Set in the 1830's, the film tells the story of 16-year-old Cissie Brodie after the death of parents, and the repossession of the family home. She finds a barren place to live and care for ... See full summary »
Set in the 1830's, the film tells the story of 16-year-old Cissie Brodie after the death of parents, and the repossession of the family home. She finds a barren place to live and care for her younger brothers and sisters with the help of Matthew, a local carpenter, but her life becomes complicated when the aristocratic Fischel family take an unwelcome interest. Written by
The Dwelling Place is a wonderful novel which covers some 20 years and provides meaningful character development. By trying to cram the story into three years, the film presents Cissie and Clive as foolish and weak--people who clearly are not ready for the suddenly happy ending the screenwriter contrives for them. After picturing the strong-minded and orderly Cissie of the book, the actress selected for the part seemed all wrong to me. She seldom portrayed dignity, she smiled too much, and her witch-like tangle of hair had nothing in common with Cissie's shining braids. The actor portraying Clive looked like a weak-chinned villain, not the Clive of the book whose appearance and character are hardened by his experiences at sea. One other major discrepancy: In the book Cissie has three or four small children to feed; that is why the older children must go out and work. In the film, there was no reason for her to stay at home and send them all out to bring in money. The English countryside enhanced the film, and credit goes to the actors who perfectly portrayed Matthew, the evil Isobel, and the rejected miller's wife.
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