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This review is from: Wives and Daughters (DVD)
This is a superlative period piece and a brilliant adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's 1865 novel of the same name. This BBC mini-series is a superb costume drama with stellar performances by the entire cast. Set in rural England, the film centers around Molly Gibson, the seventeen year old daughter of a country doctor. Richly drawn portraits of Molly's neighbors and friends quickly emerge and weave an absorbing tapestry of nineteenth century life.
Molly and her father, a widower for most of Molly's life, have an exceptionally close and loving relationship. Their relationship is put to the test when he decides to marry a widow and former governess, Hyacinth, who is a pretentious, self absorbed, ridiculous woman. She has a grown daughter named Cynthia, a beautiful young woman, close to Molly in age, but as different from Molly as night and day. Cynthia is best described as a Marilyn Monroe of the Victorian age. Cynthia and Molly become fast friends, while Molly barely tolerates her nigh intolerable step-mother.
The series really revolves around Molly's relationships with all the characters in the production and her handling of the various everyday situations in which she finds herself. Richly drawn, memorable characters, as well as intrigues, secrets, and romance, make this a highly absorbing drama and one that those who love period pieces and lush, well acted costume dramas will enjoy. It is simply a masterpiece.
With stunningly crisp visuals and beautiful clarity of sound, the production value of this three disc, five hour DVD is simply first rate. It is also value laden with some very interesting features. There is an engaging fifty five minute portrait of Elizabeth Gaskell, the author of the novel upon which this mini-series is based. There is a also a twenty minute documentary on the making of the film which is entertaining, as it gives a bird's eye view of the thought that went into the making of the film and the development of the characters. There is also a who's who guide to the performers. This DVD is well worth having in one's collection.
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Initial post: Jul 28, 2008 10:09:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jan 25, 2010 11:10:45 AM PST
I completely agree. I loved this production. It's sumptuous in every way. I was a little skeptical, seeing as how the book was not entirely complete, due to the author's death. But the mini-series has a satisfying ending. The performances were first-rate. It is a masterpiece as you said. It stays in the mind long after a viewing.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2009 7:27:51 AM PST
The Old Book Worm says:
Many thanks for your additional comment. You have convinced me to order this set now.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2010 7:16:44 AM PDT
Carol Siman says:
it is unfortunate that amazon rarely shows the length of their movies....which makes it difficult to determine there value.....help.....please.....ds
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 4:03:48 PM PST
M. Valdez says:
"It stays in the mind long after a viewing", says it all. Thank you.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2013 10:44:17 PM PDT
I agree. I "accidentally" watched "North and South" on YouTube and realized that Amazon's version was cut. The cuts were significant to the meaningfulness of the series. Badly done, Amazon!
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