Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Review

The other day, while I was canning apples and making apple pies, and peeling pounds and pounds of apples, I grabbed Scott's ipad and set it up in the kitchen, right within range of getting splashed with flour and apple spatters.  Don't tell my husband.  My friend, Stacey, had told me about a great miniseries she watched on Youtube, called The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.  This is a joint CBC/BBC production, starring Toby Stephens, Tara Fitzgerald and Rupert Graves.  It's based on the book by Anne Bronte. 

Well, I spent a great couple of hours pulled into this wonderful movie.  It's a beautiful story about a mysterious widow who comes to Cumbria and takes up residence in the remote, forbidding house called Wildfell Hall, with her young son and faithful retainer.  She keeps to herself, and seems cold and unfriendly to her community, with rather strict beliefs as well.  She is befriended by one of her neighbors, a handsome young farmer.  There is a scandal brewing, as the neighbors starts to speculate about her relationship with the farmer and also with another young gentleman of the neighborhood. I don't want to spoil too much, but the young widow has quite the back story, very tragic, and all is revealed in the end.  I even gasped a few times!  It was very gothic. 

The scenery was breathtaking, the costumes were all you could ask from a period drama, and the young farmer was suitably handsome, noble and constant in his affections.  The young widow was very dramatic and tragic as well.  I really got pulled into the story, and was sorry when it ended.

Here's my confession:  I'm not usually a Bronte fan.  I find their stories, in general, very gothic and sometimes violent, both in emotion and actions.  Heathcliffe, Mr. Rochester - no thanks!  Not my kind of hero.  Despite my basic distrust of total drama island, I have to say I really loved this story by Anne Bronte.  If you are in the mood for brooding period drama, give this film a whirl!

1 comment:

  1. Oooo! I have to see this!
    And I'm the same, I usually don't like the Bronte stuff - too much drama! Digging up bodies in a frenzy of passion. Yuck!
    On YouTube, you say???!