Brideshead Revisited

( 9 )

Overview

Evelyn Waugh's classic novel of love and the British class system has been given a polished screen adaptation in this film version from director Julian Jarrold. The tale opens during WWII, when Charles Ryder Matthew Goode, an English military officer, is stationed at a country estate that has been converted into a military base. Jarrold uses this time-frame and setting as a framing device, and then flashes back in time to Charles' days as a scholar in the 1920s. It becomes clear that he was raised in a ...
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Overview

Evelyn Waugh's classic novel of love and the British class system has been given a polished screen adaptation in this film version from director Julian Jarrold. The tale opens during WWII, when Charles Ryder Matthew Goode, an English military officer, is stationed at a country estate that has been converted into a military base. Jarrold uses this time-frame and setting as a framing device, and then flashes back in time to Charles' days as a scholar in the 1920s. It becomes clear that he was raised in a middle-class household; though he was fortunate enough to have been accepted into Oxford, he doesn't belong to the British upper crust. At Oxford, Charles strikes up a friendship with twentysomething Lord Sebastian Ben Whishaw. Charles is captivated by the splendor of Sebastian's life at his family's Brideshead Castle, and he finds himself drawn into a web of decadent comfort. For Sebastian, though, the familial estate represents a prison from which he longs to escape, and in desperation, he hits the bottle. Charles develops an infatuation with Sebastian's sister, Julia Hayley Atwell, but also senses that his bond with Sebastian may be something far deeper than simple friendship. Also present at Brideshead is Sebastian and Julia's mother, Lady Marchmain Emma Thompson, an ice water-veined woman still reeling from her abandonment some time prior at the hands of her husband. Though bitter, the matriarch perceives Charles as an emotional anchor for the increasingly unstable Sebastian, and therefore suggests that Charles join Sebastian and Julia on a trip to see their father Michael Gambon and his mistress Greta Scacchi in Venice. Unfortunately, the romantic bond between Charles and Julia deepens, which threatens to destroy Sebastian. This feature constitutes the second major version of Brideshead Revisited to reach viewers; an earlier, 11-hour miniseries adaptation ran on television in 1981.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/1/2005
  • EAN: 9339065001655
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Source: Icon
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 79,333

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hayley Atwell Julia Flyte
Ben Whishaw Sebastian Flyte
Matthew Goode Charles Ryder
Emma Thompson Lady Marchmain
Michael Gambon Lord Marchmain
Greta Scacchi Carla
Jonathan Cake Rex Mottram
Patrick Malahide Mr. Edward Ryder
Thomas Morrison Hooper
David Barrass ship's barber
Anna Madeley Celia Ryder
Sarah Crowden Lady guest
Stephen Carlile English lord
Peter Barnes American professor
Richard Teverson Cousin Jasper
Technical Credits
Julian Jarrold Director
Robert Bernstein Producer
Jeremy Brock Screenwriter
Thomas Brown Art Director
Laura Cappato Production Manager
Susanna Codognato Art Director
Andrew Davies Screenwriter
Nicole Finman Executive Producer
Chris Gill Editor
Jess Hall Cinematographer
Tim Haslan Executive Producer
Hugo Heppell Executive Producer
Priscilla John Casting
Adrian Johnston Score Composer
Kevin Loader Producer
Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh Costumes/Costume Designer
Ben Munro Art Director
Alice Normington Production Designer
Douglas Rae Producer
Roseanne Samuel Makeup
Tom Sayers Sound/Sound Designer
James Saynor Co-producer
David M. Thompson Executive Producer
John Watson Production Manager
Hamid Zoughi Production Manager
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Understanding Brideshead and its Philosophy

    In this period piece, we meet a young bright college student, Charles Ryder(Matthew Goode) spending his first years at the infamous Oxford University.While there we learn about his sad past and cold father who turns him away. But as he attends school, he is soon seduced by the eccentric Sebatian Flyte(Ben Whishaw,). The men become friends and he takes Charles to his breath taking home in the British countryside, after learing about Sebatisan"s sexuality and the love for him that he begins to feel after spending time with him. After meeting his family that dissaproves of his sexuality and shuns him for it.Soon, Charles becomes most intrigued by not only the captivating manner they have in their possession, but by the mysterious Julia(Haley Atwell), Sebatians sister.Charles stays with them for a period of time after school ends and is asked to leave by the abrasive Mrs.Flyte(Emma Thompson)explaining to him that Sebatian,an alcoholic needed a better influence and a change in life where he would be getting therapy for his alcoholism.This movie takes you also to Italy where, Sebatian,Julia,Brydlie,and Cordelia Flyte's father(Michael Gambon) resides with his new Italian bride.It is there where Charles reveals his feelings for Julia,even though not returned right away. This movie takes you from the early 1920's to the start of World War 1, at the end Charles unexpectedly meets Julia again after all those years.,but the ending is not what you would think!!<BR/>This movie is for someone who has ever felt left out in the cold without much and given a whole new world of opportunities.it diplays a family discrimination and how favortism was prominent and people were less excepting of their own children.A wonderful period drama that fills the highs and lows and doesn't leave any gaps open.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautifully filmed and well-played caricature of a subtle masterpiece.

