Friday, April 22, 2011

Why BBC literary adaptations are so delightful: Daniel Deronda edition

1. The screenplays are literate

Screenplay by Andrew Davies

(Usually a very good sign: he wrote the screenplays for Pride & Prejudice (1995) and Bleak House (2005), among many others)

2. The direction is striking

Tom Hooper

(He also directed The King's Speech (2010))

3. The casts are excellent

Amanda Root

Amanda Root (of the exquisite Persuasion (1995)) as Mrs. Davilow

Hugh Bonneville

Hugh Bonneville (of Downton Abbey (2010)) as Grandcourt

Romola Garai

Romola Garai (of Emma (2009)) as Gwendolen

Hugh Dancy

Hugh Dancy (of The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)) as Daniel

Johdi May

Johdi May (of The Mayor of Casterbridge (2003)) as Mirah

4. The interiors are amazing


Interior with chandelier

Interior with chandelier

(Shweta, I hope you're noting the chandeliers!)

5. There's passion...



6. ...and skullduggery


(You may recognize David Bamber, the loathsome Mr. Collins in Pride & Prejudice)

7. Not to mention immense staircases

8. ...immense chignons...

9. ..and last but not least, immense bustles!

What's not to love?


  1. What I don't understand is why I'm not watching this right now?!

    *goes off to find it*

  2. I'm noting, I'm noting! I am also very impressed with the staircases and scrollwork. They say its wrong to covet, but at times, one cant help it... :)

  3. Filmi Girl, Daniel Deronda features impossible loves, children discovering their long-lost parents, cruel husbands, spectacular scenery...think of it as Victorian masala.

    Shweta, I had be restrained from painting all my walls maroon and commissioning a giant staircase (hey, we already own a chandelier!). One can dream...

  4. I just finished watching episode 2, will likely finish it Monday night; I adore Hugh Bonneville's Grandcourt, so wonderfully terrifying!

  5. Yes, Hugh Bonneville's Grandcourt is terrifying--so very different from his class-conscious but fundamentally decent patriarch in Downton Abbey. I'm amazed by the depth of the acting talent that the BBC can draw on.

    Thanks for your comment!