I was a big fan of the tv series, “Brideshead Revisited”. It was probably one of the greatest tv adaptations of a classic British novel ever created. The series featured the cream of British acting talent including Anthony Andrews, Jeremy Irons, Laurence Olivier and Sir John Gielgud. Based on one of the most celebrated books in English literature by Evelyn Waugh, the tv series enjoyed great success, winning two Golden Globe awards, seven BAFTA’s and an Emmy for Lord Olivier.
The film version of Brideshead enjoyed its U.K. premiere this week. Starring Emma Thompson as the overbearing matriarch Lady Marchmain, the screen version of Brideshead is far darker and more serious than the popular tv series. The story centres around the friendship and later three way love story between Charles Ryder (played by Matthew Goode), the drunken and doomed aristocrat Sebastian (Ben Whishaw) and his beautiful and sophisticated sister Julia (played by Hayley Atwell). After meeting at university Charles and Sebastian become inseparable, culminating in Charles spending the Summer at Sebastian’s ancestral home, Brideshead. Charles becomes entranced with the Marchmain family and Brideshead but soon finds his atheist beliefs at odds with the family’s Roman Catholic beliefs. Set in the pre WWII era, Brideshead Revisited tells the story of loss of innocence and forbidden love.
The Marchmain family’s ancestral home, Brideshead Castle is more like a museum than a stately home, with many years of family secrets hidden within its walls. The family lineage is one based on lies, deception and an unflappable faith in God. Once again Castle Howard which featured as Brideshead Castle in the original tv series, plays host to the aristocratic Marchmain family in the big screen adaptation. Another stalwart and icon from the original Brideshead tv series is the little teddy bear Aloysius. Who could forget him! The little bear also features as Sebastian’s constant companion in the movie version too. With a great cast and wonderful locations, the big screen version of Brideshead Revisited looks like enjoying similar success to the tv series and certainly has all the ingredients of a hit movie. Can’t wait to see it! To view the trailer, click on the player shown below:-