Brideshead Revisited

2008

Brideshead Revisited

Critics Consensus

Suspenseful and beautifully mounted, Brideshead Revisited does an able job condensing Evelyn Waugh's novel.

62%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 134

52%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 21,845
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Movie Info

"Brideshead Revisited" tells an evocative story of forbidden love and the loss of innocence set in the pre-WWII era. In the film, Charles Ryder becomes entranced with the noble Marchmain family, first through the charming and provocative Sebastian Flyte, and then his sophisticated sister, Julia. The rise and fall of Charles' infatuations reflect the decline of a decadent era in England between the wars.

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Cast

Matthew Goode
as Charles Ryder
Ben Whishaw
as Sebastian Flyte
Emma Thompson
as Lady Marchmain
Hayley Atwell
as Julia Flyte
Michael Gambon
as Lord Marchmain
Ed Stoppard
as Bridey Flyte
Felicity Jones
as Cordelia Flyte
Patrick Malahide
as Mr. Edward Ryder
Jonathan Cake
as Rex Mottram
David Barrass
as ship's barber
Joseph Beattie
as Anthony Blanche
Richard Teverson
as Cousin Jasper
Sarah Crowden
as Lady guest
Anna Madeley
as Celia Ryder
Stephen Carlile
as English lord
Peter Barnes
as American professor
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Critic Reviews for Brideshead Revisited

All Critics (134) | Top Critics (44)

  • Even if the material is familiar, even if it has been done well before, there is room in a great book for a new interpretation.

    Oct 31, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Directed by Julian Jarrold from a script by Andrew Davies and Jeremy Brock, this new adaptation adroitly condenses Waugh's plot while eliminating or reversing most of his intended meanings.

    Oct 24, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • In the end, however, this is a film which though less ambitious than Atonement is very much the equal of The Duchess. Its weakness is the same as that of the latter: it has no guiding hand prepared to take risks and make it distinctive.

    Oct 3, 2008 | Rating: 3/5
  • Kingsley Amis once said his difficulty with Brideshead Revisted was not that these people were behaving badly, but boringly. On the page, that isn't true, but here on the big screen, it turns out to be an insuperable problem.

    Oct 3, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The repressed victims are beautifully framed by Jarrold. The acting is faultless. But there is no reason why we should be revisiting Brideshead. The melodrama is so damp and overwrought it's hard to care about these old ghosts.

    Oct 3, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Performances are good - Thompson and Gambon impress - but the insipid music is dreadful.

    Oct 3, 2008 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Brideshead Revisited

  • May 09, 2010
    This is an interesting yet certainly not memorable drama with 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.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 14, 2010
    A British period drama, with Emma Thompson, who never disappoints.
    Juli R Super Reviewer
  • Nov 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...
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 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.
    Alice S Super Reviewer

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