A Letter To Elia
Martin Scorsese narrates and co-directs a documentary on the late filmmaker Elia Kazan
On Film4: 20 Apr 2:50AM
Christopher Eccleston plays the titular ill-fated stonemason in this gritty and downright grim adaptation of Hardy's novel from Michael Winterbottom. Kate Winslet co-stars
Novelist Thomas Hardy never wrote rollicking good comedies, but this adaptation of 'Jude The Obscure' sets a new standard in miserableness.
Ecclestone is perfectly cast as the intense Jude Fawley, a rural lad who wants to better himself through education. Escaping a disastrous marriage, he heads for the university to better himself and escape the working class drudgery of being a stonemason. He is, however, seduced off the straight and narrow when he falls in love with his cousin, Sue Bridehead (Winslet), a woman with views and attitudes too liberal for 19th century society to tolerate. He can't marry her, but the two pretend to the world they're man and wife.
Horror follows on upon horror for the couple, and by the time suicide intrudes on the plot, you may feel jealous that at least some actors have found an early exit from the movie.
It's good quality stuff, but sublimely miserable.
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