Brideshead Revisited (12A)

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Sep 30 2008

Superficially, at least, it’s hard to fault this risky adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s 1945 novel for its fidelity to the book. Director Julian Jarrold and writers including Andrew Davies (scribe of most things gay, period and literary), keep intact much of Waugh’s dialogue and most of the story: impressionable Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode, channelling Jeremy Irons in the 1981 TV series) meets eccentric aristocrat Sebastian Flyte (Ben Whishaw, more vulnerable than Anthony Andrews) at Oxford and is intrigued by him and his family – sister Julia (Hayley Atwell), mother Lady Marchmain (Emma Thompson) and father Lord Marchmain (Michael Gambon) – and their curious relationships to God and each other.

If anything, though, it’s too faithful: there’s a sense that the filmmakers are too fearful of taking flight to offer anything more than a polished but plodding impression of Waugh’s words with all the right sets and costumes but none of the yearning, emotional power of his literary portrait of a man –  and a society – on the cusp of change. Its additions feel token (a peck on the lips between Charles and Sebastian) or cynical (an interest from the first scene in Charles and Julia’s later love affair) while its main omission – a sense of Charles as the tortured, misty-eyed narrator – is almost fatal. The Oxford scenes threaten to drown the peculiar intimacy of Sebastian and Charles’s nascent friendship in a tourist’s tour of the city. Kiss or no kiss, there’s no sense of attraction between the two, and the film is more comfortable with Charles’s liaison with Julia. Performances are good – Thompson and Gambon impress – but the insipid music is dreadful.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Oct 3, 2008

Duration:

133 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

2.3 / 5

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LiveReviews|16
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silverlonestar

Why this film was ever made is beyond belief....... it is not the tiniest patch on the original series. It has none of the charm, eloquence, style or class. Sebastian Flyte was beautiful, but reduced to a quasi gremlin in the film. The departures from the book reduced this to a second class film, with little sympathy for any of the characters. The beauty of Evelyn Waughs written masterpiece was destroyed both by the screenwriter and director. The money would have been better spent editting the original series into a feature length film. Shabby and way off the mark.

silverlonestar

Why this film was ever made is beyond belief....... it is not the tiniest patch on the original series. It has none of the charm, eloquence, style or class. Sebastian Flyte was beautiful, but reduced to a quasi gremlin in the film. The departures from the book reduced this to a second class film, with little sympathy for any of the characters. The beauty of Evelyn Waughs written masterpiece was destroyed both by the screenwriter and director. The money would have been better spent editting the original series into a feature length film. Shabby and way off the mark.

Liezl

Yeah, Quite a different one... A bit of a twist, didn't quite expect anything from it, so just went to see it because there wasn't much else to watch. I took the film for what it was and thought it closed well, but was annoyed with yet another film of recent days, that sends mixed messages about Faith.

Liezl

Yeah, Quite a different one... A bit of a twist, didn't quite expect anything from it, so just went to see it because there wasn't much else to watch. I took the film for what it was and thought it closed well, but was annoyed with yet another film of recent days, that sends mixed messages about Faith.

Katherine

This was my first trip to the movies for some two months. So I was ready to be entertained and stimulated. I settled into my seat and got comfotable and the film spent the next couple of hours trying two get started and never really did. The over whealming feeling was a kind of disapointment. But on the bright side it has inspired me to go out and purchase the ITV series, which was just so much better.

Katherine

This was my first trip to the movies for some two months. So I was ready to be entertained and stimulated. I settled into my seat and got comfotable and the film spent the next couple of hours trying two get started and never really did. The over whealming feeling was a kind of disapointment. But on the bright side it has inspired me to go out and purchase the ITV series, which was just so much better.

usman

WELL SAID LEO and -Goode and Whishaw giggle and chase each other in a long montage laSting 5 minutes against the setting sun and rolling landscapes to reminisce of Ledger and Jake . By the time we are whisked to Oxford,Venice,Marrakech and london too -it was getting exhausting as Goode kept gaping at everything from Miracoli to Atwell like he had never seen a church or a girl before -he is a very bad actor and to re- play Jeremy irons is a blunder . Emma thompson looks like she was trying to do Streep in Prada with a heap of jewels alongside the pious strictly catholic mum and this is unabashedly comic -add to it Gambon desperately trying to be degenerate renegade aristocratic intellectual and you have a Peter o'toole impression of the worst kind . the only persons who seems interested are the cinematographer and costume designer . This is a very dull attempt to make a british homosexual epic in the vein of Brokeback mountain . Jarrold should stick to mrs.browns in future and also never venture abroad as it does no justice to him -only making his movies look like a glossy tourist brochure. A supposedly heterosexual men who practices homosexuality for some bizarre reasons only known to waugh and jarrold .

usman

WELL SAID LEO and -Goode and Whishaw giggle and chase each other in a long montage laSting 5 minutes against the setting sun and rolling landscapes to reminisce of Ledger and Jake . By the time we are whisked to Oxford,Venice,Marrakech and london too -it was getting exhausting as Goode kept gaping at everything from Miracoli to Atwell like he had never seen a church or a girl before -he is a very bad actor and to re- play Jeremy irons is a blunder . Emma thompson looks like she was trying to do Streep in Prada with a heap of jewels alongside the pious strictly catholic mum and this is unabashedly comic -add to it Gambon desperately trying to be degenerate renegade aristocratic intellectual and you have a Peter o'toole impression of the worst kind . the only persons who seems interested are the cinematographer and costume designer . This is a very dull attempt to make a british homosexual epic in the vein of Brokeback mountain . Jarrold should stick to mrs.browns in future and also never venture abroad as it does no justice to him -only making his movies look like a glossy tourist brochure. A supposedly heterosexual men who practices homosexuality for some bizarre reasons only known to waugh and jarrold .

carla

Having not seen the tv series and not read the book. I wasnt sure what to expect. I enjoyed the film and thought the acting was very good. It did seem to go on too long though.!

carla

Having not seen the tv series and not read the book. I wasnt sure what to expect. I enjoyed the film and thought the acting was very good. It did seem to go on too long though.!

