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"BRIDESHEAD REVISITED"
(2008) (Matthew Goode, Ben Whishaw) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Minor Heavy None Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Extreme Heavy Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A pre-WWII era college student becomes involved with an aristocratic family ruled by an ultra-religious matriarch.
PLOT:
It's the 1920s and Charles Ryder (MATTHEW GOODE), who lives with his widowed father, Edward (PATRICK MALAHIDE), in a humble home in a working class area of London, is headed off to Oxford University. There, he meets and is quickly befriended by Sebastian (BEN WHISHAW), the youngest son of Lord (MICHAEL GAMBON) and Lady Marchmain (EMMA THOMPSON). Now divorced, Lord Marchmain lives in Venice with his lover, Cara (GRETA SCACCHI), while Lady Marchmain rules the roost at Brideshead, the family's ancestral home.

Having fallen in love with Charles, Sebastian wants to keep him all to himself, but can't prevent him from meeting his mother, older brother Bridley (ED STOPPARD), his younger sister Cordelia (FELICITY JONES) and her older sibling, Julia (HAYLEY ATWELL), who quickly draws both Charles' eye and heart. But Lady Marchmain will have no part of that, mostly due to her strong religious beliefs that mean Julia can only marry another Catholic, and not an atheist like Charles.

However, she keeps the young man around mainly to watch over Sebastian whose lifestyle, including his heavy drinking, is highly troubling to her. That, however, leads to a trip to Venice to visit Lord Marchmain and Cara, which allows for Charles and Julia's feelings to come to a head. When Sebastian catches them, that forever changes the dynamics of Charles' relationships with the various family members.

With time passing, Julia finds herself with opportunistic businessman Rex Mottram (JONATHAN CAKE) while Charles ends up with Celia (ANNA MADELEY). Yet, the fact that they can't hide their feelings leads to developments the young man and the Marchmain clan never could have imagined.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of the original novel or mini-series, someone in the cast and/or period costume dramas, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MATTHEW GOODE plays a student who feels like an outcast at Oxford, but quickly falls in with and seemingly for Sebastian. An admitted atheist, he then finds himself falling for Julia and eventually cheats on his wife with her. He also drinks, smokes, and tries to make sense of the Marchmain family.
  • BEN WHISHAW plays the wealthy student who befriends and then partly falls in love with him, but must contend with his (Sebastian's) mother and her attitude toward him and his lifestyle. He also smokes and drinks a lot.
  • HAYLEY ATWELL plays his sister who's far more reserved than him, still mostly controlled by their mother. Even so, she's enticed by Charles and later cheats on Rex with him. She drinks some.
  • EMMA THOMPSON plays their mother who puts her Catholicism above all else in her life and family, thus driving a wedge between her and her husband, as well as Julia and especially Sebastian whose lifestyle she disdains. Despite her stance and his atheism, she still welcomes Charles into their home, but mainly it seems to keep on eye on Sebastian.
  • MICHAEL GAMBON plays Sebastian and Julia's father who left the family due to his distaste over what his wife's strict religious raising of their children did to him. He now lives in Italy with his mistress, but returns home when he's sick.
  • ED STOPPARD plays Sebastian and Julia's older brother.
  • FELICITY JONES plays their younger sister.
  • GRETA SCACCHI plays Lord Marchmain's mistress in Italy.
  • JONATHAN CAKE plays Julia's husband later in the film, an opportunistic businessman who converts to Catholicism so that he can get in line for the family money, and eventually trades his wife for two of Charles' paintings. He drinks and smokes cigars.
  • ANNA MADELEY plays Charles' wife later in the film.
  • PATRICK MALAHIDE plays Charles' somewhat emotionally distant father.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of a handful of expletives, while a handful of colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, while nudity is briefly seen on several occasions (male and female bare butts, bare breasts), and a head and shoulders view shows a couple having sex. Homosexual content is also present in several scenes.

    Characters smoke and/or drink in many scenes, tense family material is present as are varying degrees of bad attitudes, and there's a brief vomiting scene.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are occasional moments of camera movement (some of which are very shaky).


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People drink at a reception onboard a ship, and we see others drinking in another area on the same ship.
  • We see miscellaneous drinking.
  • We see Sebastian and other drunken guys outside Charles' place, with Sebastian poking his head in and then visibly vomiting onto the floor (we later see Charles cleaning that up).
  • Sebastian and Charles have champagne. Moments later, others have drinks with them.
  • Sebastian and Charles have wine.
  • Sebastian asks Julia to ask someone to fetch some champagne. She comments that she hates champagne, but we then see her having some with Charles and Sebastian. Charles calls her on that, saying he thought she said she hated it, and she says she does, but nevertheless drinks it.
  • We see a montage of Charles and Sebastian doing various bits of drinking.
  • We see many bottles by Sebastian and Charles as they do taste testing of wine and more.
  • Sebastian's family has wine with dinner. Bridley states that he tried to get drunk more than once in school, but didn't enjoy it. When Lady Marchmain asks Charles if he has any hobbies, Sebastian chimes in "drinking," but Lady Marchmain replies that's not a hobby.
  • Sebastian drinks.
  • Charles, Sebastian, Julia, Lord Marchmain and Carla have drinks.
  • Sebastian is intoxicated.
  • Sebastian tells Charles, "Let's get plastered."
  • Sebastian is intoxicated and drinks from a bottle repeatedly.
  • Lady Marchmain tells Charles he drinks to get drunk, while Sebastian drinks to escape his conscience.
  • We see Sebastian shirtless in a bathtub with a drink. Referring to the latter, Sebastian states he's fine as long as he has plenty of that.
  • Sebastian tells Charles he's going to leave a hunting party, go to a pub and drink all day, but that his mom has taken away all of his money. Charles tells Sebastian they should get drunk together and Sebastian says no. Later, Charles admits to Lady Marchmain that he gave Sebastian money for drinking.
  • People drink at a party, including Charles.
  • We see a drunken man in Sebastian's room.
  • Charles and Julia have drinks on a ship (dry martini, whiskey and water).
  • Charles has champagne at a reception where others drink. He and Julia then have wine, and are later seen with that again, while Rex pours himself a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Sebastian and other drunken guys outside Charles' place, with Sebastian poking his head in and then visibly vomiting onto the floor (we later see Charles cleaning that up).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • An Oxford student is a snob about certain schools.
  • Charles states that he's an atheist. We later learn that Lord Marchmain can't stand religion, mainly due to the effect that his ex-wife had on their kids. Toward the end of the film, a soldier says he doesn't believe in God (some viewers may see some/all of that as being a bad attitude).
  • Lady Marchmain has a bit of a snobby attitude toward Charles and where he lives in London.
  • Charles purposefully shoulder bumps a guy who Lady Marchmain has sent to follow Sebastian.
  • Charles admits to Lady Marchmain that he gave Sebastian money for drinking (after hearing that she had cut off her son's funds).
  • Charles and Julia cheat on their respective spouses by having sex with each other.
  • Rex is opportunistic and will do most anything just to make money (converting to Catholicism so that he can marry Julia, agreeing to allow Charles to have Julia in exchange for two of his paintings, etc.).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Soldiers carry rifles and we see artillery near them.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Bloody," "I did think it was a bit queer," "I'm not a heathen, I'm a sinner," "I'm the family shadow," "Bastard," "Bugger off," "Rubbish," "What the hell are you doing here?" "Are you mad?" "You sly old thing" and "God no."
  • We briefly see a fire breather at a costume party (flames blowing out from their mouth).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 uses of "bugger," 1 damn, 1 hell, 3 uses of "God" and 1 use of "For God's sake."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Charles hears a student at Oxford dramatically commenting on adultery, fornication and something about "sexless." That prompts Charles' cousin to state that student and others are sodomites.
