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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday, 30 October: Brideshead revisited

Going to a matinee on a Friday afternoon felt deliciously decadent as I abandoned my PC, locked the dogs to sleep in the cool house and treated myself to a viewing of 'Brideshead revisited'. All on my own - no neighbourly comments to distract, no popcorn to crunch, not even a chocolate bar to unwrap soundlessly - I feasted on the latest movie version of one of modern novels I most admire: 'Brideshead revisited' by Evelyn Waugh.
Emma Thompson made a stately, stern yet human Lady Marchmain, Michael Gambon was there as a crusty and repentent Lord Marchmain (just for you, Willow), Ben Wishaw as the tortured Sebastian, Hayley Atwell as a robust Julia and Matthew Goode as a cool yet not unaffected Charles Ryder. Castle Howard provided a magnificent Brideshead.

I enjoyed the movie but, of course, it cannot supplant Waugh's magnificent prose. Some may think the story a criticism of stern religion; others about illicit love in between-wars Britain. Personally, I think the main theme is about men and women's futile attempts to escape the Hound of Heaven.

"I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter." (Francis Thompson)

14 comments:

Tracy said...

Very nice observations, Eleanor! We're not yet seen this adaptation. I have read Brideshead Revisited many times, and always come away a deeper sensibility similar to your own. I believe heaven is here and now while we live, it is up to us to make our own heaven on earth while we are here. :o) Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

willow said...

I love your conclusion on the main theme and the beautiful quote from Thompson!

I must see this movie. I didn't realize that Michael Gambon plays the role of Lord Marchmain!

Ferreira-Pinto said...

Very well observed.

I read the book twice and also had a good time seeing "Brideshead Revisited" some years ago on TV.
Each episode was a superb moment.

Smilingsal said...

It's always a nice treat to revisit a friend-book, even when it's been made into a movie.

Poetikat said...

Eleanor, I really enjoyed this version, especially Emma Thompson's take on Lady Marchmain. I think it's Oscar-worthy.

I also quite liked the two young men who played Charles and Sebastian. You must read the posts below. I'm a long-time fan!

Kat

http://hyggedigter.blogspot.com/2008/02/friday-flashback-i-love-brits.html

http://hyggedigter.blogspot.com/2008/03/friday-flashback-part-i-just-because.html

Maalie said...

I wonder if you saw the BBC production of this story? It was some years ago now.

char72 said...

We don't go to many movies, but we did see this one. I thought it was very interesting. I like movies set in those olden days. Makes me feel like I'm not so old.
Charlotte

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Beautiful post.! Well observed... I preferred the book though...I always do; I've no idea why..!

I'm about to post; please come back and enjoy what I have to share..!

Vanessa Greenway said...

Thank you for stopping by and leaving that sweet comment! I hope you have a great day! xo Vanessa

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

I will have to see this one.Thank you for sharing Eleanor.

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Wonderful post; you are so observant, you should write movie reviews! Well, I guess you just did! Thanks!

Claire said...

I have a rule... never watch a movie after reading the book. It always spoils the picture in my mind and I don't like that!

Looking forward to tea!

Lavinia said...

This is on me "to be seen" list. Your viewing sounds decadently indulgent, as you say. Just you and the movie, nothing to distract.

I can't imagine liking it more than the magnificent BBC television series, and Jeremy Iron's incomprable performance, however, I'm still curious to see how they condensed it all down to 2 hours.

Arija said...

Love the quote at the end, and with that selection of acting talent it is a must see.