It’s time I weighed in.
Brideshead took its sweet time getting out here, but yesterday afternoon I finally (after skipping it the night before because this grandma needs her naptime) got to the theaters to see it.
And I don’t give a damn what Kaks thinks of me, I loved it.
With the benefit of never having seen the mini-series (less of a benefit, really, that a gaping hole in my life) and having read the book over a year ago, I could see it with clearer eyes than my beloved counterpart.
Firstly, a warning: I don’t understand why everyone is so worried about films following books. I find it to be the same kind of pedantry that gets really annoyed when films misuse cities (and that’s to you, Berkley-ites who can’t watch Made in America without telling everyone around you, loudly, that that’s not actually Telegraph, it’s College Ave. I’ve been there too, and I don’t give a damn.) And I find both kinds of pedantry fairly-to-very obnoxious. Most of these films say “based on” the novel, no “literally transcribing,” so as long as at least two characters have the same names and the plot hasn’t been set more than two centuries later (with the notable exception of Clueless. And Ten Thing I Hate About You) then I honestly don’t mind what you do.
So looking at Brideshead as a movie fan, not as a jilted lover, I have to say: it was compelling, well acted and beautifully shot. And frankly, the main themes of guilt and lost youth are pretty well represented. So what that Julia was in Venice? They also put Carnivale in mid-Summer, so accuracy doesn’t seem to have been high on their list of priorities.
I used to write movie reviews, and if I were in critic-mode, I’d have a lot more to say about this. But I’m not. This is the Fine Taste Emporium and all I’m here to do is tell you if it’s entertaining. And, damn it, it is. So forget the book, forget the mini-series and call is “Groomsbutt re-seen” if you need to, but go buy a ticket.