Friday, 29 May 2009

Brideshead Revisited (2008)


Someone woke up one day and said "Hey, I got a great idea, let's make Evelyn Waugh's classic novel Brideshead Revisited!"
"But, like, they already did it in the 80s... I think it's been voted the best television series ever made, and like, it was word for word to the book, and, well, 14 hours long..."
"Oh yeah, I saw that! Write this down 'Charles lights her cigarette,' that was the main bit in the TV show, yeah, hey, what else happened in that show? Somebody get me the name of that house."
What the hell was the point of remaking it?! At least film it somewhere else so that not EVERY fucking scene looks exactly the same as the series. No, film it at Castle Howard, use the same shots, whatever... "We've got this 14 hour box-set to use as our storyboard! Job done!"
Here's another suggestion say to anyone who's thinking of making The Jewel in the Crown into an hour and a half movie: Use actors who don't look and sound exactly like the actors in the original. Matthew Goode basically IS Jeremy Irons, I've covered this in my Watchmen Review. Ok, so he was the only one who looked like his original actor, the rest were all just uglier less talented versions of their originals....
Fuck! I can't believe I'm going to start ranting about this film, I knew I should never have watched it but here's the main difference (because believe me, the length of the film makes NO difference, in fact it seems longer...) Charles is attracted to Sebastian because of his CHARM. Anna and I overheard a gay American couple in the Cambridge Arts Cinema last year saying to each other "Hey, did you see the new Brideshead? The new Sebastian is so much cuter than the old one." What the FUCK!? Excuse me?! no... NO. The new Sebastian is portrayed by Ben Wishlaw as a creeping camp slimy pansy with absolutely no charm, the whole film seemed to turn the decline of drunken raving homosexual Sebastian into a metaphor for AIDs, I mean, christ! Look at him!! What the hell's wrong with that boy?! He looked horrendous.
While watching the series you are constantly hoping Sebastian will come back, you see the charm that Charles loved. In the film I couldn't wait for him to leave, he was not the same character at all. Ruined.
I can't be bothered typing all the horrible things wrong with this. Everything was wrong plot-wise... Here's a list of little irritations that might or might not amuse.

Anthony Blanche seemed straight next to Sebastian.
That's not John Gielgud.
No Death's Head or Sickly Child?!
Michael Gambon will do anything for money so I still respect him and his banana-hands. Emma Thompson can go eff herself after I heard her say arrogantly in an interview "I've never seen the original, I was a punk- so that wasn't really my scene." Wow, Emma, you're so punk going to Cambridge and getting your degree...
The guy who played NLP's part had more screen time than him and a close up- And he didn't even speak French!
Bridey died in the Blitz?!?!


  1. Amy, I saw this film the other night. I couldn't agree with you more. It sucked massively. The changes to the plot were pointless and all the subtleness lost. Lady Marchmain changed from a pious, sweet but controlling person to an aggressive, humourless snob. Sebastian a whingy, needy ball of camp. Julia a mouthy stroppy teenager....yick, that family had no charm at all. What would Charles have seen in them?

    So much anachronistic material - the bit at the ball where Lady M spoke to Charles, and the music stopped while the whole room watched - wtf?!?!?!? And the discussing of family emotions and relationships in front of guests - yes, that's just what happened in the 1920s isn't it? Totally terrible.

  2. I think the movie is worth seeing because it's such a serious effort. Trying to cram Waugh's point of view into little more than two hours was probably too ambitious. However, I left the theater determined to read the book. So , watch and download brideshead revisited here..