Brideshead Revisited - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Brideshead Revisited Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2010
An interesting yet certainly not memorable drama with some very fine performances and a strong story about family, religion and faith in the context of the decadence of British aristocracy prior to WWII, and it may leave you thinking about it long after the film is over.
Super Reviewer
August 25, 2008
Dull, slow moving but visually beautiful. Uncharismatic leads are blown off the screen whenever Emma Thompson is on, displaying her range by playing a markedly different character than usual and as always doing it masterfully. Once she's gone from the scene its just pretty pictures with people you neither really like or care about.
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2008
Gruesome Hatchet Job of My Favourite Novel. "Utterly Macarbe".
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2009
Brideshead Revisited is a lovely period piece drama set in 1920's UK. The very talented actress Emma Thopmson palys the matriarch of a very wealthy family whom owns Brideshead. A young msn named Chrales Ryder becomes friends with the son of this family and quickly gets entangled in the intrique of this family and home. This movie is worthy of seeing. A very well suited cast and well done by all.
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2008
Year: 2008
Director: Julian Jarrold
Country: UK
Genre: Drama
Stars: Emma Thompson, Matthew Goode, Hayley Atwell, Ben Whishaw

Based on Evelyn Waugh's 1945 classic British novel, Brideshead Revisited is a poignant story of forbidden love and the loss of innocence set in England prior to the Second World War.

2008 is almost drawing to a close and my next film to watch at the cinema was Brideshead Revisited. A film which was a re-working of a TV series and a novel. Both I haven?t seen, so I went into the film with a relatively open mind. Read many negative reviews, commenting on the lack of plot and one which is slightly constrained in it. To be perfectly honest I seemed to have watched a different film entirely to many people. Brideshead Revisited is a brilliant film indeed and wonderfully made.

The film opens up with Charles?s narration, which is the centre of the film. With beautiful opening in World war 2, giving us an indication of what's to come. Perhaps there could have been more emphasises on Charles?s background as a soldier, little more about his personality after everything at Brideshead and him as an older man. Perhaps that could have given us as audience a little more to work with, in terms of adding meaning to his character and working out what kind of a man he is now. I would also like to have seen more build up to his relationship with Sebastian and Julia, giving us time to understand each character better. But for some unknown reason the fact that wasn?t done works and becomes a very enjoyable film.

Acting, In Brideshead Revisited is perhaps one of the strong points of the film. Emma Thompsons excels as lady Marchmain, with enough repression and awkward expressions to create a great performance. Most likely she?ll be considered for an Oscar in January?s nominations and no doubt receive a BAFA nomination this year. Ben Whishaw was absolutely marvellous to watch as Sebastian Flyte, totally different to roles that I have seen him in and hopefully more to come. I hope he gets some kind of recognition at the BAFTAS this year, perhaps a best actor nomination but he?ll probably most likely get unnoticed. Matthew Goode seems to me to be the perfect actor for the role, who is just an absolute delight to watch on screen. I hope to see more of him in future roles. Also worth mentioning Michael Gambon as Lord Marchaim in a supporting role.

The film draws upon class very slightly. As Sebastian?s family draws in the middle class Charles into an awkward world of the Marchmains? Catholic faith. Charles soon learns of the Marchmain?s faith almost eating many of the films up insider, so to speak. Sebastian?s constant drinking is a reflection of strong Catholic upbringing that he and Sister Julia had. The film depicts the downside of faith that can happen, often not depicted in many films.

More to follow......
Super Reviewer
September 13, 2008
Sensual and scandalous. Goode, Wishaw, and Atwell are captivating! A little long, but religious themes are nicely done...I guess.
Super Reviewer
August 16, 2008
This was a stand-out film in terms of production value. The story is all-too-familiar for those who are acquainted with the characters from the PBS series...but the lush production mounted and filmed is worth the trip to the cinema.

Much like last year's Atonement, Brideshead Revisited relies heavily on its countryside palacial scope of its setting. Sumptuous cinematography, costume design and lighting all make for a very beautiful picture.

On the acting side, all are respectable--but it's Emma Thompson who really stands out as the iron-fisted matron of Brideshead. Her disdain oozes with every back-handed compliment or shred of seemingly civil dialogue spoken by her character.

