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Brideshead Revisited Details


Evelyn Waugh's classic novel of love and the British class system has been given a polished screen adaptation in this film version from director Julian Jarrold. The tale opens during WWII, when Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode), an English military officer, is stationed at a country estate that has been converted into a military base. Jarrold uses this time-frame and setting as a framing device, and then flashes back in time to Charles' days as a scholar in the 1920s. It becomes clear that he was raised in a middle-class household; though he was fortunate enough to have been accepted into Oxford, he doesn't belong to the British upper crust. At Oxford, Charles strikes up a friendship with twentysomething Lord Sebastian (Ben Whishaw). Charles is captivated by the splendor of Sebastian's life at his family's Brideshead Castle, and he finds himself drawn into a web of decadent comfort. For Sebastian, though, the familial estate represents a prison from which he longs to escape, and in desperation, he hits the bottle. Charles develops an infatuation with Sebastian's sister, Julia (Hayley Atwell), but also senses that his bond with Sebastian may be something far deeper than simple friendship. Also present at Brideshead is Sebastian and Julia's mother, Lady Marchmain (Emma Thompson), an ice water-veined woman still reeling from her abandonment some time prior at the hands of her husband. Though bitter, the matriarch perceives Charles as an emotional anchor for the increasingly unstable Sebastian, and therefore suggests that Charles join Sebastian and Julia on a trip to see their father (Michael Gambon) and his mistress (Greta Scacchi) in Venice. Unfortunately, the romantic bond between Charles and Julia deepens, which threatens to destroy Sebastian. This feature constitutes the second major version of Brideshead Revisited to reach viewers; an earlier, 11-hour miniseries adaptation ran on television in 1981. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:July 25, 2008


Awarded by
London Film Critics Association Emma Thompson Best Supporting British Actress 2008 Nominee


Hayley Atwell
as Julia Flyte
Ben Whishaw
as Sebastian Flyte
Matthew Goode
as Charles Ryder
Emma Thompson
as Lady Marchmain
Michael Gambon
as Lord Marchmain
Greta Scacchi
as Carla
Jonathan Cake
as Rex Mottram
Patrick Malahide
as Mr. Edward Ryder
Thomas Morrison
as Hooper
David Barrass
as ship's barber
Anna Madeley
as Celia Ryder
Sarah Crowden
as Lady guest
Peter Barnes
as American professor
Richard Teverson
as Cousin Jasper


Julian Jarrold
Kevin Loader
Douglas Rae
Robert Bernstein
Jeremy Brock
Andrew Davies
Jess Hall
Adrian Johnston
Composer (Music Score)
Chris Gill
Alice Normington
Production Designer
Ben Munro
Art Director
Thomas Brown
Art Director
Susanna Codognato
Art Director
James Saynor
Tim Haslan
Executive Producer
David M. Thompson
Executive Producer
Hugo Heppell
Executive Producer
Caroline Smith
Set Decorator
Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh
Costume Designer
Tom Sayers
Sound/Sound Designer
Hamid Zoughi
Production Manager
Priscilla John
Laura Cappato
Production Manager
Enrico Ballarin
Production Supervisor
Rosa Romero
Line Producer
Zak Alaoui
Production Supervisor