Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
United Kingdom, 1988. Handful of Dust, Stagescreen Productions, London Weekend Television. Screenplay by Derek Granger, Charles Sturridge, Tim Sullivan, based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh. Cinematography by Peter Hannan. Produced by Derek Granger. Music by George Fenton. Production Design by Eileen Diss, Chris Townsend. Costume Design by Jane Robinson. Film Editing by Peter Coulson.
The crumbling away of the aristocracy in 1930s England is the subject of this engrossing drama. Kristin Scott Thomas and James Wilby are excellent as a titled couple whose relationship is strained after her fling with a London boy (Rupert Graves) turns into a full-fledged affair. Add to that a death in the family and the two of them split completely from each other, she taking up residence in London with her lover and he journeying to the rugged jungles of Brazil and befriending a hermit (Alec Guinness).
Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel has been given all the elegance it deserves, brought to life by a fantastic cast which also includes Judi Dench and Anjelica Huston, and envisioned beautifully by the rich production and costume designs. The last act isn’t as juicy as it should be, and the film ends as a bit of a letdown, but it’s still a reputable production that showcases its talents well.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Costume Design