The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
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.
It's not much to offer a newcomer, who would be best advised to read Waugh's novel; failing that, to get hold of the TV serial. Either would be preferable to this copy of a copy, and a rather inadequately handled one at that.
All isn't fair in love and Waugh in an adaptation of his best-known work that's often too tasteful for its good. Handsome and thoughtful, it might've had more appeal had first-choice leads Jude Law, Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly stayed.
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.
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.
The Roman Catholicism is not diluted. Brideshead itself seems more like a cold cathedral than a home. And Sebastian's homosexuality is not fudged: he kisses Charles on the lips during one boozy summer. Ben Whishaw embraces an aristocratic camp.