Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good Analysis on Brideshead Movie

Waugh's Brideshead Revisited has remained one of my favorite novels since I first read it, and the 1981 TV adaptation is, to my mind, one of the best adaptations of a novel to a screen medium that I have seen. Thus, I'm curious to see the new film adaptation, though from all that I've read I have no expectation of liking it at all. (Think of it as the literary equivalent of needing to go witness an execution.)

However, the movie has not yet made its way out to our region of Texas, and so thus far I am restricted to reviews. Of these, I'm surprised to say that by far the best review (in terms of assessing the book in a fashion I find accurate and discussing how the reviewer thinks the movie does and does not reflect that) is one that MrsDarwin found yesterday in Commonweal, of all places. (I believe that Sayers called the technique I use above "praising with faint damns".)

Though I don't think I've ever liked anything I've read in Commonweal before, this review strikes me as coming from someone who's understood both the literary and the Catholic elements of the novel very, very well. Which I'm sure says something or other about the importance of judging a work by what it is, rather than where it appears -- or as the Dutchess would say: "And the moral of that is..."


love2learnmom said...

Yes, that's an excellent article! I'm planning on seeing the movie myself for similar reasons - morbid curiosity? :)

Love your Alice quip.

LB said...

All these reviews make me want to go out and buy the book, ignoring the movie. So that's something, at least.

John Farrell said...

I must confess I didn't like the book. It may be that, movie freak that I am, I was poisoned at an early age by the ruthless satire of The Loved One, both as a book, and especially as a superb movie.

That said, I also very much liked the BBC series with Olivier and the superb Claire Bloom. Which may be another reason I was underwhelmed by the book....