I had high hopes for this version given the positive reviews, but there were some major failings at the end of the day.
1. The cast were fine overall. The children were, for their ages, very good in their roles (Mary is initially so sullen that she is odious, Colin was very credibly the little Rajah and Dickon relaxed and friendly). Martha seemed a bit young, but played with aplomb. Maggie Smith is sheer quality (but see 'Bad') and John Lynch was suitably lost as Lord Craven.
2. Nice opening shots of India, well shot on location in Yorkshire.
So far so good. But why 2 stars?
The Bad (some spoilers)
1. As some others mentioned, liberties have been taken with the characterization. Maggie Smith's Mrs. Medlock smacks too much of Mrs Danvers. Ugh. Ben Weatherstaff was too nice and too peripheral.
2. But the WORST thing was the ridiculous kitsch, nauseating moments. For example, heavenly choirs 'aahing' when the sunlight streams through the garden for the first time... Lord Craven awakens covered in sweat after dreaming of his wife who called out "Come to the gaaaarden..come to the gaaaarden...". Pu-lease.
Were it not for these decidedly amateur directional ideas, I would've given this a 4-star, but this became a farce.