The latest remake of Brideshead Revisited was on TV last night. I hadn't really planned to watch it, having not heard good reviews of it when it was released in the cinemas, but I gave it a go. It was up against it after the almost legendary TV adaptation made in 1981 with Jeremy Irons as Charles Ryder and Anthony Andrews brilliant as Sebastian Flyte. I loved that version so much that I bought the DVD boxed set. And I have always loved the score - I even had it on a vinyl LP. Having seen that series numerous times and marveled at how they had captured in a TV series such subtlety, I was doubly overwhelmed when I finally got around to reading Evelyn Waugh's beautiful book.
So, as I say, coming to the 2008 film version, they were up against it. I didn't mind the first half of it but as the plot progressed, the interpretation that the film's directors had decided upon - focussing heavily upon Charles' relationship with Sebastian to an extent and then to a large degree his relationship with Julia - was laid on so thickly and plainly that any of the subtlety and beauty of Waugh's story and the 1981 production was lost. But, having said that, my husband, who hasn't seen the Irons/Andrews version or read the book, quite enjoyed it. So perhaps I came to it too biased. What do you think about film and TV adaptations? Have you seen any of your favourite books done really well or...not so much?