Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Month in the Country (1987 film)

This great novel does not translate well to the screen.  Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh do an admirable job, don’t get me wrong.  But Birkin’s voice doesn’t come through on the screen.  In the novel he is much more humorous and self-deprecating, but there isn’t any real way to get this across on film, because Birkin isn’t the type of man to say the things on his mind.  While Firth does a fine job, his portrayal is a bit bleak.  While Birkin’s view on life is rather pessimistic, there is a certain romanticism, especially when dealing with his faith and the vicar’s wife that gives one hope.  The different ending is unbearable.  It’s as if the director knew that he had botched it and tried to give it a happy ending—which it really doesn’t have.  Not by any means the worst film I’ve ever seen, but it lacks the warmth and humanity of the novel.

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