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Daniel Deronda  [DVD]
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From the Oscar-winning director of THE KING'S SPEECH comes this sumptuous, BAFTA award-winning BBC adaptation of George Eliot's masterpiece, charting an intense love story set in Victorian high society.
The noble Daniel Deronda becomes entranced by frivolous beauty Gwendolen Harleth and though she shares his feelings fate conspires to keep them apart. Gwendolen, facing financial ruin, is forced into an oppressive marriage with the sinister but wealthy aristocrat Henleigh Grandcourt and Daniel finds a new life through his friendship with Jewish singer Mirah Lapidoth. As their lives are once more shaped by fate and self-discovery this classic, mesmerising tale reaches its dramatic conclusion.
Adapted by renowned writer Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Middlemarch, Tipping The Velvet) this highly-acclaimed costume drama boasts a glittering cast including Hugh Dancy, Romola Garai, Hugh Bonneville, Jodhi May, Greta Scacchi, Edward Fox, Celia Imrie and Barbara Hershey.
Daniel Deronda is garnering comparisons with Pride and Prejudice (Guardian)
Outstanding in every respect ... the very model of a BBC costume drama (Daily Telegraph)
Exquisitely directed by Tom Hooper (Mail on Sunday)
The whole thing looked wonderful (Daily Telegraph)
Hugh Bonneville is mesmerising (Independent on Sunday)
The BBC never disappoint with costume dramas and this George Eliot adaptation is no exception (People)
At last, a series which has lived up to the hype. Hugh Dancy is guaranteed to make the ladies swoon as he takes on the lead role in this gripping drama (Sunday Express)
The supporting cast is a jaw-dropping roll-call of British thespianism (Financial Times)
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Top Customer Reviews
If you do read first, you will see the ambitious nature of any attempts to portray Eliot's rich prose on screen. And naturally for the sake of drama, some of the philsophical subtly of Eliot's finely-wrought plot has been lost. Yet the BBC have been able to strike a good balance, with a sweeping adaptation that really gives a taste of the novel's characters and central themes. Gwendolen in particular is appropriately coquettish, even if some of the book's later pathos is perhaps lost. Daniel is represented well, although again the sweeping nature of the production loses some of his substance.
If you watch the DVD first - pick up a copy of the book! All the hidden details the adaptation cannot portray will come alive in rewarding detail. Eliot's novel is deep, dense and magically captivating. Anyone seeking a rare flavour of 19th Century Jewish London will find wonderfully atmospheric empathy from the author. The DVD itself brings alive the key details, but leaves plenty more to be discovered.
A worthy purchase - especially as this title has been unavailable (except to American audiences) for several years. All fans of the novel will find plenty to intrigue them in a sympathetic adaptation. And all those approaching the story for the first time will hopefully find a novel of magnificent richness.
The acting throughout is uniformly excellent, with Romola Garai and Hugh Bonneville giving beautifully nuanced performances, and Hugh Dancy, in the central role, delivering an outstandingly intelligent and sensitive interpretation of Daniel Deronda's character. Edward Fox excels as Deronda's guardian. By comparison, Jodhi May seems a little subdued and predictable - but that's probably the fault of the novel rather than of the production.
One of the reviewers has written somewhat disparagingly about the DVD's quality, but I have to say that my disc was delivered in faultless condition, and fully does justice to the magnificent photography.
In all, a first-class rendition of Daniel Deronda and one that I would recommend without any hesitation whatsoever.
Set in England in the 1870's, the viewer is given a glimpse into the lives of British Jews, a society-within-a-society, though Daniel Deronda. Interestingly enough, most of Miss Eliot's contemporaries were oblivious to the Jews, who lived totally outside their frame of reference. Through her heroine, Gwendolyn Harleth, (Romola Garai), who marries for money and power rather than love, Eliot and the film explore a side of human relations that leads only to despair.
Daniel sees Gwendolyn, for the first time, at a roulette table. He is fascinated by her classical, blonde English beauty, and vivacious, self-assured manner. When Miss Harleth is forced to sell her necklace to pay gambling debts, Deronda, a disapproving observer, buys back the jewelry, anonymously, and returns it to her. This is not the last time the deeply spiritual and altruistic Deronda will feel a need to rescue Gwendolyn.
Daniel was adopted as a young boy by Sir Hugo, (Edward Fox), an English gentleman. He has received affection, a good education, and to some extent, position, from his guardian. However, Deronda has never been told the story of his true parentage, and sorely feels this lack of roots and his own identity. Not content to play the gentleman, he always appears to be searching for a purpose in life, and a spiritual center.
Daniel's and Gwendolyn's lives intersect throughout the novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another poor quality reproduction and disc 2 stopped after 45 minutes. It is such a shame that so many classic productions are now only available, at reasonable prices, as foreign... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Botticelli
Such a great adaption of a neglected George Eliot novel. Highly relevant themes to a modern audience; namely race, religion, culture and identity. Read morePublished 2 months ago by welshclaire
An excellent DVD with exceptional actors I really enoyed viewing this;Published 2 months ago by M. BUENO
This disc cannot be played in the UK as not set up for our region. Have since bought it locally.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer