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Brideshead Revisited (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 15 August 2008 (USA)
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A poignant story of forbidden love and the loss of innocence set in England prior to the Second World War.

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10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Thomas Morrison ...
David Barrass ...
Ship's Barber
Anna Madeley ...
...
Lady Guest
Stephen Carlile ...
English Lord
Peter Barnes ...
American Professor
...
...
...
...
...
Roger Walker ...
...
Mark Edel-Hunt ...
Oxford Student
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Storyline

WWII. Charles Ryder, in his civilian life, rose out of his middle class London background, which includes being an atheist and having a distant relationship with his eccentric father, to become an up and coming artist. He is currently an army officer, who is stationed at a makeshift camp set up at Brideshead estate before imminently getting shipped into battle. The locale, which is not unfamiliar to him, makes him reminisce about what ended up being his doomed relationship with Brideshead's owners, the Flytes, an ostentatiously wealthy family. Charles first met Sebastian Flyte when they both were students at Oxford, where Sebastian surprisingly welcomed Charles into his circle of equally wealthy, somewhat stuck up and flamboyant friends. Charles ended up getting caught up in Sebastian's family struggles, where Sebastian used excessive alcohol to deal with the pain resulting from his family relationships. Although Charles and Sebastian were more than just friends, Charles ultimately ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Privilege. Ambition. Desire. At Brideshead Everything Comes at a Price. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

15 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Regreso a Brideshead  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$339,616 (USA) (25 July 2008)

Gross:

$6,414,563 (USA) (19 September 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Charles "betrays" Sebastian in Venice, there is a shot of an altarpiece in an Italian church, with a depiction of the "Martyrdom of St. Sebastian." You can identify him by the arrows protruding from his body. See more »

Goofs

The water taxi that Charles, Sebastian and Julia take to Lord Marchmain's palazzo in Venice was built post-1960s. All Venetian water taxis before this were of solid wood construction, but the one used for filming is clearly of "cold-molded" construction, as one can readily see by the diagonal strips of veneer on the hull; something unknown before the advent of resin laid-up veneer hulls in the 1970s. See more »

Quotes

[First Lines]
Charles Ryder: [Internal monologue while walking out of Brideshead Castle] If you asked me now who I am, the only answer I could give with any certainty would be my name: Charles Ryder. For the rest: my loves, my hates, down even to my deepest desires, I can no longer say whether these emotions are my own, or stolen from those I once so desperately wished to be. On second thought, one emotion remains my own. Alone among the borrowed and the second-hand, as pure as that faith from which I am still ...
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Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 26 July 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

With the Rumba Playing
Music & Lyrics by Terry Davies
Violin by Chris Garrick
Guitar by John Etheridge
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Differing Religious Convictions Driving People Apart
4 October 2008 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

No love story can be altogether gratifying in which the central choices are decided by the mother of the woman in love, even less, when she is the mother of both lovers, and has faith that she is protecting their everlasting spirits. That is what seems to be the predicament in Evelyn Waugh's novel, now adapted into a stagnant film in which one is not invited to feel or react due to its own lack of feeling or solidly portrayed consequence.

This film version focuses on forbidden love and the death of purity, set before WWII. Matthew Goode, who was excellent as the villain in The Lookout, becomes spellbound with a noble family, first because of his friendship with a charming, provocative, apparently homosexual contemporary, and then his sister. The fluctuation of Goode's obsessions suggest the decay of a self-indulgent upper crust in England flanked by the two World Wars, related in the course of his recurring stays at the Brideshead estate. What's more fundamental to Waugh's story is the harsh Catholicism of the family, as imposed by their matriarch, played by Emma Thompson, the high point of the film by far. Their religious beliefs are confronted by the son's homosexuality, the daughter's adulterous liaison with Goode, and Goode's atheism.

There are two curious fathers in the film. Michael Gambon is one, still legitimately married sure enough, but is ostracized, living in a Venetian palazzo with his mistress, Greta Scacchi in an unexpected comeback. Goode's father is a definite oddball who lives enclosed in a London house and seemingly favors playing chess with himself to talking to his son.

The main character is a penniless, virtually parentless youth drifting through an alien social system. Goode plays him featurelessly really, a nondescript motor for the other characters. Ben Whishaw steals all of his scenes as the gay son. The daughter could definitely have been portrayed more warily. The actress, Hayley Atwell makes the most of her I suppose, but why would she marry the revolting and unbearable suitor instead of Goode?

I am sure that the reason this film is not very effective at all is because so much background and source material is condensed and maybe sacrificed into such a shorter running time. But why are so many other adaptations effective in spite of this factor?


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