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Daniel Deronda

Hugh Dancy , Romola Garai    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 18.74 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Daniel Deronda + Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now (2001) + Our Mutual Friend
Price For All Three: CDN$ 68.46


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George Eliot's accomplished but underrated last novel is effectively, often stirringly, adapted for this 2002 BBC production, which was scripted by old pro Andrew Davies (Middlemarch) and directed with wit and subtlety by Tom Hooper (Cold Feet). Set in the 1870s, Eliot's story concerns two strong-willed young people whose self-determination is under attack by legal constraints on their rights to an inheritance. The noble Daniel (Hugh Dancy) is of dubious birth; the fiery Gwendolen (Romola Garai) can't possess her late father's estate because she's a woman. They are sympathetic to one another, but not lovers: Gwendolen is obliged to marry into wealth and becomes an unhappy bride of the scoundrel Grandcourt (Hugh Bonneville), while Daniel must sort out his feelings about the much-maligned "Jewess," the beautiful Mirah. Despite Garai's somewhat questionable casting, this lengthy drama--evenly divided between the two leads--never lags in insight or passion. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He seems not like other young men Feb. 22 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
One of George Eliot's most brilliant novels was "Daniel Deronda," a heartfelt story about a young man searching for his past, and in it, his future. The BBC did a brilliant job dramatising this, with an excellent cast and an exquisitely beautiful backdrop -- and all the feeling, message and passion of the original book.

Daniel Deronda (Hugh Dancy) is the ward (and rumored illegitimate son) of a nobleman, but he feels somehow aimless and unfulfilled -- he wants to devote himself to something, but doesn't know what. During a tour of Germany, he encounters pretty, reckless, arrogant Gwendolyn (Romola Garai) at a casino.

Gwendolyn (who boasts that she gets everything she wants) is interested in Daniel, but when her family loses all their money, she marries a rich suitor, a relative of Daniel's -- knowing that his mistress and illegitimate children will be disinherited. But she soon finds that her new husband is a sadistic brute, and sees Daniel as her only help.

Meanwhile, Daniel rescues the despairing Mirah Lapidoth (Jodhi May) from a suicide attempt, and he helps the young Jewish singer find a home and friends. As he helps her find her family, he becomes passionately attached to the Jewish population and their plight. Then he receives an important message -- one that will illuminate his roots, and give him a course of the future.

When Eliot published her final novel, it caused a massive stir -- not many novelists tackled the plight of the Jewish population, or how it compared to the gilded upper classes. In a way, "Daniel Deronda" is both a love triangle and an allegory -- Daniel must choose between the pretty, shallow English life (Gwendolyn) or a rich Jewish heritage (Mirah) with a background of tragedy.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great mini-series based on a great book! Dec 22 2003
By Kate C.
Format:DVD
i am not a huge fan or British Literature, for that matter i have a particular dislike for VICTORIAN British Lit. i had to read DANIEL DERONDA for a class many moons ago and loved, loved, loved the book (which i highly recommend to anyone-- it's 800 pages, a bit of a commitment, but well worth it).
the movie version of George Eliot's last novel is one of the fairest productions which is based on a book i have ever seen; the characters are presented as brilliantly here as they are in the book (with the small exception of Jodhi May as Mirah-- she was far too old to play her!). The sections of the novel which seem long-winded are presented fluently and gracefully, and the iterations which are wonderful to read are an even bigger joy to watch. Hugh Dancy as the title character does not overplay Deronda's inward contemplation nor does he downplay the spurts of emotion. Romala Garai as the beautiful Gwendolen Harleth-Grandcourt portrays her complex and difficult with ease and candor; a true triumph!
I would definately recommend this movie to anyone whose got a rainy afternoon to spare and fans of BBC productions to boot! You will not be disappointed!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! April 11 2004
Format:DVD
Daniel Deronda is a visual masterpiece. Based on the novel by British author, George Eliot. It tells the story of a young man searching for his true birth lineage and a young woman searching for a way out of poverty. It is a very poignant adaptation of the book. I would highly recommend watching the movie.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful film July 14 2004
Format:DVD
Extraordinary acting and captivating story! The character Daniel Deronda possesses that blend of sensitivity and ability to see right into others' souls that is so rare. Hopefully I'm not stepping over the boundary in saying that every girl dreams of a DD coming into her life. I know I do!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Story, Rich Drama, Great Acting! July 18 2003
By Z. Yang
Format:DVD
The story is about searching, searching for true identity, searching for love, and searching for destiny.
Charming and sensitive young man Daniel Deronda, who was the adopted son of an aristocratic Englishman, was at the threshold of a new life period when he met the beautiful but self-centered Gwendolen Harleth, and saved the life of a tender and angel-voiced Jewish girl, Mirah. In helping Mirah to find her families, Daniel walked into the Jewish society, astounded and, almost immediately, attached. The story moves in and out of the drama around young beauty Gwendolen gambling her life and Daniel searching for his true life. When the conventional Victorian life and the Jewish living at the margins of the society are combined and contrasted, with exquisite craft, it adds great intensity and range to the drama. The great camera work has captured the grandeurs and subtleties with equal sensitivity. The music, in which the gloriousness of the opera singing echoes the sereneness of the Jewish chanting, is enchantingly beautiful.
Hugh Dancy has lived, rather than just acted, Daniel Deronda. He is a fine actor with a deep understanding of the character. He has such vivid expressions in his eyes that you can see Daniel's complexity and perplexity simply through his eyes. Gwendolen would be less truthful if not for the certain level of vulnerability and sincerity in Romala Garai's portrayal, which also has somewhat smoothes out character's vulgarity. Mirah, although not a very big role, has an essential importance to the entire story. Jodhi May's heartfelt and natural acting is exactly what we would expect from this loving character.
This BBC miniseries is brilliant in every aspect. It's an exceptional work with a finely balanced artifice and raw drama.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic movie!
Published 6 months ago by Jeanine Reeves
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I have just given this D.V.D. to a friend from ISRAEL who has recently come to Canada.
This is a spiritual story and deeply moving.
Published 19 months ago by lloyd13bb
5.0 out of 5 stars Daniel Deronda
The story kept one's full attention. The actors were awesome. The scenery was fantastik. I always enjoy a story that has a surprise and this one sure did. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Louise Bowolin
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised
I wasn't sure what to expect with this story. I hadn't seen it on TV prior to purchasing the DVD but I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2010 by caseygirl
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow pace, rather unacceptable ending.
I don't see that much attraction between Daniel and Mirah, so Daniel's sudden "enlightenment" as a Jew made him realize he loved Mirah who is a Jewess in the movie is... Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2004 by Falling Maple
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't watch this movie unless you want to suffer!!!!!!!!!!!!
I eagerly purchased this movie when I found out that the screenwriter was the same as wrote A&Eï¿s Pride and Prejudice (indisputably the best movie ever! Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2003 by CarCar
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY!!!
The actors portray the characters of George Eliot's Daniel Deronda SO well that one is almost immediately drawn into the story... Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Marvelous................
I had the wonderful opportunity to first view this film on Masterpiece Theater on PBS. Based on one of George Eliot's lesser-known novels, this film serves as a fascinating... Read more
Published on July 13 2003 by irmita
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