Brideshead Revisited Directed by: Julian Jarrold Cast: Matthew Goode, Hayley Atwell, Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon Running Time: 2 hr 10 min Rating: PG-13
Plot: Middle class Charles Ryder (Goode) befriends Sebastian Marchmain (Whishaw), son of a titled family who owns the titular Brideshead. After visiting Brideshead, he becomes enamored with the family, particularly Julia (Atwell), Sebastian's beautiful sister. But Lady Marchmain (Thompson) believes her daughter isn't right for the unaristocratic, athiest Charles so they marry other people. But Charles is tied to the Marchmain family for life.
Who's It For? The film's a period piece but more E. M. Forester than Jane Austen. It's fairly subtle and pretty deeply dependent on the English class system for it's storyline so it would help to know a little about that. The film rewards patience, I felt it was going in one direction and then it went in another.
Movie: A few years ago I read Brideshead Revisited and found it amazingly boring. I can remember very little from the book. That said, the movie is way better. Though totally different than I remembered, so either it has changed drastically from the book or I blocked the book from my mind. Probably the latter. Regardless, the film is officially much better. Andrew Davies, writer of the amazing miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice that put Colin Firth on the map, cowrote the script. His skill lies in taking a book that people love and making the passion that you sense between the lines apparent on the screen. Goode is no Firth, his smoldering is a bit more boyish, less hot man. Still, the story entertains and the acting is above average. Especially Thompson who has a minor role, yet she's the center of every scene she's in.
Movie Score: 7/10
Deleted Scenes: Nothing new, primarily they're just extended version of scenes that made the movie. Available with and without commentary, though the commentary adds little.
Filmmakers' Audio Commentary: From the director, producer and one of the writers. If you think the film is the best thing ever, you might love this talk fest. Otherwise, not so much.
"The World of Brideshead" Featurette: Standard making of where everyone just talks about how this is the best film EVER. I think they said the same thing about Boat Trip.
Extras Score: 5/10
Brideshead is a beautiful film to look at. Despite being rainy England, everything looks sunny and glowy and gorgeous, and that's before we get to Venice. The costumes are great too, beautiful... well except for Julia's clothing. Despite the 1920's and 30's having awesome clothes, she looks like she's wearing a series of expensive gunny sacks. Especially her coming out costume which is made up of a white shapeless dress and a weird headband with an unflattering haircut. I think she pissed off the wardrobe department. But the acting is very accomplished and the film makes a strong showing on the whole.
The extras aren't amazing, they're fairly standard so there's nothing special. I would recommend renting the film, definitely. I'd only buy it if you love the film, no point buying for the extras.
Final Score: 7/10