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Bleak House (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

It has always been recognized as one of Charles Dickens' literary masterworks, but this Bleak House is now fast-moving, daring, gripping television. Here is the murder mystery, the love story, the comic genius, and the tantalizing scandal of the novel but, stripped of its sentimentality, we find ourselves swept along by a pulsating and edgy drama.

Out of an interminable court case spin three young people each searching for their place in the world. Their story moves fast -- swirling through an incredible array of characters from passionate young lovers to ruthless lawyers, from an ice-cold aristocratic beauty to a shrewd, relentless detective -- until the final thrilling climax.

With a screenplay by Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones's Diary), Bleak House stars Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Charles Dance (Gosford Park).


Studio Warner
SKU 210635524
UPC 883929042562
UPC 14 00883929042562
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 5/5/2009
Rating NR
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
British Academy Awards (2006) Andrea Galer, Winner, Best Costume Design,Anna Maxwell Martin, Winner, Best Actress,Nigel Stafford-Clark, et. al., Winner, Best Drama Serial,Paul Knight, Winner, Best Editing Fiction Entertainment,Simon Elliott, Winner, Best Production Design
Emmy (2006) Charles Dance, Nominee, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie,Daniel Phillips, Winner, Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Non-Prosthetic),Denis Lawson, Nominee, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie,Gillian Anderson, Nominee, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie,Justin Chadwick, Nominee, Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special,Kieran McGuigan, Winner, Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie,Rebecca Eaton, Nigel Stafford-Clark, Nominee, Outstanding Miniseries
ReviewSource DVD Verdict
Review I first heard of Bleak House because my X-Files-fan friends were buzzing about Gillian Anderson appearing in a British series. The idea of Special Agent Dana Scully dressed in Victorian corsets seemed to excite them to no end. Also of note was that the script was written by the same scribe who had penned the "Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy" mini-series version of Pride and Prejudice, Andrew Davies. So I was interested to see what all the hubbub was about...The cast is huge and the plot is sprawling, yet somehow Bleak House achieves the impossible. It sucks you in from the opening scene, and never lets go until the final episode credits roll. Be very careful of this series, and plan to do little else other than obsess about it for as long as you take to watch it. Each episode ends in a maddening cliffhanger, so you might find yourself constantly saying "just one more, damn it."...The best thing about Bleak House is that, for an eight-hour costume drama, it books along with the pace of a well-timed Die Hard film. Despite having the luxury of the mini-series format on its side, it has to advance the plot at a maddening pace to get it all out there on the screen. Don't expect one of these somber leisurely paced Masterpiece Theatre affairs--this one is like Twin Peaks on steroids funneled back a few centuries. Think Dynasty meets A Tale of Two Cities, and you're there in Bleak House...If you're searching for a stylish British mini-series with gorgeous production values, tight acting, and a chance to see Scully in another era, Bleak House is the must-buy DVD of [2005]. It's quite addictive, maddeningly paced, and entertaining. It puts a decidedly modern twist on a classic piece of literature, and proves the best soap operas in the world are centuries old.
Reviewer Brett Cullum
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Variety
Review This might sound strange in today's era of instant gratification, but those who wade through the slow-going first three or four hours of this stately production will be richly rewarded by the engrossing final four. Sumptuously produced -- and graced with a sprawling cast that includes "The X-Files'" Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock, the original desperate housewife -- this is "Masterpiece Theatre's" second stab at Charles Dickens' convoluted classic. It takes a while to become acclimated to the interlocking characters and baroque Dickensian flourishes, but once that kicks in, as the Brits say, it's bloody good...More expansive than the PBS showcase's 1985 version featuring Denholm Elliot and Diana Rigg, this latest adaptation by writer Andrew Davies ("Bridget Jones's Diary") brings a dark flair to Dickens' dense tale of a disputed will and closely guarded secrets, set against the class-riven beautiful estates of the upper crust and squalor of the impoverished...Anderson, who has kept a relatively low profile since "The X-Files," disappears into her role as the tormented Lady Dedlock, who mutters at the outset that she is "bored to death with my life," haunted by a secret that really isn't much of one. Dance, meanwhile, is perfectly hissable as the reptilian barrister, steamrolling over anyone who crosses his path, and Lawson is excellent as the kindly Jarndyce, whose stiff upper lip keeps him from speaking his mind for a good four hours..."Masterpiece Theatre" remains a rare pleasure for PBS, the shiny franchise that plays to an appreciative older crowd and doesn't provoke cries of liberal bias. Should they look closer, though, conservative ideologues doubtless will have a real beef with this Dickens fellow, who seems to have strong opinions about the unfairness of the legal system and mistreatment of the poor.
Reviewer Brian Lowry
ReviewRating 9
Special Edition, Widescreen, English, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Entertainment Weekly Dark, textured, and lively -- this is how Dickens is done. A.
The London Telegraph Brilliantly modern and essentially Dickensian...
The London Times ...this glorious adaptation transforms soap opera into art.
Time Magazine This is law drama such as Boston Legal's David E. Kelley can only dream about.
TV Guide Grandly entertaining...the only bleak aspect to this miniseries is that it doesn't last forever.

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