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Daphne [DVD]


Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Elizabeth McGovern
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jun. 2008
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010TG1TO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,432 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

In celebration of the centenary of Daphne du Maurier's birth, a new fact-based drama explores the secret love life of this renowned writer.

Based on personal letters and biographies, the film charts the story of Daphne's unrequited passion for the beautiful and glamorous American heiress, Ellen Doubleday, and how the play she wrote about this forbidden desire led her to a life-changing love affair with the irreverent, fun-loving actress Gertrude Lawrence.

Daphne called herself 'a boy in a box' and this revealing drama shows how Daphne's incendiary love life informed the writing of her compelling stories.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By unlikely_heroine VINE VOICE on 27 Oct. 2008
Format: DVD
This quality drama, with three fine performances from the trio of leading actresses, is immensely enjoyable, moving and worthwhile. It is the type of production that the BBC should make more often. Focusing mostly on details of Daphne du Maurier's love life as derived from her personal letters, a major source for Margaret Forster's biography of the author, "Daphne" sees the title character, the enduringly popular author, played by Geraldine Somerville. Many reviewers note that Somerville is familiar to audiences for her small role as Lily Potter in the "Harry Potter" franchise but to me, she will always be "Panhandle" Penhaligon from "Cracker" (this no doubt means I am showing my age!). I liked Somerville's performance, one of quiet restraint that successfully highlights du Maurier's repression of her romantic feelings; but in the more intimate scenes I thought perhaps the mask needed to slip a little more in order to convince us that du Maurier truly was troubled by her feelings for other women. Somerville is most convincing in the scenes showing du Maurier's apparently ultimately disappointing romance with her husband.

The highly talented but still comparatively little-known American actress Elizabeth McGovern plays Ellen Doubleday, the woman who reignites du Maurier's seemingly long-dormant "Venetian" passions, "Venetian" being du Maurier's code for "lesbian." This is a good turn from McGovern, who is as faultless as ever in the role that she is asked to play, but Ellen Doubleday, as written, comes across somewhat more inconsequential and lightweight than the viewer can believe the complex character of du Maurier we are shown would truly fall for.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By RD VINE VOICE on 19 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
This is an eye opening story into the private life of Ms Du Maurier. I'm not sure it's much of a biography though as we only see a small chunk of her life that deals with her sexuality and how her attraction to women came to plague her and affect her family life.

The movie begins with her trip to America to contest allegations of plagarism in the hit novel 'Rebecca'. There she meets Ellen Doubleday for whom she develops a strong attraction and infact potentially falls in love with. Unfortunately, it is a love that is not reciprocated and cannot be. This leads to lots of personal struggles and she tries to deal with the 'loss'/ rejection. This leads to her meeting Gertrude Lawrence, a famous actress, with whom she starts a relationship that is not without its own problems.

I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would. I don't think it's the best way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the great author as it isn't really a biography. We have no idea where she started and where things went. A bit of a let down in that respect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Allo Vera on 21 Sept. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I somehow missed this on TV but enjoyed Margaret Forster's autobiography and wondered how good this adaptation would be. Have to admit I was pleasantly surprised, as it's a necessarily condensed version of a complicated life, based mainly around Daphne du Maurier's amorous relationships with publisher's wife Ellen Doubleday (Elizabeth McGovern) and actress Gertrude Lawrence (the ever-splendid and slightly OTT Janet McTeer). It's a neat illustration of how life mirrors art and how art becomes compelling when it's fired by repressed desire. Geraldine Somerville as Daphne captures her growing sense of alienation from the combined role of mother/wife/celebrity. The film makes clear that she was trapped by her own self-disgust at the thought of being a lesbian, despite a number of passionate encounters with her own sex - and, as readers, we're fortunate that she funneled most of these desires into her strangely eroticised novels. I urge you to read Forster's autobiography, which provides more detail of her early life and her ambiguous relationship with her father.
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD
Here's what this movie says about Daphne du Maurier: she was very messed-up and constantly pursued a straight woman who couldn't love her back.

That's a pretty simplistic depiction of a great artist, especially in a movie that showed only a few years in her lifetime. While "Daphne" addresses du Maurier's bisexuality and the important relationships of her life, it leaves great gaps in its analysis of her personality -- and the spotty casting doesn't do the story justice, especially for the women Daphne loved.

In 1944, Daphne du Maurier (Geraldine Somerville) was accused of plagiarism. She traveled to America to testify in court, staying at the house of her publisher Nelson Doubleday and his wife Ellen (Elizabeth McGovern). Daphne swiftly falls in love with the glamorous Ellen, who gently rebuffs her. Saddened, Daphne goes home to her shellshocked husband Tommy (Andrew Havill) and pours her love for Ellen into a stage play.

At first she's displeased by the casting of the brassy Broadway star Gertrude Lawrence (Janet McTeer) in the role based on Ellen. But after spending some time with her, Daphne begins to fall in love with Gertie as well, and the two embark on a sunny affair in Florida. But when Doubleday falls ill, Daphne rushes back to support Ellen in her time of need, rekindling a love that never went away...

Du Maurier kept her bisexuality a secret during her lifetime, so "Daphne" is forced to sculpt a story about her extramarital relationships based on her letters and the reminiscences of people she knew. It's difficult to unravel the psyche of an artist in a full-blown biography -- imagine how hard it is to try to explore it in just a few years of their whole life, even if they are pivotal ones.
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