Based on a novel by Evelyn Waugh, Handful of Dust is set amongst Britain's aristocracy of the 1930s. At sumptuous Hetton Abbey, tradition-bound country squire James Wilby and his wife Kristin Scott Thomas open their doors to well-connected but impoverished Rupert Graves. Graves returns Wilby's hospitality by having an affair with Scott Thomas, ...Read MoreBased on a novel by Evelyn Waugh, Handful of Dust is set amongst Britain's aristocracy of the 1930s. At sumptuous Hetton Abbey, tradition-bound country squire James Wilby and his wife Kristin Scott Thomas open their doors to well-connected but impoverished Rupert Graves. Graves returns Wilby's hospitality by having an affair with Scott Thomas, while Wilby gamboles about his estate without a clue of what is going on. Wilby's cloistered world comes tumbling down when Scott Thomas coolly demands a divorce, shortly after the accidental death of their young son. Wilby discovers that his divorce settlement will cost him Hetton Abbey; he faces this circumstance by not facing it at all, preferring to escape to South America, stiff upper lip intact, in the company of a dotty explorer. Hal Erickson, RoviRead Less
Run time: 118 mins. Some tiny spots but NO scratch. Worldwide playable. Taiwan released. Movie description in Chinese & short English on cover & disc. Original DVD delux cardboard case. Hidden Chinese subtitle. Legal with bar code. Watched once. Bubble wrap guarantee. Ffirst-Class Mail + free tracking in U.S. Airmail for international. Email notification after shipping. A booklet included but in Chinese mostly.
James Wilby, Kristin Scott Thomas, Rupert Graves, Anjelica Huston, Alec Guinness. Very good in very good packaging. Language: English. Run time: 114 mins. Aspect ratio: 1.66: 1. Originally released: 1988.
Fair. 026359212628 This item is pre-owned-acceptable condition-may include notes, markings, underlining, highlighting, bent corners, scuffed edges, creased pages, shelf wear, and DVD may show minor scratches/fingerprints that do not affect playback. Please allow 4-14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Thank you for supporting our small, family-owned business!
This dramatization of Evelyn Waugh's novel is nicely done. The story concerns the marriage of Tony and Brenda Last, members of Britain's upper crust. From all outward appearances and, as far as the oblivious Tony is concerned the marriage is perfect. Brenda is bored and proceeds headlong into a destructive relationship with John Beaver, a man without personality or resources. Tony watches in denial and Brenda watches in self-absorption as their "perfect" world crumbles.
The dialogue in the film is remarkably faithful to the novel. With one notable exception, the actors quietly underplay the scenes, almost all of which involve tense and emotionally-wringing scenarios. This serves to underscore the absurdity of the "stiff upper lip" social mores of the time. The film stars James Wilby as Tony Last. Wilby is a dead ringer for the young Evelyn Waugh -- a nice touch given the story's autobiographical origins. Kristen Scott Thomas stars as Brenda.
About three-fourths of the film is set in London and rural Great Britain during the years between WWI and WWII. The remainder is set in the Amazon jungles. The film's score features native South American musical instruments throughout the scenes set in Great Britain which, again, serves to underscore the film's social themes.
Sir Alec Guinness dominates the jungle scenes as the amoral Mr. Todd. He's the one actor in this film who doesn't underplay his role. In this film, Guinness is unwashed, unshaven, scheming, hateful and maniacal. In short, he becomes "The Man Who Liked Dickens". I felt that his performance here was one of the best I've seen.
I rated this film 4 stars rather than 5 because there are one or two scenes which are so underplayed I would have missed them entirely had I not read the novel beforehand and been on the lookout for them.