Brideshead ReVisited Drops on DVD: Historical Drama with Pluses & Minuses

A provocative, story of love, power, and betrayal featuring a riveting
performance by two-time Academy Award® Winner Emma Thompson, Brideshead Revisited hits DVD on January 13, 2009 from Miramax Films Home Entertainment. Based on Evelyn Waugh’s famous novel of the same name, Brideshead Revisited DVD includes deleted scenes and a behind- the-scenes look into the film’s recreation of the decadent and rareified world of British aristocracy.
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Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode), a young man of modest means but considerable ambition, has just begun his studies at Oxford University, when he encounters flamboyant aristocrat and fellow student Sebastian Flyte (Ben Whishaw). Infatuated with his new friend’s hedonistic lifestlye, Charles eagerly accompanies him to the family’s opulent mansion, Brideshead, where he becomes entranced by the eccentric clan and the palatial 18th century estate. But when Charles falls for Sebastian’s beautiful sister
Julia (Hayley Atwell), his friend reacts with jealousy and the siblings’ domineering mother, Lady Marchmain (Emma Thompson), rules out the possibility of marriage for reasons of class and religion. As Charles becomes further involved with the Marchmain family, he realizes that at Brideshead, everything comes at a price.
Review: This movie is condensing a significantly long novel that is really about description and interior commentary and external conversations between the characters. There’s much more to this story that should have been included. It’s like turning Gone With the Wind into a 2 hour movie– can’t be done well. Mini-series or 3+ hour movie, maybe– but this movie gives the thermatic elements and the characters short shrift in the process despite some really good actors (and some miscasting doesn’t help) as well as the editing of the book into screenplay and the way the director saw the story.


However that being said, on DVD, it’s well worth seeing and if you don’t want to purchase it, at least rent it because the locations are amazing and anything Emma Thompson is in is worth seeing!
BONUS FEATURES
• The World of Brideshead–Invites viewers to go behind the scenes with the cast and crew of Brideshead Revisited as they reveal the painstaking attention to detail required to capture the lavish world of British aristocracy between the wars.
• Audio Commentary–Feature commentary with director Julian Jarrold, producer Kevin Loader and screenwriter Jeremy Brock.
• Revealing Deleted Scenes–With optional commentary by director Julian Jarrold, producer Kevin Loader and screenwriter Jeremy Brock.
Brideshead Revisited : $ $29.99 (U.S.)
Suggested retail price: $29.99
Feature run time: Approximately 100 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (Some Sexual Content)
Technical specifications:
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Sound: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Definitely worth checking out if you like period dramas. This is a condensed version of the book.
Stevie Wilson

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