  • Another student, Anthony, kisses Sebastian on the lips.
  • Charles stares at the cross on Julia's chest (seen in close-up, but no cleavage is seen).
  • Julia shows a little cleavage.
  • Sebastian and Charles play chess in a bathtub (we only see Sebastian's bare chest).
  • Sebastian briefly kisses Charles.
  • We see an overhead and distant view of Charles and Sebastian swimming nude in a large fountain (we see their full rear nudity). We then see a full rear view of them toweling off (which Julia also sees), followed by a view of them in towels.
  • We briefly see a woman's bare breasts in her costume at a costume party, and what looks like part of a man's bare butt in something resembling a thong bottom.
  • Charles and Julia passionately kiss, she stops that, then continues, and then stops again.
  • A classic painting shows a baby's penis and a bare-chested man.
  • A classic statue shows a male bare butt.
  • We see Sebastian shirtless in a bathtub with a drink. When he stands up, we see the side of his bare butt, while Charles sees everything.
  • Sebastian tells Charles, "All you ever wanted was to sleep with my sister."
  • We see a female art model lying down on her side, and see her bare butt.
  • After meeting by chance on a ship, Charles and Julia passionately kiss and start to undress each other (we see her cleavage). We then see her on top (her bare back) and then him on top, with more passionate kissing and heavy breathing. Most of this is viewed in a head and shoulders shot, and we then see him running his hand up her bare back, post-sex.
  • A classic statue shows male full frontal nudity.
  • A classic statue shows bare breasts.
  • SMOKING
  • Charles smokes more than 10 times, Sebastian smokes at least 5 times, Julia, Lord Marchmain and Rex (cigar) each smoke at least once, while various miscellaneous characters smoke in various scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • It's suggested and then later confirmed that Charles' mom is dead, and that she died when he was young.
  • Charles and his father have somewhat of a strained relationship.
  • Lady Marchmain visits Charles, telling him that Sebastian is missing somewhere in Morocco. She then says that all she wanted was her kids to be safe "but all they do is hate me" (other scenes suggest such familial discord). Later, Charles finds Sebastian and informs him of his mother's request to return home, adding that he thinks Lady Marchmain is dying, but that doesn't convince Sebastian.
  • Julia says that her mom died before getting the chance to see Sebastian again.
  • Rex realizes that Charles has come to say he's taking Julia away, and tells him that if he wants his wife, he needs to make him an offer. When Charles doesn't, Rex suggests two of Charles' paintings, and Charles reluctantly agrees (Julia overhears all of that).
  • Rex tells Charles that Julia can't give him (Charles) children, adding she lost the only one they had. Julia later talks to Charles about this, saying she viewed her child's death as God's punishment on her.
  • Just as Charles and Julia are leaving, Lord Marchmain and his entourage arrive, with him looking very ill, and we hear he's come back to Brideshead to die. That's later followed by family strife due to the kids wanting him to receive last rites, while he (and Charles) doesn't want that.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The positive and/or negative impacts of devoutness on families.
  • Charles states that he's an atheist. We later learn that Lord Marchmain can't stand religion, mainly due to the effect that his ex-wife had on their kids.
  • The comparison between photography and paintings (the former being a copy, the latter being an interpretation with feeling).
  • Carla states that Italian Catholicism is different than in England, saying there isn't as much guilt, that one follows the heart and then absolves that with confession.
  • Lady Marchmain tells Charles he drinks to get drunk, while Sebastian drinks to escape his conscience.
  • Lady Marchmain telling Charles that what happens in this life (compared to the hereafter) is irrelevant.
  • We briefly see some men struggling in Morocco.
  • Rex tells Charles that Julia can't give him (Charles) children, adding she lost the only one they had. Julia later talks to Charles about this, saying she viewed her child's death as God's punishment on her.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Charles purposefully shoulder bumps a guy who Lady Marchmain has sent to follow Sebastian.
  • Sebastian pushes Bridley away.



  • Reviewed June 30, 2008 / Posted July 25, 2008

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