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227 of 230 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CALLING ALL PERIOD PIECE LOVERS...
This is a superb adaptation of George Elliot's novel of the same name. Set in nineteenth century England in the rural town of Middlemarch, it follows the lives of several of its inhabitants, as the threads of their lives intertwine with those of others. Filled with memorable characters with whom the viewer becomes engrossed over the six hours that the series runs, it is a...
Published on February 10, 2002 by Lawyeraau

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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Alas....
Both my wife and I watched this production with hopes, but were disappointed at the conclusion. The film, while attempting to be comprehensive in its picture of connections in an 18th century British town, loses its focus, allowing its characters to drift and wander in and out of the story. If there is a main character, it is Dr. Lydgate, who does maintain some interest...
Published on November 18, 2004 by Nelson


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227 of 230 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CALLING ALL PERIOD PIECE LOVERS..., February 10, 2002
This review is from: Middlemarch [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is a superb adaptation of George Elliot's novel of the same name. Set in nineteenth century England in the rural town of Middlemarch, it follows the lives of several of its inhabitants, as the threads of their lives intertwine with those of others. Filled with memorable characters with whom the viewer becomes engrossed over the six hours that the series runs, it is a well acted, beautifully filmed period piece.

When an idealistic, ambitious, handsome gentleman, Dr. Tertius Lydgate (Douglas Hodge), moves to Middlemarch with the expectation of running a charity hospital that will allow him the opportunity for medical research, he is teeming with anticipation at his prospects in this provincial backwater. He is quickly thrust into a situation not of his own making, however, as the town seems to be a family divided over who is to be chaplain of the hospital. Aligning himself with his benefactor, Mr. Bulstrode (Peter Jeffrey), the town's unpopular banker, he sets the path upon which he must travel. Moreover, when he freely states his opinions without regard for the existing medical establishment, he makes enemies without even realizing it, so pure of heart is he. Upon meeting the lusciously lovely and thoroughly spoiled social climber, Rosalind Vincy (Trevyn McDowell), daughter of the town's upstart mayor, he is lost to her charms and loses sight of the prize. He sets upon yet another path that will bring him ignominy.

The lovely and intelligent Dorothea Brooke (Juliet Aubrey) is a scion of one of the wealthy first families of Middlemarch. She, too, is idealistic and wants to leave her mark on the world. Her head filled with socialist ideas, she, being pure of heart, longs to set right wrongs perpetrated upon the poor by the wealthy landowners, a class of which she is a member. Moreover, having been denied the education available to men, she deeply admires learning in others. Unfortunately, she is taken in by the scholarly pretensions of a wealthy, middle aged cleric, the Rev. Casaubon (Patrick Malahide), and chooses to marry him over her other suitor. Thinking that she can assist her husband with his scholarly work, she discovers too late that he may have other ideas on this matter. When she meets his cousin, the romantically handsome Will Ladislaw (Rufus Sewell), this sets into motion a future event that is to have a lasting impact on Dorothea.

One would think that Dorothea and Tertius would be a perfect love match. Alas, that is not to be, as the heart of each is captured by another. Scandals, romance, intrigues, politics, and the wind of social change permeate this epic period piece. With numerous memorable characters and subplots that move the story along, the viewer remains enthralled, as the entire six hours melt away. With beautiful, lush cinematography, wonderful costumes, and ensemble acting that makes this epic period piece flow, this three tape video is a welcome addition to one's collection. Bravo!
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130 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, romantic.....an absolute stunner!, November 2, 1999
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This review is from: Middlemarch [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is the perfect film for Anglophiles or fans of well-made classic novel adaptations. Based on George Eliot's Victorian novel, this film introduces us to such memorable characters as sweet and sensitive Dorothea Brooke (J. Aubrey), passionate Will Ladislaw (Rufus Sewell), formidable Mr. Casaubon, handsome Dr. Lydgate, materialistic & pretty Rosamund Vincy, and her flighty brother Fred (Jonathan Firth), to name a few - as well as to their hopes, dreams, trials and triumphs. There are 3 love stories featured in this film (2 of them love triangles!), splendid characterizations, high production values and an overall wonderful miniseries! This is very highly recommended!
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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lovely period romance, August 14, 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: Middlemarch [VHS] (VHS Tape)
If you love period piece romance movies you will love this movie. My favorite movie is the BBC's Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle and if you love that miniseries you will love Middlemarch. It looks beautiful and has some wonderful tension filled scenes. One of the romantic heroes is played by Rufas Sewell and he is gorgeous. He pines away for his love and he does it so well. Juliet Aubrey is also wonderful as Dorethea the woman he is in love with. I recommend this movie to anyone who loves 19th century romance.
Michelle
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic A+ Production, poorly transferred to DVD, August 29, 2005
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This review is from: Middlemarch (DVD)
This is one of my all-time favorite BBC productions. I have given it my highest recommendation to friends and family, most importantly because every frame looks like a Vermeer or Rembrant. Add that to the brilliant performances, and engaging story, I have watched it over 30 times. The reason it is only 4 stars is that this breathtaking, artistically literate cinematography was marred in the transferring to DVD... the aspect ratio was changed, making everything slightly longer and narrower than in the video. It is frustrating. Sigh. To those who have not seen it before, you will probably not notice it, unless you focus on when people turn their heads in close up. My other quibble is that these DVDs do not include the really wonderful commentary done before each section in the Masterpiece Theatre presentations. Let's hope they'll add those in as a special feature in following editions. Get it in video if available. I'm still glad I have it, and it will be watched time and again.

