When a respectable weaver is wrongfully accused of theft, he becomes a virtual hermit until his own fortune is stolen and an orphaned child is found on his doorstep.When a respectable weaver is wrongfully accused of theft, he becomes a virtual hermit until his own fortune is stolen and an orphaned child is found on his doorstep.When a respectable weaver is wrongfully accused of theft, he becomes a virtual hermit until his own fortune is stolen and an orphaned child is found on his doorstep.
The second best of the George Eliot Collection
With first place going to Middlemarch. Silas Marner as a book has everything that is characteristic of George Eliot(pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans), characters with flaws and strengths, sharply insightful social commentary, themes that were relatable then and are now too and compelling storytelling. This adaptation matches those qualities exactly. As an adaptation it's very faithful, but it's its merits standing on its own that is even more impressive. It's beautifully made, the costumes, make-up and scenery show a lot of authenticity and detail and it looks great, not too opulent looking(but the colours are still rich and well-textured) and not too bleak. The photography is fluid and doesn't try to do too much but at the same time it's hardly simplistic either. The understated and unobtrusive music fits the tone of Silas Marner's story and it compliments the drama too, while the script is poetic and literate as well as faithful to Eliot's style, there isn't any irrelevant filler and it allows the story to resonate. The story is still emotional and heart-warming(the scenes with Eppie have so much heart), the themes of the book are sensitively explored and we identify with the characters(who are definitely the opposite of one-dimensional, they are very well fleshed-out). Ben Kingsley is superb, one of his best performance and he has never been more touching than here. He gives the character a lot of subtlety while literally in his scenes with little Eppie, adorably played by Elizabeth Hoyle. Patsy Kensit is much better than in Adam Bede and she is charming enough. Jenny Agutter is alluring and sympathetic, though with not as much to do, while Jonathan Coy is a nasty piece of work as Dunstan, Patrick Ryecaft is solid if a tad strident as Godfrey and the ever dependable Freddie Jones is excellent as he usually always is. Overall, the second best of the George Eliot Collection, splendid as an adaptation and in its own right. 10/10 Bethany Cox
- Jan 4, 2014
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