Playing out pretty much like "MASTERPIECE THEATER: LIGHT," "BRIDESHEAD REVISITED" has been released on dvd by BUENA VISTA. Directed by Julian Jarrold, many of the layers behind layers of subtext have been excised from the Evelyn Waugh, to present a film around 2 hours, but which needs several (at least)to be told. The 1981 mini-series managed to provide a faithful adaptation, that was never dull, even at 11+ hours, and characters were well developed. This "new" version stars Matthew Goode as "Charles," the young man, away from home for an education at OXFORD. While there me befriends Sebastian, and accepts his new friend's invitation to visit him at his estate, "BRIDESHEAD." Charles is immediately enthralled with the estate, but also with Sebastian's sister, Julia. While having to deal with the dysfunctional relationships of Sebastian's family, mostly due to the domineering mother(Emma Thompson), Charles tries to figure out how to steal Julia away.
Having shed many themes from the source material, the new version highlights the "passion" elements between the two lovers, and while it borders on tacky, these moments ultimately work. The acting is first-rate, and while it's not in the same league as the mini-series, it's still entertaining.
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement for this dvd. Colors are solid, perfectly capturing the beauty and coldness of the estate. Detail is generally impressive, and blacks are deep enough to allow for better than average depth in darker scenes.
BUENA VISTA has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. It's not aggressive, but ambient effects are well utilized in the surrounds, for added effect, and dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion. Nothing dynamic here, but it's a decent mix, fitting for the dialogue-heavy film.
A great commentary with the director, producer and writer is included, offering plenty of insight and explanation as to the changes from the source material and more.
Deleted scenes are terrific to watch here, and one, really should've been left within the film.
A featurette is also offered, but only of average entertainment value, for die-hard fans of the film, only.