Movie Reviews: Brideshead Revisited

LOS ANGELES, (RUSHPRNEWS)AUGUST 9, 2008–Hoping to present itself to that segment of the moviegoing audience that prefers to see a little more class on screen, director Julian Jarrold’s film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited is expanding to 364 theaters this weekend.

As Claudia Puig observes in USA Today, it’s a movie for “those who are weary of summer’s bawdy comedies and superheroes.” Unfortunately, despite its impressive pedigree, it has not been welcomed enthusiastically by critics. A.O. Scott in the New York Times, who compares it with the PBS miniseries that aired in 1982, says that while the new production is “more cinematic” than the older one, “it is also tedious, confused and banal.” Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times observes that while the TV series was “inspired,” the movie is “somewhat less inspired.” He concludes, “While elegantly mounted and well acted, the movie is not the equal of the TV production, in part because so much material had to be compressed into such a shorter time.”

Like most of his colleagues, Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal compares the movie with the TV series and can’t figure out why anyone even attempted to make the movie. “If it’s a choice between the movie’s 135 minutes or the 659 minutes of the miniseries (which has been re-mastered and re-released in a lavish four-disk edition), I’d say it’s no choice at all.

The shorter version is the one that seems long,” he writes. And Kyle Smith in the New York Post simply dismisses the entire production as a “well-polished relic.”

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