118 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CALLING ALL PERIOD PIECE LOVERS...
This is a superb adaptation of George Elliot's novel of the same name. Set in nineteenth century England in the rural town of Middlemarch, it follows the lives of several of its inhabitants, as the threads of their lives intertwine with those of others. Filled with memorable characters with whom the viewer becomes engrossed over the six hours that the series runs, it is a...
Published on 24 Nov 2002 by Lawyeraau
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Middlemarch
My copy arrived in good time and good condition. The picture and sound quality of the dvd was also satisfactory. Having studied this book in school I was interested in comparing it with the film. The film was not disappointing and the characters were very well cast.Once you get into the storyline, you do tend to get hooked. I enjoyed watching this and may be tempted at a...
Published on 12 Nov 2010 by The Duchess
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118 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CALLING ALL PERIOD PIECE LOVERS...,
When an idealistic, ambitious, handsome gentleman, Dr. Tertius Lydgate (Douglas Hodge), moves to MIddlemarch with the expectation of running a charity hospital that will allow him the opportunity for medical research, he is teeming with anticipation at his prospects in this provincial backwater. He is quickly thrust into a situation not of his own making, however, as the town seems to be a family divided over who is to be chaplain of the hospital. Aligning himself with his benefactor, Mr. Bulstrode (Peter Jeffrey), the town's unpopular banker, he sets the path upon which he must travel. Moreover, when he freely states his opinions without regard for the existing medical establishment, he makes enemies without even realizing it, so pure of heart is he. Upon meeting the lusciously lovely and thoroughly spoiled social climber, Rosalind Vincy (Trevyn McDowell), daughter of the town's upstart mayor, he is lost to her charms and loses sight of the prize. He sets upon yet another path that will bring him ignominy.
The lovely and intelligent Dorothea Brooke (Juliet Aubrey) is a scion of one of the wealthy first families of Middlemarch. She, too, is idealistic and wants to leave her mark on the world. Her head filled with socialist ideas, she, being pure of heart, longs to set right wrongs perpetrated upon the poor by the wealthy landowners, a class of which she is a member. Moreover, having been denied the education available to men, she deeply admires learning in others. Unfortunately, she is taken in by the scholarly pretensions of a wealthy, middle aged cleric, the Rev. Casaubon (Patrick Malahide), and chooses to marry him over her other suitor. Thinking that she can assist her husband with his scholarly work, she discovers too late that he may have other ideas on this matter. When she meets his cousin, the romantically handsome Will Ladislaw (Ruffin Sewell), this sets into motion a future event that is to have a lasting impact on Dorothea.
One would think that Dorothea and Tertius would be a perfect love match. Alas, that is not to be, as the heart of each is captured by another. Scandals, romance, intrigues, politcs, and the wind of social change permeate this epic period piece. With numerous memorable characters and subplots that move the story along, the viewer remains enthralled, as the entire six hours melt away. With beautiful, lush cinematography, wonderful costumes, and ensemble ecting that makes this epic period piece flow, this video is a welcome addition to one's collection. Bravo!
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph,
By A Customer
One to keep beside I Claudius, Brideshead Revisited and the Singing Detective.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continues to impress,
This review is from: Middlemarch [DVD]  (DVD)This adaptation isn't perfect, as Andrew Davies' script unravels a bit near the end as all the loose ends are tied up at lightning speed. But Juliet Aubrey is the perfect Dorothea Brooke and Davies' writing in the first two hours introduces the myriad characters in a controlled and effective pace. Middlemarch set a new standard for BBC costume dramas at the time of its broadbast, and its intelligence and spot on casting led the way for the best BBC dramas that followed it: Persuasion, Wives and Daughters and Vanity Fair. The production does look a bit dated now, but the performaces by Aubrey, Patrick Malahide, Douglas Hodge and the rest of the cast continue to impress. Middlemarch will always be a difficult classic to adapt for the screen, but this production mostly succeeds in being both intellectual and accessible.
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent content, but....,
By A Customer
This review is from: Middlemarch [DVD]  (DVD)An excellent daramisation of George Elliot's 1000 page novel, well up to the BBC's usual high standards of production. But, be warned! The DVD version suffers from terrible drop-out, (random white dots on the screen). If you expect to get the usual DVD reproduction quality, you will be disappointed.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer pleasure!,
This review is from: Middlemarch [DVD]  (DVD)I saw this when it was originally broadcast in 1994, and was pleased to see it available on DVD; have just finished watching it over a period of a couple of weeks.
Let's get one thing straight -- no televised drama could convey the sheer scope and humanity of George Eliot's masterpiece. But this must be as close as it gets, and it's wonderful drama. My husband is not a fan of peiod drama at all, hasn't read the book, and he was riveted.
The locations are beautifully done, and the casting is simply perfect -- there is not a single disappointment there. This time around, I was even more impressed by Douglas Hodge as Lydgate -- you really feel his anguish and frustration as he is simultaneously baffled, infuriated, and mesmerised by Rosamond. He and Trevyn McDowell imbue their performances with such drama and tragedy that their relationship becomes almost the key of the whole piece (though I felt Trevyn McDowell went a tad too far, making it difficult to have any sympathy for Rosamond). But doe-eyed Juliet Aubrey as Dorothea is perfect too, and Rufus Sewell makes a wonderfully Byronic Ladislaw!
