Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More views of Brideshead

If you've had a chance to read my review of the maddeningly shallow movie version of Brideshead Revisited, you've heard all about what I found wanting. But what did the other, less invested critics say? Over at the Commonweal blog (which is called -- naturally -- "dotCommonweal"), I've put together a roundup of noteworthy critical opinions. A few are insightful -- good old A.O. Scott leads the pack there. A much larger number are dismayingly misinformed, which is an object lesson in one tenet of the critic's honor code: If you haven't read the book, don't pretend you have! And, of course, there are a handful who don't seem to know there ever was a book in the first place. So fans of "critiquing the critics" should check it out. (And for extra fun, see whether you can detect the hostile attitudes toward Catholicism masquerading as commentary on the film.) I know it's not quite as fun as actually reading the novel, but it does beat seeing the movie.

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