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Brideshead Revisited (2008)

Emma Thompson , Michael Gambon , Julian Jarrold  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon, Greta Scacchi, Patrick Malahide, Sarah Crowden
  • Directors: Julian Jarrold
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MIRAMAX
  • DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001ILFUBY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,969 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brideshead Revisited" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

For director Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane), this sumptuous production represents a two-fold challenge: taking on a classic novel and a celebrated television production (Brideshead Revisited premiered on PBS in 1982). Thankfully, he's up to the task. Adapted by Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice) and Jeremy Brock (Mrs. Brown), Evelyn Waugh's 1945 text tracks the hard-won maturation of artist-turned-soldier Charles Ryder (Match Point's Matthew Goode). At the optimistic outset, the middle-class striver enters Oxford where he meets Sebastian Flyte (Perfume's Ben Whishaw), black-sheep scion of the Catholic Marchmain clan. Through his hedonistic friend, Ryder gets to know Flyte's sister, Julia (Hayley Atwell), and the dynamic changes. Were this a Jane Austen adaptation, Ryder's financial shortcomings would present the biggest obstacle, but the indomitable Lady Marchmain (Emma Thompson, cast against type) concentrates her disapproval on Ryder's atheism. Sebastian, on the other hand, wants Charles for himself; his drinking accelerates once he realizes Ryder loves Julia more. As World War I gives way to II, Ryder tangles with the Marchmains until forced to choose between freedom and compromise. In the end, comparing a two-hour movie to a 12-hour series makes as much sense as comparing a drawing to a sculpture. Both qualify as art, but one reveals more dimensions than the other. Like the series, Jarrold's narrative loses some steam once the focus shifts from Sebastian to Julia, but Goode's deft performance as Charles Ryder is just as riveting as that of Jeremy Irons before him. --Kathleen C. Fennessy


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Product Description

Inspired by the best-selling novel, Brideshead Revisited is a riveting drama of forbidden love, power and betrayal, featuring stunning performances by Academy Award winner Emma Thompson (Best Actress, Howard s End, 1992) and Matthew Goode (The Lookout). When the charming aristocrat Sebastian invites Charles Ryder to his family's estate, Charles becomes seduced by the opulent lifestyle of the Marchmain family, and by Julia, Sebastian's sister. As their romance deepens, repercussions follow, and Charles discovers that at Brideshead, love, money and power come at a price. It's a spellbinding story you'll want to revisit again and again. Bonus Features include Deleted Scenes
Filmmakers' Audio Commentary
The World Of Brideshead Featurette

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brideshead, Revisited With Reservations January 22, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Any film of Brideshead Revisited will inevitably be compared with the 1981 mini-series, and will suffer from the comparison. Evelyn Waugh's novel was so rich and detailed that any attempt to depict it in a mere 2 hours or so will be wanting. I am a fan of the mini-series, which I have watched countless times, and I want to make it clear that there are many things about this version that I find very appealing: the use of Castle Howard, the fine acting by Michael Gambon, Emma Thompson, Hayley Atwell, Ben Whishaw, and Matthew Goode, and the beautiful sets and costumes.

Unfortunately the need to compress the story distorts much of what Evelyn Waugh intended. By making the love affairs between Charles Ryder and Sebastian and Julia Flyte occur nearly simultaneously instead of Charles first loving Sebastian and then years later falling in love with Julia, Waugh's message of spiritual and emotional growth is blunted. More troubling is the lack of positive emphasis on Christianity and Roman Catholicism. Whereas in the book and the mini-series Lady Marchmain is a tragic, sympathetic figure, the film emphasizes her hauteur and coldness. This has larger immplications than just a difference in interpretation, since Lady Marchmain in large part represents the Church. Furthermore, I am especially disappointed by the ending. In the book and mini-series we see an affirmation of both new and enduring faith, while the film is far more equivocal.

Despite these reservations, I do value this film and intend to watch it many times. While Waugh himself would be horrified over some of the modifications (he would call them distortions), this new interpretation of his work is beautiful in its own right, and its ambiguities are a challenge which allows us to re-examine our own beliefs.
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81 of 89 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You don't want to revisit this Brideshead March 14, 2009
By MartinP
Format:DVD
When I first heard of this film I found it hard to imagine how anyone could succeed in cramming the complex narrative of Brideshead Revisited into the 120 minute format that seems to be the norm for cinema these days, maybe as a favour to audiences suffering from attention deficit disorder. Still, I didn't expect much from Pride & Prejudice the movie, yet found myself enjoying that pretty well, so I took my chances with Brideshead too. But this time the experience was rather less satisfying, to put it mildly.