The story of unrequited love-lost is classic and plays out like a typical Merchant Ivory epic--although this technically isn't one.

Definitely worth seeing on the big screen. A solid period piece despite its sad attempt to market it as something more contemporary and along the lines of a cheesy sequel to Cruel Intentions. That it is, most definitely, not.
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2008
Beautifully filmed and acted, pre-WWII drama about the eccentricities of the young British aristocracy. Evelyn Waugh's acclaimed novel is nicely condensed, and will hold your attention throughout.
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2009
"Brideshead Revisited" starts in the 1920's as Charles Ryder(Matthew Goode) attends Oxford University as a first year history student. His cousin Jasper(Richard Teverson) gives him a tour around campus, informs him of the social rules and advises him to move his room from the ground floor. At which point, if on cue, Sebastian Flyte(Ben Whishaw) barges in and vomits on his floor. He apologizes profusely and he and Charles become good friends quickly, Sebastian even taking his poorer friend to the family home, Brideshead, for a quick visit. As they are leaving, Charles glances at Sebastian's sister Julia(Hayley Atwell) for a second. Ten years later, Charles will be a successful painter, encountering Julia while returning from abroad.

"Brideshead Revisited" is an engaging, well-photographed and handsomely produced period piece. Surprisingly, the emphasis is not on class divisions, as Charles and Sebastian both have trouble fitting in with their respective families. What it comes down to is religion but not a specific belief system, just the severity of it, for there is a good deal of difference between the Catholicism practiced by Sebastian's mother(Emma Thompson) and the looser version observed in Italy. Even Brideshead cannot escape this influence, as it reminds me of a beautifully decorated mausoleum which would explain why the Flyte children thrive once they are away from it, especially considering Sebastian's attraction to other men. And the Flyte household is not the only inflexible entity, as Charles' atheism can be just as bad as any religious belief.

Note: I should mention that I have not seen the 1981 miniseries of the same name. Maybe when I retire...
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2008
Akin to a "Cliff Notes" version of the rightly loved TV series adapted from a treasured novel, Julian Jarrold's Brideshead Revisited is not a patch on either sources, removing the complexities of the relationships between Charles, Sebastian and Julia and thus the emotional core. The three leads, Matthew Goode especially, are excellent and try their best to bring charisma and texture to rather thinly sketched characters, and the solid cinematography and impressive music score are plusses, but it was crazy to try cramming everything into a 130 minute movie and in the end the screenplay's failure is to the ultimate detriment of the film.
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2009
One of the best movies of 2008. Once again proves that Britain does film and TV better than anywhere else; exquisite acting, score, UNBELIEVABLE cinematography and LOCATIONS. A very good adaptation of the book; the story is very significant and layered, and the screenplay does it justice (of course, it's Andrew Davies). Makes me want to find a job working on period dramas in Britain. Inspiring. I'm in love with Matthew Goode.
Super Reviewer
November 14, 2008
I have never read the novel Brideshead Revisited or watched the acclaimed BBC miniseries, so maybe I can't appreciate this movie properly, but I enjoyed this tale of betrayal and lust. The standout performances for me were Emma Thompson (of course) and Matthew Goode, the star. I do wish they would have gone all-out in this film and made it R-rated material, though.
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2008
An engaging enough British manor melodrama that grows somewhat disjointed in its rushed second half.
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2010
A British period drama, with Emma Thompson, who never disappoints.
Super Reviewer
September 22, 2009
I don't know the book and I never saw the tv series, so I can't compare, but I found this movie just perfect. It is slow, but that's one of its charms, time goes slowly over Brideshead and the people connected to it, and so few seem to change. Sebastian's wish is that time could stop and always be summer at Brideshead. Somehow, it comes true: they all look like ripen fruits waitting to be gathered.
Super Reviewer
½ July 7, 2009
Left me cold I'm afraid. Haven't seen the original TV series (although my wife has and says that the film is rubbish compared to it!) or read the book but this hasn't inspired me to look at either. Probably not a good place to start if you've always been interested in checking the story out.
Super Reviewer
½ May 3, 2008
Would have liked to see a little more of Emma Thompson but it was a pretty good story of a love triangle and of wanting to go back to happier times.
½ May 5, 2008
What a great story. It was thrilling and heartbreaking all at the same time. The cast was brilliant and the ending was how it had to be.
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