!