Monday, August 11, 2008

Brideshead, reviewed

I reviewed the new film adaptation of Brideshead Revisited for Commonweal, and you can read my take on the magazine's website now! At last you will know the source of that whirring sound you've been hearing all summer: it's just Evelyn Waugh spinning in his grave.
...Inspiration is ultimately where the film founders -- it can’t be faithful to the novel’s plot while rejecting its notions of faith. Suffering and holiness, sin and redemption: these are Waugh’s themes, expressed imperfectly and embodied ambivalently by his characters, and resisted by his narrator almost to the end. Jarrold reshapes Brideshead as a fairy tale of doomed romance, an exercise in cliché in which boy meets girl but strenuously resists meeting God.
This may be the only review you'll find that contains extensive analysis of the film's religious imagery -- and not a single comparison to the 1981 BBC serial. Go on and read it.

Also, film fans, don't miss Mother Load's breathless account of a brush with a certain celebrity mommy and her named-after-fruit preschooler!

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