Monday, 7 March 2011

Brideshead Revisited, revisited

Ah, Monday again. How does the weekend pass so quickly? Still, this weekend was a pretty productive one for me so I can't complain.
Today's outfit - I made the blouse myself yesterday!
Cardigan - EWM, Trousers - M&S
I went to my German class which was sehr gut although I have come away with a slight fear of asking for directions, least someone responds with a stream of incomprehensible instructions. I do feel happier about shopping though (very important!), and explaining that I don't eat meat or fish, something that a lot of continental Europeans can't quite get their heads round! I think I'll have to do some hard work with Michel Thomas before we visit Germany, but I feel more as though I can learn now, which is a start!

I also watched 3 films on Sunday (no husband for the day so I got to catch up on all the films he's turned his nose up at!) while I was sewing.

First I saw Brideshead Revisited on iPlayer. I own the series with Jeremy Irons and love it, so I was curious to see how this modern version compared. Poorly, I'm afraid was the answer.
The costumes were pretty fab
Truth be told I found the original series hard to get into and very slow going at first. However, it wasn't long before I was drawn in, along with Charles, to the Flyte family's bizarre and dark world and I was hooked. Rewatching the first couple of episodes I found them more captivating, given the rather sad conclusion.
Sadly, there's only so much you can do with 2 hours of screen time and it just wasn't long enough to draw me into the story. Sebastian Flyte is, lets face it, not a particularly likable character. In the series, though, his friendship with Charles has time to develop and we come to see him as Charles sees him, mad and bad, yes, but also a dazzling and exotic wonder in Charles' rather drab life. It's because of Charles' growing love that we can sympathise with the horrifying mess that Sebastian gets himself into, the effort to which Charles goes to try to save him and, ultimately, the full significance of his return to Brideshead in the war.

In the film, none of this has time to develop and I rather wondered why Charles would bother, given how ridiculous a figure Sebastian is. In addition, I found Ben Whishaw's portrayal of Sebastian rather strained. His attempt to be effete and decadently camp seemed false and stilted, his mannerisms put on. Compared to Anthony Andrews' stunning performance (for which he won a BAFTA and was nominated for an Emmy) in the TV series it was just flat. The same goes for Charles Ryder, played by Jeremy Irons in the series - a middle class boy caught in the headlights of the decadent world of Oxford's elite and gradually coming to find himself in the madness of his lifestyle. None of that was evident in the new version. And I won't mention Laurence Olivier's Emmy winning performance!
The original and best!
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing intrinsicly bad with the film - the performances and the script writing are pretty good throughout, it just can't hold a candle to the series!

The other films I watched were Dorian Gray, which I thoroughly enjoyed and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've never read the books, though I've heard so many people recommend them, so I thought I'd give the film a go, seeing as it's free with my Lovefilm package. I'm glad I did, it's a sophisticated crime thriller and stands out from large crowd of films in that genre. I liked Lisbeth from the start and found the mystery gripping. Both these films come highly recommended by me!

The other thing I managed to find time for was more cat-fussing. Meg and Deryn are getting on much better today and they even had a slightly frightened game last night where they chased each other around for a bit. While I think they both wanted to play, neither seemed totally certain that the other wasn't attacking them in a rubbish way, but they seemed to have fun and I think it bodes well!
Also, I saw Meg sitting down for the first time since she arrived! I think we've finally managed to tire her little kitten legs out!


  1. Thoroughly agree about Brideshead. I only watched it because I saw them filming bits and was interested to see how they showed on screen. I was very disappointed, it just didn't work as a film. Oh and only one scene with Aloysius!

    Loved Dorian Gray too.

  2. Amazing blouse! It looks fabulous!

  3. I love the way you've combined this outfit, very nice.

    I couldn't get through the modern film, it was interesting up to a point.

  4. Love the blouse! Good job. I have only seen the movie version of Brideshead, and I liked it. SO considering you said the series goes more in depth, I must check it out! I'd love to know more about those crazy characters.

  5. I haven't seen the film, although I'm sure its a visual treat. Saw tv series and read book, but really I don't like Charles! He pretends to love Seb but goes behind his back with his family, sucking up like mad. Treats his wife abysmally and then makes Julia unhappy. Pig!

    I love your outfit, and that blouse is genius. I wish I could make something so lovely :)

  6. I hadn't heard of Brideshead revisited, but I love Jeremy Irons, and Anthony Andrews was one of my favorite actors as a yound teenager. I blame it on "Ivanhoe" and "The Scarlet pimpernel" =). Now I have to get my hands on that tv-show!

    I really should see "The girl with dragon tattoo", it somehow seems disloyal to my new hometown not too =) (It's the author's hometown and where he wrote the books).

  7. I've never seen any of the versions as it has never really appealed to me. I must remedy that. Love the outfit :) You blouse making dervish you!
    And as for kitty - how big are her back legs? Is she part rabbit?

  8. Kerri - it's well worth watching, each of the characters is developed in a lot of detail.

    Mrs Exeter - Interesting, I'd never really thought about it like that but I can see your point. I guess Jeremy Irons swayed my opinion.

    Erika - You should absolutely watch both! I expect Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is even better without subtitles!

    LandGirl - You must remedy your oversight immediately - Brideshead is superb!