For those of us who need a little refreshing as to the plot of story and the magnitude of the times it represents, watching the latest version of "Brideshead Revisited" does it but just barely. The distant bucolic English countryside, the 'gay' haunts of higher learning at Oxford, and the natty dress and affected mannerism of the 1920s all serve to remind the viewer of a time when traditional values were gradually receding before a new generation of bohemians. This is an England where a new generation of post-WW I youth - those who never saw the horrors of the trenches - are breaking out and doing their own thing, much to nobody's surprise. Oxford and Cambridge are no longer the traditional places exclusively reserved for erudites. There is now a whole new set of young bloods called sodomites living it up and enjoying the sybaritic life. Against this backdrop, the filmmaker presents a study in the life of an aristocratic Catholic family named the Marchmains(aka the Flytes) who are desperately clinging to a sense of snobbery, piety and sensibility in midst of enormous social upheavel. As the story unfolds, the viewer sees how this family is gradually falling apart to the whims and fancies of a rapidly changing society that is turning its back on religion, manners and loyalty. The younger son, Sebastian, is a dissolute fop, who wastes his time and money in riotous living at Oxford, while the older brother, Bridley, is a servile ne're do-well who stands to inherit the family title, and the sister, Julia, is a frustrated wallflower living in the presence of a domineering mother. Their father, a dipsomaniac, has long flown the coop for a new life of bliss in Venice. Such is the reality behind the facade of morality that so often can be mistaken for decency. Following the Waugh's novel to a tee, this screen production brings the sordid and the tyrannical aspects of the Marchmains into focus through the eyes of an outsider, Charles Ryder, who as an undergraduate at Oxford, has somehow fallen in with young Sebastian and his loose living. From there, it takes only one fatal visit to the family estate at Brideshead and the real story is underway and won't stop until the family name is truly eradicated, but it will take time. This is a romantic tragedy that portrays a family that will go easily into that night of historical irrelevance. Its members and the outsider Charles will cling to memories of fonder times until WW II comes on the scene. While the parts in this version are not small by any stretch of the imagination, the actors and actresses, with the exception of Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon, aren't household names. This is a big change from the Granada production back in the 1980s, when the likes of Sir Laurence Olivier and Anthony Andrews played dynamic roles as key family members. Overall, a decent attempt at capturing the essence of what might have been if happiness had prevailed and people had decided to conform to the time honored standards of honor and tradition.