Highly recommended for long winter evenings.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CAptures the feel of the book wonderfully, but...,
This review is from: Middlemarch [DVD]  (DVD)I really enjoyed this adaptation, was very impressed with the life breathed into Middlemarch as a town and how well the actors captured the characters they played.
I was left wanting more, much more however. The alst episode is rushed and unsatisfying. It feels exactly like time ran out and the thing had to be wrapped up, finished and forgotten. Another three episodes might have allowed the series to finish with a little more satisfaction.
Still well worth watching if you're a fan of the book.
60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could have been better,
By A Customer
'Middlemarch' is almost like a soap opera, as it tells the very different lives of the inhabitants of a provincial town and it ingeniously intertwines these stories. However, the story mainly centres around two characters - Dorothea Brooke and Tertius Lydgate, and how they become disillusioned through their difficult experiences.
Several other compelling characters such as Fred Vincy and Nicholas Bulstrode appear, as do many other fascinating stories, and as the novel progresses and the characters suffer disappointment, pain and disgrace, the different stories entwine and the characters lean on each other for support, leading to a powerful and moving climax. 'Middlemarch' has humour, romance, politics, tragedy and much more - it is simply a work of genius.
This adaptation of Eliot's masterpiece looked as if it would be perfect when in 1994, the BBC, renowned for its quality dramas, combined with Eliot's powerful story, the legendary sreenplay writer Andrew Davies (most famous for his adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice') and a star studded cast. However, although it was very good, it was certainly not perfect, but I get the feeling that it could have been and that is what irritates me.
Without reading the novel, I would thinnk that this six-hour production would be rather confusing and certain events difficult to comprehend. Also, while most of the production, particularly the first half, was astonishingly accurate, one part of the story - which linked it all together and provided the final 'piece in the puzzle' - was omitted from the production. I simply do not understand why, as it would hardly have taken any time to incorporate it into the production, yet they decided against it. I also felt that some characters were slightly miscast. For example, Trevyn McDowell, who played Rosamond, did deliver a good performance, but did not fully represent Rosamond's true character. Rosamond was never hysterical during her arguments with Tertius; she always remained calm and cold, and continuously at a distance, because the two were unable to communicate with one another and just did not understand eachother. She was only hysterical when she was with Dorothea because she had repressed her emotions for so long and part of the tragedy was that she could more easily express them before a virtual stranger than she could before her own husband.
However, on the other hand, there was some magnificent acting. In particular Juliet Aubrey (Dorothea), Douglas Hodge (Tertius) and Patrick Malahide (Edward) were absolutely perfect for their parts and delivered stunning performances. I should also mention the following: Rufus Sewell, Jonathan Firth, Robert Hardy, Peter Jeffrey and Michael Hordern. They wre also excellent and perfectly cast.
This was certainly one of the BBC's greatest achievements and as a drama it is worthy of five stars, but as an adaptation of 'Middlemarch', I just feel that a little bit more effort could have made it perfect.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good adaptation,
This review is from: Middlemarch [DVD]  (DVD)I watched this DVD for non-stop 6 hours. For me, a non-native speaker of English, it was difficult to digest "who's who" in reading the book, so I watched the DVD to get a better digestion of characters.
Although the ending of DVD is a little abrupt, I thought it is overall a good adaptation with each part well performed. I enjoyed the special features of making, too. Shame the screen picture is not too clear.
55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Delight,
This review is from: Middlemarch [DVD]  (DVD)I may be in the minority but Middlemarch was easily my favourite book that I studied at school - most of my friends didn't even finish it!
I finally got around to buying the dvd as I was slightly worried that it would ruin my memories of the excellent book and it's characters.
However, I wasn't even slightly disappointed with this BBC production. It would have been impossible for the series to capture completely the magic of the novel as the fantastic writing of George Elliot could never be copied in full on screen. However, I think this series was as good as it could possibly have been. I was really happy with all of the cast and their superb performances and Rufus Sewell was just dreamy as Will Ladislaw!
Well done to the BBC for a fantastic production. I will be watching it again very soon.
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars addictive!,
This review is from: Middlemarch [DVD]  (DVD)I put this on at about 5 in the afternoon and watched it all the way through to midnight, it was THAT good! I couldn't stop watching it, I was so impatient to see what would happen next to all of the characters, especially Dorothea and Will Ladislaw (phwoar!)! You really care about what happens to them, and that of course is one of the most important things about a film. I was sad when it ended and I had to leave them! The acting was absolutely superb, the plot intriguing, the script excellent (well obviously; it was Andrew Davies who wrote it, the master of period drama adaptations!). I'm a great lover of period dramas and romance, and this certainly didn't disappoint (far from it!). What are you waiting for? Buy it!
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Middlemarch [DVD]  by Anthony Page (DVD - 2001)