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Wide Sargasso Sea (1993)

NC-17 | | Drama, Romance, Thriller | 16 April 1993 (USA)
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A young female landowner in 1840s Jamaica marries a just-arrived Englishman to avoid losing her property. All seems to be perfect, love arises, and happiness is on the way, but she is ... See full summary »

Director:

John Duigan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karina Lombard ... Antoinette Cosway
Nathaniel Parker ... Edward Rochester
Rachel Ward ... Annette Cosway
Michael York ... Paul Mason
Martine Beswick ... Aunt Cora (as Martine Beswicke)
Claudia Robinson Claudia Robinson ... Christophene
Huw Christie Williams Huw Christie Williams ... Richard Mason
Casey Berna Casey Berna ... Young Antoinette
Rowena King ... Amelie
Ben Thomas Ben Thomas ... Daniel Cosway
Paul Campbell ... Young Bull
Audbrey Pilatus Audbrey Pilatus ... Drummer
Ancile Gloudon Ancile Gloudon ... Nelson
Dominic Needham Dominic Needham ... Pierre
Kevin Thomas Kevin Thomas ... Benbow
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Storyline

A young female landowner in 1840s Jamaica marries a just-arrived Englishman to avoid losing her property. All seems to be perfect, love arises, and happiness is on the way, but she is hiding an old secret regarding her childhood and her mother. Slowly, this secret begins to erode this perfect relationship and, perhaps, her mother's story will begin again...with her. Written by Luis Carvacho <lcarvach@lascar.puc.cl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for strong, explicit sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wide Sargasso Sea See more »

Filming Locations:

Jamaica

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,610,792
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's Australian DVD sleeve notes state that the movie features "characters from Charlotte Brontë's classic 'Jane Eyre' [1847]. Jean Rhys' novel was actually penned as a prequel to the Brontë book. A new screen version of Jane Eyre (1996) was made and released about three years after this movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

Unrated version runs a few seconds longer than the NC-17 version. See more »

Connections

Followed by Jane Eyre (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Quartet
Written by Franz Schubert
Arranged by Charlotte Georg (as Lee Ashley)
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User Reviews

 
Not worth your effort.

The Wide Sargasso Sea is one of the most beautiful books ever written. Following a string of only mildly successful novels and short stories, Rhys disappeared off the radar, and many believed her dead. She was discovered years later living in seclusion on the south of England. Throughout her house were numerous manuscripts forming what became The Wide Sargasso Sea. The novel was a labour of love for Rhys in a sense, but despite the critical acclaim it received she described the success as (I paraphrase) too little too late.

Rhys' novel details the relationship between the Rochester of Jane Eyre and Antoinette, his first wife. The novel, however, is not truly about this. The true importance of the story is the oppression of Antoinette by her husband and society as a whole. She is a Creole: inherently hot blooded and passionate. Rochester cannot handle this aspect of her nature, and attempts to remove it from her but cannot; it is inherent.

The film suggests that Anotinette descends into madness. This is not what Rhys wished to demonstrate. Antoinette never went insane, but rather the anger if her treatment at the hands of Rochester drove her to an act of rashness, but not madness. In her actions at the end of the film, Antoinette is not losing control, but rather regaining it.

This is lost in the film. The beautiful story is diminished considerably. The first two sections of the novel are reduced to 10 minutes, making the whole plot seem rushed. This was, it would appear, to make was for as much gratuitous nudity as possible.

All that redeems the film (and the only reason I rated it a 3 and not a 1) is the beautiful depiction of the scenery. I suggest people who have read the book avoid the film, and those interested in both stick to the novel and stay well away from this.


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