Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Brideshead Revisited: A blissful potpourri of popery
Sebastian (left) and Charles model this autumn's lovely knits
I saw the movie Brideshead Revisited yesterday (out in the UK this week) – it’s really quite excellent. You can tell the critics want to bash it mainly because it’s gayer and more overtly Catholic than the ‘80s TV series. Most critics are cocky-cunty types who share the faith of atheism. The Large Hadron Collider is their present church which will be turned into a large nightclub when that novelty wears off. Also, what’s missing is a good explosive scene. If only “troubled” Sebastian Flyte could be induced to run through Brideshead house with an M60 E4 machine gun and rake all those Virgin Mother ‘n’ Baby paintings, then your average 28-year-old cocky-cunty bejeaned, fashionably godless Empire gawper would be most entranced.
Matthew Goode is suitably dull as Charles Ryder with a voice almost as dreary as Jeremy Irons’, who played the part in the TV series. It’s important he’s drony to signal his interest in Julia’s cunt and not in Seb’s cock. A gay Charles would be all animated and rapid-talking, wouldn’t he? Cock-cunters are solid types as we all know. Ben Whishaw has embraced hardcore camp for Sebastian – facially and as a body type he’s the spitting image of my late friend Robert Tewdwr Moss – so that he holds his cigarette like a lower class tart in Coronation Street, hand and lower arm perpendicular to the upper, smoke wafting; elbow cradled in the other hand. In Waugh-land cock-cocking is a spiritual pathology in response to bad parenting and Marrakesh is the best place for it
Even Emma Thompson is lovely as Lady Marchmain – I say “even” because she’s quite the most patronising person I have ever encountered outside the world of the national newspaper gossip diarist. She is of course far too young to be playing the old devout Catholic cow but perhaps they couldn’t get the insurance for a genuinely old actress like Jean Simmons.
The phrase to look out for in all national film reviews is: “This film is a limp lettuce to the crisp cos of the TV series, scripted as it was by the incomparable John Mortimer who used to return home to his first wife, novelist Penelope Mortimer, with semen stains on his trousers, as she reported in her memoirs”; or something like that.