The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Brideshead Revisited

The 2008 film version of Brideshead Revisited, based on Evelyn Waugh’s famous novel, is a rather pale imitation of the 1981 British television serial, starring Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Phoebe Nicholls, John Gielgud, and Laurence Olivier. Of course, with all that star power and acting skill, how could it be otherwise? All the elements are there in the new version, the acting is good, the scenery and cinematography are great, but one keeps thinking of the old series and the quality of Irons’ and Andrews’ acting, the wonderfully quaint and biting observations of the stuttering homosexual, how much more sophisticated and real Sebastian was, and the like. My recommendation is to see the 11-part television series, if you can. It is a much richer and rewarding experience.

January 19, 2009   Comments Off on Brideshead Revisited

Appaloosa

An uninspired, though strangely satisfying film—although I think it should have been called “Western Promises,” since the whole thing revolves around Viggo Mortensen in the supporting role. Renée Zellweger is instantly believable as the prim and proper femme fatale. (Did you know she’s one of the highest paid Hollywood actresses and that she was born in Texas?) Jeremy Irons manages to twist himself into an odd caricature of the villainous rancher. I actually hooted when he uttered his first lines. What can I say about this film? Not much. It’s a western in the grand tradition of American westerns with a slightly more modern twist. I did get the feeling that Ed Harris, who produced, directed, wrote, and starred in it, also got a hoot out of it.

December 17, 2008   Comments Off on Appaloosa