6.7/10
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Brideshead Revisited (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 15 August 2008 (USA)
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:
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Thomas Morrison ...
David Barrass ...
Ship's Barber
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Lady Guest
Stephen Carlile ...
English Lord
Peter Barnes ...
American Professor
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Richard Teverson ...
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Roger Walker ...
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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:

Love is not ours to control 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

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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) (27 July 2008)

Gross:

$6,414,563 (USA) (21 September 2008)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the Oxford scenes, real Oxford students were recruited to play their 1920's counterparts. For the scene where Charles and Sebastian first meet, real members of the exclusive Bullingdon Club can be seen behind him wearing their traditional blazers. A few of them can also be seen in the luncheon scene that takes place the next day. See more »

Goofs

The Venetian drummers have instruments fitted with Mylar drumheads (Remo Pinstripes) that were not manufactured before WWII. Calfskin heads or ones that resembled calfskin would have been more appropriate for the time. 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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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

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User Reviews

 
Last Year at Brideshead
16 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Among many of the most prestigious literature selections, not to mention mini-series, Brideshead Revisited not only wasn't on my radar, I didn't even know if it would be the kind of well-regarded literature or mini-series I intended to watch. But as this newly revised picture, now a mere 136 minutes vs 10 hours, it looked interesting if only as a kind of "handsomely made" picture (you know the kind, along the lines of Atonement for recent comparison). I was also intrigued by the allure of a huge, sprawling mansion here called Brideshead, as it reminded me of Alain Resnais's film Last Year at Marienbad and how memories and recollections and lost love and hope is explored in the spaces of this dark, cold region of exquisite luxury. Some of that is explored in this film, and some of it... isn't.

It's for the most part a fairly tragic story of a young man, Charles (Matthew Goode, charming and suave but also subtle and down-beat, a really fine turn), who enrolls at Oxford and meets a meek/'fey' guy named Sebastian, and through him he's introduced (reluctantly in point of fact) to Sebastian's family, including his sister Julia, and his very cold and strident mother (Emma Thompson). Sebastian really wants Charles all for himself - it's a friendship that goes just a nose-hair's length into admitting homosexuality but never really goes that far despite all appearances to the contrary - but he becomes apart of the fold, and as well falling deeply in love with Julia against 'other' wishes (mostly the matriarch's over Charles's religion).

There's a lot of the fragility of the bourgeois on display here, the arrogance and detachment that's shown very closely by the director for maximum effect. Unlike a Resnais he's not about to get too experimental with the camera; he's a careful craftsman more often than not, allowing for just enough wonderment of the whole Brideshead atmosphere to really sink into how it could be a double-edged sword of perception. And as is bound to happen with material this sprawling (at one point time jumps back 10 years, then ahead 4 years, until we kind of know where we are), a lot seems to be cut out. While it altogether makes a coherent and entertaining enough picture, I wonder how much more of a benefit this would make as an epic, where we are absorbed more fully with the Oxford school or Charles and Sebastian or even the parents (who, thankfully, are played wonderfully here by cold-as-ice Thompson and fascinatingly guilt-ridden and subtle Michael Gambon), or how the wealth structure even works here.

Indeed, I found myself not so much involved with the Charles/Sebastian stuff, even as it's fairly well-acted and well-shot enough, as I was with the themes of religion raised in the picture. This caught me off guard and hinted at something deeper being expounded upon. Yet, again, we get just tastes of what's offered more than likely in the original text, tastes that are powerful like a 'last-rites' argument, and the tortured state of being raised from the cradle with an intense, overbearing Catholic conscience.


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