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    AmP Countdown: Time left to demand that Congress make health care reform pro-life: 2009-11-07 18:00:00 GMT-05:00

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    Video & Commentary: "Brideshead Reinterpreted"?

    Evelyn Waugh's catholic novel Brideshead Revisited is one of my favorites. It was made into an excellent (11+ hour!) movie by Granada Films in 1982.

    Awhile back I found out that the story was being retold in a theatrical release. A friend of mine put it best when he said the new telling reminded him more of a fan fiction movie with the original characters, than a dramatization of the actual storyline.

    Josh Walsh of the Independent agrees with that assesment, and gives us the dissapointing details:

    First, Sebastian and Julia appear to be conducting an incestuous relationship that becomes a ménage a trois with Charles. Second, Julia shows up, under a parasol, in the Venice scenes. Third, Lady Marchmain seems concerned only with marrying off her daughter to the cluelessly non-Catholic Rex. Fourth, there's a wildly misconceived strand of sexual intrigue, most fatuously when Lord Marchmain leans back on a sofa with one arm around a coquettish Julia and the other around a pouting Sebastian and twinkles at Charles with the words: "What a lot of temptation..." Fifth, the religious theme is hinted at only by a dropped crucifix. Sixth, Sebastian shouts: "You never wanted me – you used me to get to my sister!" (In the book, by the time Charles and Julia get it together at sea, Sebastian has vanished into alcoholism and a monastery in Morocco.)

    All this is shocking for Waugh purists. The message board on the IMDb website is a-twitter with denunciations by Waugh fans. "Andrew Davies needs a reality check," reads one. "And a slap in the face like he's given to Evelyn Waugh by turning his masterpiece into a cheap romantic farce."

    For the strong of stomach, here is the movie's theatrical trailer:

    Really, Emma Thompson should know better than to involve herself in such a travesty.

    Ph/t: Carl Olson at Ignatius Scoop.

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