Authors note 11/9/06: When I wrote this review a year ago, I had a 17" screen. Now I have a 27" screen and am delighted to find that on a larger screen there are no distortion problems. For large screen owners, don't wait, just get it!
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eliot's epic turned into stunning BBC series drama, March 26, 2006
This review is from: Middlemarch (DVD)
George Eliot has always been among my favorite authors, and "Middlemarch" is without a doubt her masterpiece. Given the multitude of characters, plot complexity and psychological depth of the book, I feared that "Middlemarch" would never be made into a successful film. That entire plots would be dropped in the interest of time, or the whole of it so neatly packaged as to render it a mere shadow.

Yet in this six-episode, seven-hour series, BBC has created a vivid, authentic distillation of one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. Casting is superb-- particularly the luminous Juliet Aubrey as the quietly passionate, idealistic Dorothea Brooke, and the marvelous Rachel Power as pragmatic Mary Garth.

All the residents of Middlemarch come to full-blooded life in this remarkable adaptation of what is indeed a milestone of fiction-- a social drama with an edge of Austen parody, but with little of her sentimentality. Eliot was far too much of an intellectual, and in Middlemarch, she establishes herself as the godmother of the modern 20th century novel.

Middlemarch is foremost a human drama of hypocrisy and foible, of ambition, success and failure. The spoils go to the victors, who aren't always worthy; and those meant to inherit the earth usually end little more than 6 feet of it. And yet, all too rarely, there are those who do find love and fulfillment in the guise of a soul mate.

Eliot wrote Middlemarch with her usual detachment, painting characters in broad and intimate strokes, but ultimately leaving the reader to pass judgment-- just as her characters do among each other. This perfectly crafted series takes a similar path, never insisting that we love or hate a character, but simply see them as products of their environments, bound intrinsically to their fates, and only with great courage breaking free of convention.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex and clever., July 6, 2005
This review is from: Middlemarch [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Middlemarch was often dismissed as of fluffy tale of townfolk of no particular consequence, not so, for it get's it's teeth into several hot topics of it's time. The story sounds gentile and ambling in an Austen style but is actually pacy and complex, touching on the hopes, dreams and dashed realities of many of it's characters as they try to find a way to live in within their social parimeters and subtle force/raise their own agendas.

This production is cracking and will leave you wanting, the costumes and period locating are spot on. Worth the six hours, you will doubtless get so hooked as to do it in one sitting.

Fans may wish to know that the series was filmed in Stanford in Lincolnshire, a beautiful Georgian/Regency market Town between Leicester and Peterborough. Stanford's local Museum now features a section on the series and the way in which the 20th Century was "erased" to make the period right.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Different from the Book but Stands on Its Own Merit, May 24, 2005
By 
Richard L. Scheer (Beaumont, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Middlemarch (DVD)
As most know, the book Middlemarch was written by George Eliot, penname of Mary Ann Evans Lewes (1819-1880). Although the miniseries is not completely faithful to the book, it is, like so many other BBC miniseries and other BBC programs we have seen on Masterpiece Theater, a marvelously well done story in its own right. In common with all true classics, it contains drama as well as comedy, tragedy as well as lightheartedness; it also has a large number of characters, running a continuum from the silly to the too serious, from the selfish and criminal to the altruistic and those with impeccable intergrity. The BBC has at its command a wonderful group of superb actors, and I detect nary a misstep in their performances. This is one of my favorite novels and this is one of my favorite movies or miniseries, which I have viewed many times. It always brings a pleasurable experience, even though the author, ever true to human nature, does not make a cheery, happy end to every plotline. I recommend the book to everyone who wishes to learn more of people; you will find people in the book similar to some you know yourself. I recommend the DVD for the same reason. It is a masterful telling of a masterful story.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Feel-good Romance Story, January 24, 2000
By 
"melist" (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Middlemarch [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I waited so long to obtain a copy of this movie I was apprehensive to see if it was worth the wait. I am delighted to announce Middlemarch is 360 minutes of romance. It is a movie best seen all at once but if this is not feasible, owning it is the next best thing.
I was impressed by Juliet Aubrey's performance and was smitten by Rufus Sewell. It is a pleasant change to have a movie cause a sub-conscious smile.
The scenery was beautiful too!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Middlemarch is a beautiful BBC mini-series based on the classic George Eliot novel of 1871-72, July 7, 2006
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This review is from: Middlemarch (DVD)
George Eliot (1819-1880) was a brilliant Victorian intellectual whose novels were written for adults. In this marvelous BBC series we see her words come to vibrant life!

Middlemarch unlocks the secrets of the inhabitants of a town

in the 1830s in the English Midlands. Industrialization in the

form of the railroad; the Reform Bill; the changes in the medical profession are all manifest in this series. Middlemarch is beautifully filmed with outstanding actors such as Juliet

Aubrey and Rufus Sewell makiing the characters come alive.

The story deals with three principal characters:

Dr. Lydgate who marries poorly and lives to regret it as he

courts and wins the shallow, vain and money grubbing Rosamund

Vincy.

Dorothea Brooks is the rich woman who marries a pedant but is

loved by his cousin Will Ladislaw.

Fred Vincy loves Mary Garth but has problems with gambling and

debt. Fred is the brother of Rosy.

The novel also delves into the unsavoury past of Mayor Nick

Bulstrode whose past is revealed by the visit of the awful Mr.

Raffles who knew him back when!

Middlemarch is seven hours long and first ran in the USA on

Masterpiece Theatre. The pace is leisurely and slow for many

American viewers used to quicker action. However, this BBC

adaption is well worth the time as it explores character in

depth; tells a classic tale with superb actors. The costuming

is realistic and accurate to the period. The music is dramatic

and the story told is classic.

I highly recommend this exquisite production! Excellent!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAGNIFICENT PERIOD DRAMA..., May 20, 2006
This review is from: Middlemarch [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is a superb adaptation of George Elliot's novel of the same name. Set in nineteenth century England in the rural town of Middlemarch, it follows the lives of several of its inhabitants, as the threads of their lives intertwine with those of others. Filled with memorable characters with whom the viewer becomes engrossed over the six hours that the series runs, it is a well acted, beautifully filmed period piece.

When an idealistic, ambitious, handsome gentleman, Dr. Tertius Lydgate (Douglas Hodge), moves to Middlemarch with the expectation of running a charity hospital that will allow him the opportunity for medical research, he is teeming with anticipation at his prospects in this provincial backwater. He is quickly thrust into a situation not of his own making, however, as the town seems to be a family divided over who is to be chaplain of the hospital. Aligning himself with his benefactor, Mr. Bulstrode (Peter Jeffrey), the town's unpopular banker, he sets the path upon which he must travel. Moreover, when he freely states his opinions without regard for the existing medical establishment, he makes enemies without even realizing it, so pure of heart is he. Upon meeting the lusciously lovely and thoroughly spoiled social climber, Rosalind Vincy (Trevyn McDowell), daughter of the town's upstart mayor, he is lost to her charms and loses sight of the prize. He sets upon yet another path that will bring him ignominy.

The lovely and intelligent Dorothea Brooke (Juliet Aubrey) is a scion of one of the wealthy first families of Middlemarch. She, too, is idealistic and wants to leave her mark on the world. Her head filled with socialist ideas, she, being pure of heart, longs to set right wrongs perpetrated upon the poor by the wealthy landowners, a class of which she is a member. Moreover, having been denied the education available to men, she deeply admires learning in others. Unfortunately, she is taken in by the scholarly pretensions of a wealthy, middle aged cleric, the Rev. Casaubon (Patrick Malahide), and chooses to marry him over her other suitor. Thinking that she can assist her husband with his scholarly work, she discovers too late that he may have other ideas on this matter. When she meets his cousin, the romantically handsome Will Ladislaw (Ruffin Sewell), this sets into motion a future event that is to have a lasting impact on Dorothea.

One would think that Dorothea and Tertius would be a perfect love match. Alas, that is not to be, as the heart of each is captured by another. Scandals, romance, intrigues, politics, and the wind of social change permeate this epic period piece. With numerous memorable characters and subplots that move the story along, the viewer remains enthralled, as the entire six hours melt away. With beautiful, lush cinematography, wonderful costumes, and ensemble acting that makes this epic period piece flow, this film is a welcome addition to one's collection. Bravo!
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Middlemarch
Middlemarch by Rufus Sewell (DVD - 2007)
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