"Stunning scenery. Good music. A broad sweep of characters and relationships in this three-hour extravaganza. Viewers who like grand-scale period movies such as "The Buchaneers" or "North and South" should enjoy this movie, even though the period is the present and the upper-class is Scottish rather than English. The film is PG-class with no naughty words or bare skin or any of the other things that some people object to.
If this movie had not been based on a Rosamunde Pilcher book, it would probably be very popular. But it invites comparisons with "The Shell Seekers" and "Coming Home", and unfortunately it comes in second by comparison. But on its own, it is quite a respectable movie with much to offer.
The tension is kept up by two on-going mysteries: who is the dead body shown at the beginning? and what is Lottie going to do? When you set up exciting questions like these, you have to have some exciting answers to them. This film doesn't. Lottie doesn't do anything. And the dead body is a disappointment. There is another disappointment. We are made to dislike Edmund at the beginning and are longing to see him get clobbered. He doesn't.
Also, even at three hours, with the large number of characters, we don't get a chance to get into the few interesting characters enough. So, even though we come to know who the characters are, who their relationships are, and what their problems are, we don't really get a chance to feel those problems as we do in "The Shell Seekers".
There is also a serious casting mistake in the casting of Edmund. Edmund is a guy with whom the most beautiful and interesting women fall madly in love at first sight. The actor who plays him has to be a stone fox. Michael York, to put it mildly, isn't. This casting mistake makes the main story incredible and also contributes to making the ending less than satisfactory. The appealing characters are Pandora (Jacqueline Bisset) and the Mariel Hemingway character. Since they are appealing, we would like to see them do well. Alas. "
Disappointing Soap Opera
Johanna Ulrich | 07/02/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If you enjoyed the book, I wouldn't recommend the DVD. Some fine actors, but the characters have none of the charm or depth that they have in the book. In fact, the portrayals are not at all true to the book. It appeared to be a cheesy made for TV miniseries: Part soap opera, part horror story."
A good melodrama with beautiful people and settings
Barbara Harrelson | Santa Fe, NM, USA | 01/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"SEPTEMBER gives us what we want from a Rosamunde Pilcher narrative: a story with enough mystery and intrigue to balance the obvious cliches, a beautiful place full of landed gentry in the English--or in this case, Scottish--countryside, beautiful people from varying walks of life, and the village idiot (in this case, a dotty woman) to help move things along.
While several of the major actors walk through their roles with no strain, little gems of acting appear in the lesser roles, like the dotty woman, and the little boy who plays the son.
Jacqueline Bisset as the "dazzling" Pandora is as gorgeous and as headstrong as the character requires and manages to capture the viewer's heart along with most of the people she meets."
Interesting enough to make me want to read the book.
K. Blaeser | Boston, MA USA | 10/06/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have never read the book and happened upon this movie blindly when it was broadcast on cable. The length of the movie (3 hours) intrigued me and I recorded it to watch later. Because I didn't know the movie was based on a book, I was confused for a while as to what the deal with this film was. Was it originally a 2-night miniseries which turned into 3 hours with all the commercials cut out? Had it ever been in theaters? The dialogue seemed very melodramatic, compulsory and not well-fleshed out. Scenes seemed dropped into the movie out of thin air, and I highly suspect reading the book would be necessary to get a better feeling for these characters.
Another review said there was a casting mistake in Michael York. I wouldn't know, he seemed to fit in well to me. I did have a hard time picturing Mariel Hemingway in her role, though, and I could not for the life of me picture her in a marriage with Michael York. Zero chemistry. Likewise when her old boyfriend comes from the United States, I found it really difficult to see how Mariel and he would also have such instant and overwhelming chemistry. The casting was just really weird there.
All in all, I did watch the whole movie, but I wouldn't say it's one for the bookshelf in your home. On the other hand, there was enough there so that I am looking forward to ordering the book. I have no doubt that as other people say, it's a worthy read."
G. HOPKINS | WENTZVILLE, MO United States | 07/13/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I have never been as disappointed in a movie as I have with September. The scenery is lovely as are the homes, you like to know where to place your characters when you are reading a book. I have read September twice and I loved it. When the movie ended, I thought it was a joke! Even though I knew there was only one DVD in the package, I had to look to be sure I wasn't imagining things. The movie just ended! No story lines were wrapped up. What was Pandora talking to Carlos about on the phone? Why did they find Virginia's shawl in the loch and not Pandora's fur coat on the shore? If I hadn't read the book, I would have thought they found Virginia's body in the loch! What about the big party? What about Lottie? What about Henry going to school? What were they thinking?"