Some might question whether Brideshead Revisited, the classic novel by Evelyn Waugh, needed to be revisited in a film adaptation; the novel, after all, has been adapted once before in a lengthy and well-beloved British television serial. Fortunately for fans of Waugh's work, this film version of Brideshead, directed by Julian Jarrold (Kinky Boots, Becoming Jane) off a screenplay written by Jeremy Brock and Andrew Davies, is beautifully shot, painstakingly directed, and well worth watching. For the most part, the filmmakers avoid mutilating Waugh's work, although the end result does place a greater emphasis on certain aspects (romance) and limit or eliminate others altogether (the brilliantly written discourses on religion and love that permeate the book).

The film is shot in Castle Howard, also the setting for the miniseries version, and Brideshead itself is a majestic, imposing character that looms over all who encounter it. The screenplay is rather a masterful adaptation; the film handles the compression of years through the storyline with a bit of book-ended time-jumping to both introduce us to the lead characters and close out the story, and Brock and Davies do an able job of whittling the story down to meet the needs of a cinematic experience without losing the feel of Waugh's novel in the process.

categories Reviews, Cinematical