    The formula used for this film is as follows: A) Take Evelyn Waugh's masterful novel of longing and nostalgia, B) add gorgeous scenery, solid acting, a lovely sound track, and excellent camera work, and C) reduce the plot and screenplay to caricature and stereotype. I had heard that this movie was a disappointment for anyone who had actually read and loved the novel, but I had to see for myself, especially since I wanted to see what Emma Thompson did with the role of Lady Marchmain. I found myself becoming more and more irritated as the movie marched along. What the novel (or the miniseries with Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews) suggests, implies, or allows to germinate in the reader's mind is, in this new adaptation, merely an opportunity for two-dimensional characters to spout slogans and re-inforce stereotypes. So, for instance, the Catholic faith of the Marchmain family is treated in the most jaundiced terms, the complex and passionate relationship between Sebastian and Charles is just a homosexual fling which Charles outgrows, and Charles' infatuation with the Marchmain family has mostly to do with the house! I kept thinking as I watched this that Emma Thompson must be inwardly cringing at the crudity of the thoughts expressed by her character.

    In addition to bungling the above, this adaptation manages to take the hilarious scenes between Charles Ryder and his father and render them dull, and it utterly fails to capture the mood of the soldiers which Waugh so brilliantly delineated in the novel.

    Finally, this adaptation tries to make Charles too good to be true. In the novel one feels the usual empathy for the main character, but he is not thereby an entirely admirable person. Waugh portrays Charles Ryder as a flawed protagonist, who gives his friend money knowing that the friend will use it to go on a drinking binge, who summarily divorces his wife and leaves his children in order to be with Julia, etc. This film tries to polish away Charles' flaws to an extent that makes him unbelieveable.

    What a shame it is that the makers of this film took so many high-quality elements and yet managed to miss the mark so dreadfully. I can only suppose that the time restriction of the feature-length film was the factor which spoiled what could otherwise have been a very worthy addition to the genre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Brideshead Revisted Indeed...

    I much prefer the BBC Masterpiece Theatre version. Once more we have more emphasis on homosexuality than substance. And never let your children play it.

    What a waste of great actors.

    I would return it, but I can't since I opened the packaging. My advice is to rent it before buying.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Stunning!

    Emma Thompson is brilliant! The scenery is beautiful, the costumes gorgeous.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Revisiting Brideshead Offers New Insights into Waugh's Novel

    BRIDESHEAD REVISITED is one of those epic films that travels the globe seeking adventure, finding glorious locations for telling a story, and offers a cast of outstanding actors to reexamine a tale known to most of us through not only the novel by Evelyn Waugh, but also by the very popular miniseries for television years back. For this viewer the experience offered by writers Andrew Davies and Jeremy Brock and as directed with such style by Julian Jarrold offers a far more interesting examination of the damages family can inflict upon children and does so with a story that flows with visual allure and consummate acting from a fine cast. <BR/><BR/>The tale is well known: middle class young man enters the elegance of the wealthy class, encounters infatuation with money, art, and luxury, dawdles with a same sex infatuation with the spoiled brat of the family only to find love with the brat's sister under the influence of a journey to Venice, and ultimately has to face the realities of class distinction, religious bigotry, and a family history in tatters. WW I and WW II influence the development of the tale and in the end our middle class lad must clearly see the shallow shell that once represented all he could imagine as desirable. <BR/><BR/>Matthew Goode heads the cast as the lad in question and the Brideshead Marchmain family is played to perfection by Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon, Ben Winshaw, Haley Atwell. The numerous smaller roles are shaped by such fine actors as Greta Scacchi, Felicity Jones, Ed Stoppard, Jonathan Cake, etc. The settings in throughout England, Venice and Morocco are stunning and the creative forces behind the costuming, music, lighting, and photography all deserve kudos. For this viewer this is one of the more satisfying films of the past year. Grady Harp

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    Posted January 27, 2009

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    Posted February 25, 2009

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    Posted November 12, 2009

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    Posted March 19, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews