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Wide Sargasso Sea

23 customer reviews

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(Jun 24, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Beautifully acted" -- The Independent (U.K.)

As imagined by Jean Rhys, the villainous madwoman in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre becomes an innocent, born into two cultures but belonging to none.

The exotic Caribbean confounds young Englishman Edward Rochester when he arrives in 1830s Jamaica to pursue his fortune. Nevertheless, he finds nothing to fear in beautiful Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway. She eagerly succumbs to his courtship, entrusting him with her dowry and her destiny. In the intoxicating surroundings of their honeymoon house, ecstatic lust turns to suspicion and betrayal as her world and his disastrously collide.

In this passionate and heartbreaking love story, the shadowy character created by one brilliant novelist becomes fully realized in the hands of another. Rafe Spall (The Chatterley Affair) and Rebecca Hall (The Prestige) star in a fresh adaptation that captures all the sensuality, suspense, and nuance of Rhys’s masterpiece.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE biography of Jean Rhys, SDH subtitles, and cast filmographies.


"An R-rated must for Brontë fans -- The Seattle Times

"Grade: B+" -- Entertainment Weekly

"Strong and powerful performances from both actors -- British American TV DVD blog

A high quality drama that doesn't disappoint. -- Memorable TV

Excellent story, excellent actors, excellent locations --

Grade A -- Campus Circle Magazine

Sensual and harrowing -- Los Angeles Daily News

Special Features

  • Biography of Jean Rhys and cast filmographies

Product Details

  • Actors: Rafe Spall, Rebecca Hall, Nina Sosanya, Victoria Hamilton, Fraser Ayres
  • Directors: Brendan Maher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014I7AQO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,804 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wide Sargasso Sea" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on May 18, 2008
Format: DVD
"Wide Sargasso Sea," a new television production by BBC Wales, based on the esteemed novel of the same title Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, has been broadcast in the United Kingdom, but has not been broadcast here. Nevertheless, lucky us, this sexy, tragic tale is now available for the first time for purchase on these shores. The film, as the novel on which it's based, functions as a prequel to famed British 19th century novelist Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics). And oddly enough, though "Jane Eyre" has been filmed many times, for big screen and small, this is only the second take of "Wide Sargasso Sea;" another, Australian-made version,Wide Sargasso Sea, intended for the big screen, came and went without notice in 1993, though it featured several big-name stars.

This TV version is filmed, like its predecessor, in the fantastically beautiful green island of Jamaica, and it's certainly beautiful to watch. It stars several lesser-known young performers; as the young Englishman Edward Rochester, Rafe Spall( Masterpiece Theatre: Room With a View; Shaun of the Dead,); as beautiful Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway, Rebecca Hall (
...Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on December 15, 2008
Format: DVD
It would take some nerve to write a story based upon a well-known book by none other than Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre). Wide Sargasso Sea is successful, and in it's own right. So why did the beautiful wife of a young Englishman get locked up and get labeled mad? Why the fire?

Jean Rhys story has been beautifully brought to film with Rebecca Hall making the romantic loves and losses of Antoinette believable. Her nude scenes leave little to the imagination inside the honeymoon Jamaican house. She throws herself into assuring the young Edward love her. If nudity and sexual situations offend, stop here. It's unrated but probably should be considered an R due to the fleshy parts.

It is 1830s, and Antoinette forfeited all control of her 30,000 dowry. Does she not deserve passionate romance? But secrets and whispered tales abound. Antoinette is caught between the English and Jamaican worlds, owned by no one except...her now suspicious husband. Will her history destroy the future? You will feel for the heartbroken Antoinette through her unsuccessful attempts to lure back her Englishman's love. Who's right? Who's betrayed? Who's mad?

This is a 5-star book adaptation worth a second viewing, and then the third watch can be coupled with "Jane Eyre". Very well done by BBC Wales (Kudos) and then Acorn Media with the DVD.

SUBTITLES are provided.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 12, 2008
Format: DVD
Wide Sargasso Sea is the movie adaptation of a novel written by Jean Rhys, as a deliberate prequel to Charlotte Bronte's classic tale "Jane Eyre". In the story, Rhys imagined how Mr. Rochester from "Jane Eyre" met and married his first wife, and how she became a madwoman in the attic. Set in early 1800s Jamaica, the young Englishman Edward Rochester (Rafe Spall) captivates the beautiful Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway (Rebecca Hall); yet the passionate lust of the newlyweds quickly gives way to suspicion, fear and betrayal. Originally aired in the United Kingdom, Wide Sargasso Sea is now available to American audiences on DVD with special features including a biography of Jean Rhys and cast filmographies. An absolute "must-see" for anyone who has enjoyed Charlotte Bronte's great works of literature. 84 min., color, widescreen, subtitles.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By underling9 on October 14, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Oh god, where to start. This version doesn't even compare to the original 2003 film. The original had heaps more content, actors that better fitted the parts, better costuming and magic. I found this version boring and it didn't do a good job of telling the story - probably partly due to the fact that half of the story seemed to be removed. Why would you bother to re-make such a great movie when you aren't even going to come close to the original? Spare yourself and buy this orginal instead:Wide Sargasso Sea
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31 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Luca Graziuso and Marina Ross on July 1, 2008
Format: DVD
Jean Rhys came to fame following her novel Wide Sargasso Sea. Most often the novel is read as a colonial-feminist corrective to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. The madwoman in the attic is here given a voice through her daughter who reenacts a self-same fate. The merits of the novel are manifold, and it is an exceptional feat that here is a rendition of the narrative with such vivid emotional energy and lush psychological initmations that it must be regarded as a magical piece of moviemaking. Mind you, my ratings are on the main consevative, but it would be best to append cum laude to this quiet production. The cast is outstanding so much so that the nuances of the tale are diffracted with dexterity while retaining the ambiguity of the textual equivocations, whereby no one character is easily packaged in an easy interpretation. Rather we see the coils and wranglings of passion, culture, conceit, pride, diffidence and the allure for the "other" with such sparkling clarity through a spectrum of carnivalesque dialectics that each character unveils a personality both complex and of vertiginous depth. The texture of the plot thickens with every turn and the allusions to Jane Eyre transcend the indulgence of the passions lived by the two main protagonists and the "colonial markings" are traceable everywhere. Adumbrations of postcolonial trauma, the wretched of the earth of the Carribean so to say, inform the espousal of two culture with that jarring brush of victimhood that stems from a people of insurmountable resources and affectations that are illegible to its counterpart. History is brought in as necessary but always contextual and well-pleated within the unfolding of the story.Read more ›
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