The Way We Live Now captures the turmoil as the old order is swept aside by the brash new forces of business and finance. Based on the novel by Anthony Trollope, this satire of Victorian society contains all the dynamic el... more »ements that made him one of the most celebrated and popular novelists of his day--the trials and tribulations of young love, the pettiness of the upper class life, the raw energy and excitement of the most powerful city the world had ever seen, and the greed and corruption that lay just below its glittering surface. Episode 1: When infamous financier Augustus Melmotte (David Suchet) mysteriously appears in London, the city's impoverished aristocrats greedily court his favor. Felix Carbury, a charming but lazy young baronet, is one of the many gentlemen swarming around Melmotte's rich heiress daughter, Marie. Meanwhile, Felix's independently minded sister, Hetta, falls in love with a bright young engineer, Paul Montague, who is in town to approach Melmotte with an ambitious business propostion. Complications soon arise in business and love. Episode 2: While Paul Montague throws himself into the booming railway business with Melmotte, the presence of his mysterious American friend in London threatens to jeopardize his chances with Hetta. Felix is forced to desperate measures to secure his future with Marie when he learns that her father is planning her marriage to a rival suitor. Episode 3: Paul visits Mexico to have his worst fears about the railway construction confirmed. Returning to London he decides to confront Melmotte and resolve his romantic situation. Melmotte involves himself in increasingly ambitious business schemes while Felix gets himself into further trouble and Hetta recieves some devastating news. Episode 4: Melmotte reaches the highest echelons of London society but the wolves are beginning to gather at his door. Paul takes his chance to act and Felix comes face to face with some tough opposition, while Hetta contemplates settling for second best. Climaxing in love lost, love gained, a death and some just desserts.« less
"Everything about this BBC production was perfect. In particular, David Suchet shows that he can be much more than Poirot ;-). My wife and I recommend it highly."
The Way We Live Now is a feast for those loving a good story
C. M Mills | Knoxville Tennessee | 09/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How We Live Now is the 1870s novel written by Anthony Trollope (1815-1882, While Trollope is best known for his Barchester series dealing with the clergy and the Palliser series focusing on Victorian political life this novel of business and family life is considered one of his best novels (and he wrote 47!) Mr. Melmotte is a European schemer who fleeces several prominent men to invest in a bogus railroad company. David Suchet stars in this role (best known for his Hercule Poirot portrayal), The stout and middle aged Suchet plays Melmotte with genius and his presence is strong and memorable. Shirley Henderson playing his abused and lovelorn daugher Marie is very well acted. Her love affair with the cad Felix Carbury is drawn with superb depth in fine acting. The love affair between Hettie Carbury and the engineer Paul Montague (who has an American girfriend Winifred Hurtle who shows up to fight for her man) is very interesting as the triangle love affair is worked out during the course of the 6 hour Masterpiece miniseries. The BBC production is sumptuous! Beautiful period costumes and music add to the sheer enjoyment of this series! Americans are sometimes bored because British programming moves at a sloweer pace than many of our tv programs. They forget that these novels fulfilled the function of a soap opera as their stories were issued in monthly parts. Trollope is not as well known as George Eliot or the inimitable Dickens but any of his novels portrayed on the screen is well worth the time to view it. Congratulations to the BBC and the outstanding cast of this fine film!"
Good not great.
Christina Boyd | Custer, WA USA | 03/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love British period films. And am a huge fan of Matthew Macfadyen. But this film did not satisfy the hype. Every bit of detail was paid -- unfortunately making the entire film drag and leaving me wanting something... Although the story is strong, the cinematography beautiful and much of the dialogue clever, some weaknesses were hard to overcome. For example: Paul Montague's ex-fiance from America... Her southern accent is ridiculous and making her an utterly unbelievable character. Augustus Melmotte, although he reminded me of the Danny Devito's Penguine from Batman, was effectively dark and menacing. But because he is in much of the scenes, his character became strangely redundant, predictable. However, the rest of the cast was excellent. Matthew Macfadyen, as Sir Felix, was hilarious and charming as a cad. As good as this movie was, it could have been so much better had the director been more liberal with the editing... as is, it is extremely long and somewhat repetitive. But fans of period films will be forgiving and enjoy it nonetheless."
5 stars all the way
M. Vorms | New York | 07/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I greatly enjoyed watching this on Masterpiece Theatre and I knew that when it came out on DVD, I would have to purchase it. It is a fantastic adaptation of Trollope's tale of the world in the 1870's where greed and corruption as well as nonsense was rampant. It was a delightful comedy that any adult, no matter the age can enjoy."
A Compliment... with a Caveat-
C. M Mills | 11/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The amazing David Suchet! I have read this novel twice, and never dreamed that anyone could fully, authentically play Melmotte, but after seeing a clip, I purchased this video. The actors are so perfectly cast, it is a delight to novel lovers and an inspiration to other filmmakers. It is a cast willing to open as wide as Trollope's vision. While admiring the spectacularly beautiful and talented Mr. Cillian Murphy, I must mention Shirley Henderson, who, next to Suchet, creates a character as difficult, wide-ranging, individual and authentic as one could imagine.There are a few differences in the spirit of the book and the TV show: the book is satire, while the show is drama. Melmotte's decline, as written, is gradual, is more dramatic and less melodramatic than on screen, beginning with the Emperor's dinner party, which is a filmed as a truimph, but written as a disaster and the beginning of his fall. I want to mention two important "compromises" to TV culture. I don't think these are "Spoilers", but use your judgement. First of all, Paul Montague did not sleep with Mrs. Hurtle. A man of his character would never have done such a thing. Secondly, Ruby Ruggles was not sleeping with Felix Carbury. It's very clear in the novel that she is naive and a "good girl".Another "Spoiler"? I don't think so. I hope you'll read the novel, as in the book, many more people pair off and get married than are shown on screen. I'm amazed at how many of the reviews here say "I've read the book twice". Not a compliment often extended to modern novels! If you can't face a read this long, rent it (unabridged!) on audio tape; it's a great experience. Trollope has created a world, and the BBC, given only four hours, has done a fantastic job in illuminating this often overlooked classic."