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DESPERATE ROMANTICS (2009) (import)

Aidan Turner , Samuel Barnett    DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Aidan Turner, Samuel Barnett, Sam Crane
  • Format: Import, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Dutch
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0045DWJ0M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,835 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment 6 Aug 2009
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
In the last few years the BBC have shown how good they are at making programmes that have been more quirky and 'out of the box'. When you think of Rome or Larkrise to Candleford you know where I am coming from. What the writer of this series, Peter Bowker has done is made something that is highly entertaining, informative, based on fact but with a little licence taken, such as was done with the brilliant Casanova [2005] [DVD].

Rossetti, Hunt and Millais were the main members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood as shown here, but there were others. Combining fact with fiction and adding some humour this series will hopefully make people more aware of the art that has been produced in this country over the years and may even encourage people to look deeper into our history.

Today where we see some absolutely bizarre things that are promoted as art it seems funny to us that back in the nineteenth century these artists could cause such a stir in the art world by these paintings, which to us are not shocking or even obscene. What the Brotherhood set out to do was revitilise the Royal Academy and art in this country and in that process they also became superstars.

With brilliant casting and great writing this series is not only highly interesting but also fantastic entertainment. I would recommend this to anyone and also Franny Moyle (an executive producer of this series) has written a great pop art history book that gives a more factual approach to the Brotherhood which makes a great accompaniment.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun but not (entirely) factual 1 Nov 2009
Format:DVD
I have been hooked on the Preraphaelite Brotherhood since I was a teenager. A print of Hunt's "Light of the World" adorned my bedroom wall for years, and Rossetti's damsels fired my adolescent imagination, in the days when one didn't talk about sex.

Living abroad, I missed the TV showing of "Desperate Romantics", but jumped on the DVD as soon as it came out. My first reaction was: "No! This is not they!" Rossetti all too often often comes across as a shallow cad, which he probably was. However, the final shot takes liberties, even with this libertine. We see him gambolling across the grass with his book of poems under his arm, having exhumed them from wife Lizzy's grave. What we are not told in the film is that he then suffered extreme guilt, which probably contributed ultimately to his substance abuse and mental breakdown. We are left at the end of the series with the feeling that he got away with living fast and loose. As far as the other characters go, Hunt's religious fervour is beautifully portrayed, and Ruskin is just how I imagine him to have been, intellectual, dignified, but lacking in masculinity. Millais comes across as priggish and boring, where he was arguably the most brilliant of the painters in question. But who the heck is Fred? It jars to have an omniscient narrator commenting on these larger-than-life figures, especially as he never existed. The women, without exception, are beautifully chosen, and, to use the Preraphaelite term, stunners.
My opinion: Once past the first episode, I suspended my disbelief, and became, yes, hooked. The whole thing is a romp, raunchy, sexy, modern, fun. The opening titles and the introductory music are superb, and there is definitely enough truth in the storyline to present a fascinating picture of these incredible men (and women). Watch it!
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll - Victorian-style 24 July 2009
Format:DVD
This is an engaging romp about the louche, proto-punk "alpha-fops" who founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The name reflected their rejection of Raphael's "grand manner" as they championed a more realistic style combined with symbolism (mostly Christian and mythological).

Using a fictional narrator (the diffident but awestruck diarist Fred Walters), and a brash, glam-rock score by Daniel Pemberton, Peter Bowker's dramatisation of Franny Moyle's Desperate Romantics: The Private Lives of the Pre-Raphaelites recreates real events. Flame-haired hat-shop girl-turned-model/Muse Lizzie Siddal models for Millais's iconic ''Ophelia'' in a full bath warmed by dozens of candles; Charles Dickens pours scorn on John Millais's ''Christ in the House of His Parents,'' accusing it of blasphemy; the repressed influential critic John Ruskin (Tom Hollander - wonderful) is sexually repelled by his wife Effie, leaving the way open for her to fall in love with the engaging, affable Millais.

The story follows the hungry, ambitious group through the dingy brothels and shops, on their search for Muses and models; in their studios, getting and losing inspiration - and having sex; humbled by old fogeys, while seeking sponsorship at Royal Academy (R.A.) exhibitions. Oozing talent and testosterone, Rossetti (Aidan Turner) emerges as the leader of the pack, although the personalities are all distinctive and beautifully acted.

Beginning in the prime of their lives, this adaptation inexorably points towards the dark outcomes that lay ahead for some of the Brotherhood (notably not Millais - he became President of the R.A.).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here in your living room, right here, right now 23 April 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Like thousands of other people with an unhealthy pre-Raphaelite biography habit (okay, obsession), I could supply a long and tedious list of the "errors" in this series. But factual accuracy (as Dickens knew) can only take us so far. It is made pretty clear that Desperate Romantics isn't in that game; isn't even trying. We are supplied with a clear weekly disclaimer, a witty title that refers to another work of TV fiction, and anyone following up their viewing with even the most cursory research will discover soon enough that one of the main characters is a complete invention.

The past has gone and we can never really know - viscerally - what it was like. And there is a risk that, the more we read, the more our knowledge of other days and other lives is freighted with knowledge at the expense of engagement. But by some alchemy, imaginative TV and film can wreak a marvellous feat of resurrection. When the modern imagination takes up the past - rifling the texts, rampaging in the (usually metaphorical, but in this instance literal) graveyards and taking all manner of liberties - the result is often compelling.Costume drama of the conventional kind just doesn't do it, at least not for me. No, it's that wrenching round of the past to align with the present; the striking and deliberate archaism dropped into otherwise contemporary phrasing; flamboyant 21st century sexuality played out against nineteenth century lighting, set-dressing and costume. Your favourite bit of cultural history is here in your living room - and this time you can see and hear it live. Whether you're ready or not, whether it's realistic or not, it's come through into your 21st century head.

And so this wonderful, post-modern world we live in brings the dead alive, although probably not as they would have wished.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
no real story at all.
Published 2 days ago by david harari
1.0 out of 5 stars Carry On Up the Academy
Awful - art history as farce, like a Carry On film or Horrible History. The acting and design are good, though the actors don't look like the people they represent, who are shown... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Derek Greatrex
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Super set
Published 1 month ago by Roger Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Not historically accurate but good fun.
Have wanted this series on DVD since it was aired on the BBC ages ago. It was billed as being a very adult look at the work of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, whom I knew little... Read more
Published 1 month ago by maatmouse
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
A good DVD and delivered on time. I have no problems with it. It was still a bit expensive but it's a good series.
Published 2 months ago by sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars Great historical feel
Loved all aspects from great costumes to good all round performances not sure how historically correct it was but still very good viewing
Published 3 months ago by Elizabeth Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous painters
I've no idea how true this is to real life.... it must be to a great extent, but the portrayal of these young aspiring men is fun - and they are delicious in their enjoyment of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by movedbymortensen
5.0 out of 5 stars Desperate Romantics
Great if you have a dawning interest in art, or like to enjoy an inoffesive TV series that has an element of truth.
Published 4 months ago by Ms Jane M Kerry
5.0 out of 5 stars Desperate Romantics dvd
I loved the series and this dvd was for a friend's birthday. She hadn't seen Des Rom since it was on television and was over the moon when I gave her this. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Anglo
5.0 out of 5 stars Desperate Romantics
This series is terrific fun from start to finish. Yes, we all know it's not completely historically accurate - there's a disclaimer to that effect before each episode - but there's... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Trish23
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