movies: brideshead revisited

brideshead revisited - privilege, ambition, desire... at brideshead everything comes at a priceTonight's movie, Brideshead Revisited, comes courtesy of my Melbourne Cup $2 sweep win... thank you Viewed! (Also, thank you C'est La Guerre for coming in third... thanks to the $5 sweep, you paid for all my bets as well as my lunch)...

Moving right along...

Okay, I freely admit than other than knowing that such a thing as Brideshead Revisited existed, and that Jeremy Irons had been in it, and there was a whole thing about a teddy bear, I honestly didn't know a damn thing about the story.

So, unsurprisingly the movie was something of a surprise. Not an unpleasant one, but a surprise nevertheless.

I also came to it without any preconceived ideas about the characters or the story or anything, so I got to enjoy it for what it was, rather than what it may or may not have been when stacked up against the teevee series or the book.

But even without having seen the "extended version", it was really easy to see how easy it would be to stretch the story out, the whole plot moved along at a decent pace, and although it never really felt rushed, it was obvious that you could spend a lot more time on a lot of it.

As I said to Ma on the way home afterwards, it was half a movie I could really loved, with long, lingering glances and homoerotic caresses over the cricket flannels (okay, not so much with the flannels, but you get the idea)... and half a movie about too much Catholic angst that I probably wasn't as fussed about. Which balances out to it not being too bad really.

However, Ben Whishaw is a god... a tiny, slender, gorgeous, acting god. I knew that I knew the face, but it wasn't until I saw him in the second half of the movie with his "rough" look that I realised that he was the same guy from Perfume. He certainly knows how to inhabit a character from balls to bone though... he was so very convincing as this foppish, effete, fragile and unbalanced little moppet... and he managed to make Sebastian credible as a homosexual without it becoming a caricature or an exaggeration in any way.

Also of particular note in the acting stakes is one of my favourite British actresses, Emma Thompson... when she first rocked up on screen I wasn't completely sure about her in that particular role of the dominating mother, but in some ways she was perfect for it... you want to like her, you really do, but you know at the same time that she's more than capable of being this master puppeteer and pulling everybody's strings.

Michael Gambon also proved why he was COMPLETELY the wrong choice to play Dumbledore... there's just something sleazy and creepy about him, which was all part of the character this time around... but I think it's a little bit him too...

And Patrick Malahide as Charles' father was just hilarious... weird as all hell, but very funny.

Full snaps also have to go to costume designer Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh...I might not be able to pronounce your name, but damn you made everybody look good. But then I just love all that 1930's styling, so it's not really all that surprising...

Not the happiest story ever, but a beautiful period piece nevertheless...

yani's rating: 2 country houses of of 5

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's a great quote from the series when Lady Marchmain tells Jeremy Irons' character something like "I simply don't understand how you pretend to like us for so long. How you could be so callously wicked, so wantonly cruel". It's chilling and memorable (considering I don't usually remember quotes at all). It is apparently coming to ABC2 but well worth getting the DVDs, too. The book's OK, too

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