Paul

I don't know what Leo is smoking, or if he just likes hearing himself. Having enjoyed the tv series and book, this is another interpretation equally enjoyable, filling in gaps, exploring others and welcoming us back. I went in with an open mind and was surprised it was not so bad after all. I will hug all the episodes again, and the book and if Leo is right buy this from the remainder bin too.

Paul

I don't know what Leo is smoking, or if he just likes hearing himself. Having enjoyed the tv series and book, this is another interpretation equally enjoyable, filling in gaps, exploring others and welcoming us back. I went in with an open mind and was surprised it was not so bad after all. I will hug all the episodes again, and the book and if Leo is right buy this from the remainder bin too.

phil mk

Most of the time I was wishing it would end. There was no subtlety in the acting, no depth, I felt as if I was watching a cartoon. Avoid, unless you've a particular interest in seeing Evelyn Waugh done badly.

phil mk

Most of the time I was wishing it would end. There was no subtlety in the acting, no depth, I felt as if I was watching a cartoon. Avoid, unless you've a particular interest in seeing Evelyn Waugh done badly.

Leo Hairy-Camel

Oh, the humanity, the humanity. Imagine taking the best bits of a gorgeous, 18 point stag foraging in some Highland idyll, hacking it to bits and then serving the lot up cold and bleeding for 2 hour finger-up-the-arse for the tabloid set of what Brideshead was supposedly all about all those years ago. Ben Whishaw, the malnourished star of the film Parfum, the adaptation of Patrick Suskind's famous first novel stars again as Sebastian Flyte, but this time played as if recently released from Auschwitz, only without the attendant whimsy. The man was born to play mental patients. Anything higher off the ground than that was always going to be a stretch, no matter who he's fucking. The abomination they have playing Anthony Blanche should be dragged by his heels through the theatre district on a Friday evening and then deposited on Old Compton Street for the two-legged faggot rats to consume at their leisure. Appalling beyond description. Tepid, unmenacing, charmless, dead. "If you knew anything of sexual psychology, you would know that nothing could give me keener pleasure than to be m-m-m-manhandled by you meaty boys - ecstasy of the *naughtiest* kind." Oh Nickolas Grace, where are you when we needed you the most? Only Miramax and those Bronfman monsters could have so comprehensively fucked up something once so beautiful. Gone is the nuance, gone is the intrigue, gone is the subtelty and even though Charles Rider skewered the living daylights out of both the Marchmaine children, this Bronfman catastro-fest manages to serve up only the slightest peck of a gay kiss under a tree for Seb, but salivates over managing to fuck the living daylights out of Julia, mid Atlantic, tits, gowns, martinis and all. Only in that old stalwart of the boards, Emma Thompson, do we have an echo of the menace and mendacity of Waugh's original, and despite her highly distracting and wildly recalcitrant lower right K9 tooth, pulls off a bravura performance who, along with Michael Gambon, is the only redeeming feature in 2 hours of celluloid atrocity destined for certain oblivion. Stay home. Read the book again, then hug all 11 episodes of the 1981 Thames production.

Leo Hairy-Camel

Oh, the humanity, the humanity. Imagine taking the best bits of a gorgeous, 18 point stag foraging in some Highland idyll, hacking it to bits and then serving the lot up cold and bleeding for 2 hour finger-up-the-arse for the tabloid set of what Brideshead was supposedly all about all those years ago. Ben Whishaw, the malnourished star of the film Parfum, the adaptation of Patrick Suskind's famous first novel stars again as Sebastian Flyte, but this time played as if recently released from Auschwitz, only without the attendant whimsy. The man was born to play mental patients. Anything higher off the ground than that was always going to be a stretch, no matter who he's fucking. The abomination they have playing Anthony Blanche should be dragged by his heels through the theatre district on a Friday evening and then deposited on Old Compton Street for the two-legged faggot rats to consume at their leisure. Appalling beyond description. Tepid, unmenacing, charmless, dead. "If you knew anything of sexual psychology, you would know that nothing could give me keener pleasure than to be m-m-m-manhandled by you meaty boys - ecstasy of the *naughtiest* kind." Oh Nickolas Grace, where are you when we needed you the most? Only Miramax and those Bronfman monsters could have so comprehensively fucked up something once so beautiful. Gone is the nuance, gone is the intrigue, gone is the subtelty and even though Charles Rider skewered the living daylights out of both the Marchmaine children, this Bronfman catastro-fest manages to serve up only the slightest peck of a gay kiss under a tree for Seb, but salivates over managing to fuck the living daylights out of Julia, mid Atlantic, tits, gowns, martinis and all. Only in that old stalwart of the boards, Emma Thompson, do we have an echo of the menace and mendacity of Waugh's original, and despite her highly distracting and wildly recalcitrant lower right K9 tooth, pulls off a bravura performance who, along with Michael Gambon, is the only redeeming feature in 2 hours of celluloid atrocity destined for certain oblivion. Stay home. Read the book again, then hug all 11 episodes of the 1981 Thames production.