Brideshead Revisited review by Cinema Guru Boy

So, I'm pretty sure I'm not exactly the demographic for this movie. This is clearly counter-programming to all the super-hero movies that the studios want twenty-something men to see. Instead, studios apparently think that older women want to go to the movies, too. Thus Brideshead Revisited has graced the theaters.

So here we have a poor artist, Charles (Matthew Goode), who makes friends with a classmate, Sebastian (Ben Wishaw). Little known to Charles, Sebastian has ulterior motives to their friendship. He apparently thinks if the two are close enough, some hanky-panky could result. So eventually, a lot of the action takes place at Sebastian's family's estate, Brideshead. Here, we're introduced to Sebastian's overbearing mother (Emma Thompson) and his sister Julia (Hayley Atwell). Next thing you know, there's an attraction between Charles and Julia, and that's when the insanity begins! For the first hour, there is no conflict whatsoever, just a bunch of English yuppies hanging around.

But once we get that first hour out of the way, tension breaks out! Tension between Sebastian and his mother. Tension between Sebastian and Charles. Tension between Charles and Julia. So now we're treated to a second hour. This one is a bunch of English yuppies whining how everybody else has it out for them. Maybe it's just me, but I can't relate to a bunch of aristocrats whining about each other and their middle-school-esque crushes.

And the story telling in this movie seems so forced. I understand the obstacles a screen writer faces compressing a huge novel into a movie only two-hours and change long. But major plot points weren't played out on screen. It seems so awkward to mention these things in passing. It's like, By the way, this character got married while you, the audience, weren't looking and By the way, a major character died, but don't worry about it, you didn't fall asleep during the movie, we just decided the best way to present it would be jam one line into conversation. One of the most important things a budding filmmaker should learn is the way to tell a story is to "show," don't "say." This movie totally destroys the most rudimentary of filmmaking techniques.

So we have a love triangle movie, but I guess the big twist is that one side is a sibling relationship and another side is a homosexual relationship. Maybe it's me, but this doesn't seem all that groundbreaking, or interesting. Back in the '50s, or whenever this book was written, this might have been a bigger deal, but today, it is not abnormal to have a homosexual crush, nor to have a crush on your best friend's sister. To me, this was a bad soap opera, which might have been made to appear a little classier than you average As the World Turns or General Hospital because everyone had British accents. If you're a sucker for all things Jane Austen, you'll love this flick. Otherwise, you're like me.

But that's just, like, my opinion, man.

3 out of 10 Jackasses
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