Friday, August 1, 2008

Brideshead Revisited

Following my guideline of "it is what it is", this is a beautifully filmed, well cast, British remake of the book by Evelyn Waugh. I had to read it in graduate school in a "British literature from 1940 to 1970" class. I didn't watch the tv series. So, though it appeared truncated in spots and overlong in others, it was compelling enough. Emma Thompson plays the matriarch with great control. The other actors were not familiar to me, so they rang true. The theme is one of religion more than one of homosexuality. Neither the book nor the movie state that the relationship between the two male leads is consummated. It is likely that the lead character is heterosexual. It is a story about the hand of religion and the fading of the aristocracy more than it is a love story. Catholicism, at lease the kind practiced decades ago, is at the core of the motion and guilt that drives the story. If you like this type film, you will like this one. I do have to say that the sets are visually stunning- the scenes in Venice put you right there. I'd not sit through it again- it was 2:30 in our seats. But it was beautiful and worth it the first go round.