My review of this film has caused me to question my opinion of it. I read the Times review and was surprised to hear that it was much truer to Waugh's story than the romantic 12 part series many of us watched in 1981. Considering the story was written in 1945 and homosexual themes in novels were very taboo and usually veiled in innuendo, the love story between Sebastian and Charles was more an intro to the affair Charles would have with Sebastian's sister Julia. That means what we all saw and loved was a story that would have distressed Waugh. What is now the film was approved by the Waugh estate.
I don't know about you, but I have to say that poetic license was probably still preferable to the actual novel. I stand by my words in all other areas. It does look very much like a NO budget film. Chatsworth House is still beautiful, but is stripped of all decoration and beauty. Nice Nanny's room, cramped chapel and lovely fountain. The costumes are sad and the acting is tepid.
I received a comment from someone asking why bother to see the film considering what I said , so I felt compelled to address my review with a correction. The last thing I would want is to unfairly criticize something due to misinformation. You might like it. I didn't read the novel and will, now. Like Atonement, which I did read and loved, I couldn't enjoy the film, so the pendulum swings both ways.
The fact is that sometimes memory and its inventive quality is better than the truth. Fiction is preferable to fact more than we care to admit. I don't want to spoil the fun for others, I just called it as I saw it.