For someone familiar with the large, intricate, subtly tinted canvases of Waugh's book and the phenomenal TV-series, this is like seeing a hasty copy executed in crude strokes and garish colours. Within 20 minutes from the start Charles and Sebastian aren't just friends, they actually appear to be lovers. The gay thing is plastered on way too thick and goes far beyond anything suggested by Waugh. The way the storyline is distorted, it makes it seems as if Sebastian starts drinking out of frustration over Charles's rejection of him in favour of his sister Julia. This is a result of the extreme conflation of elements from Waugh's story, which uproots its refined psychological dynamics. Indeed, subtlety is nowhere to be found; the Flytes in this movie are a pretty vulgar bunch, and Sebastian's Oxford circle too has none of the aristocratic manners and sophisticated wit we would expect from them.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brideshead Absentis August 22, 2009
Format:DVD
Having read Waugh's classic on the "tugs" of faith and watched the original mini-series more times then I remember over almost thirty years now, I seriously doubted this story could be condensed into two hours. A last, I was not disappointed! It wasn't the same story. The movie twists and turns in directions never written by Waugh. (Sadly as Andrew Davies, one of the films writers, has done excellent work over the years.) This, however, is not another version of Brideshead Revisted but a new creation; a creation built more on pretty scenery and anti-climatic moments lost to all depth of the characters.

The underlying issues of faith and religious up-bringing are totally lost, spun into a broad statement about Catholicism rather then its personal meaning to individual lives. The central message of the book has been stripped to a minor secondary theme. The faith journey is lost.

Charles' relationship with Sebastian is dumbed down to mere sexual experimentation rather then human bond. This Charles would never carry his feelings for Sebastian throughout his life. Without the former, you cannot truly grasp the latter relationship with Julia. The relationships are separate not concurrent, they are paths on his journey to faith. Sadly the desire and depth of Charles and Julia's relationship, so strongly captured in the mini-series "Orphans of the Storm" episode, is totally lost here. In this, their reunion seems more like a 3AM quickie.

Take the $20 you planned on spending for this, add another $20 and buy the mini-series instead. The larger investment returns so much more....so much more!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I would watch Emma Thompson read the "phone book". ...
I would watch Emma Thompson read the "phone book". She was perfectly cast and the rest of the cast more than ample.
Published 7 days ago by WARBUCK
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to find, Lackadaisical to Watch.
I remember when this movie came out thinking that I would wait for it to come out on video. If that ever happened, I completely missed the boat. Read more
Published 5 months ago by CNY
5.0 out of 5 stars This is fantastic.
Many people who have watched the BBC series or have read the novel think this is not a good movie. I disagree entirely. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Anthony Ringuette
5.0 out of 5 stars A rather good adaptation, all things considered.
The films is flawed, yes and it's nowhere as good as the original miniseries. However, the performances by Matthew Goode, Ben Wishaw and particularly the delightful Hayley Atwell... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Maria Fernanda
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Look
There is a lot packed into two hours. If you are looking for a light and breezy film, this is not it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by taaj
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Video
Don't really know much about this video, since I bought is as a gift. It was a video for which the receiver expressed a desire, so I purchased it on the strength of a friend's... Read more
Published 8 months ago by F. Meiners
2.0 out of 5 stars What is left after everything good is removed from the book
So if you take out everything I loved about the book and the original miniseries, this movie is what you're left with. Read more
Published 9 months ago by A. Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars British English a bit difficult for this Yank
British English was a bit difficult to understand for this Yank. Book was much better and I understand the miniseries is a better representation of the book.
Published 9 months ago by Avid Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Flyte lite
The whole film plays like one of those Youtube parodies in which a famous story is told in minimal time. The substance of the book has been eviscerated. Read more
Published 10 months ago by William D. Freeman
4.0 out of 5 stars Brideshead - An Alternate Interpretation
Fans of the book and the previous 12-hour BBC mini-series will be critical of this 2 hour interpretation of the epic story of Brideshead Revisited. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jill Clardy
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Why isn't this on Blu-ray?
according to thedigitalbits.com its being released on blu-ray in the us this tuesday, the 27th of jan., althought amazon isn't apparently carrying it.
Jan 23, 2009 by Aaron Lightner |  See all 2 posts
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