English author Evelyn Waugh’s conversion to Catholicism in 1930 was as big a news item in its day as Tom Cruise’s Oprah-couch moment professing love (to a woman) was in ours. It made the newspaper. I don’t need to remind you of TomKat’s fate; but unlike that ill-fated union, Waugh departed this life dedicated to his religion. What’s the connection, beyond Oprah and her book club? For me it’s the subtext of homosexuality and the belief in a higher power that endures in our culture. And in Julian Jarrold’s BRIDESHEAD REVISITED — airing Sunday at 8P — the elephant in Waugh’s novel is handled as tenderly as possible.
I confess that I’m a long term fan of film director/writer Jane Campion. Her work has staying power for me – everything from her short films PEEL and A GIRL’S OWN STORY, and their stylized but penetrating look at relationships, to her later more sophisticated and moving THE PIANO. However her last film IN THE CUT was disappointing. I say this reluctantly because I deeply appreciate how headlong and with what boldness Campion throws herself into every project, so when one of these experiments fail, I don’t take any pleasure in it. I just want to see her move on. And now that it’s been six years since that Meg Ryan debacle, I was a little concerned. Would she make another film and how would she get it financed in today’s climate? Would she have to compromise with a big name star who was just not quite right? Thus it’s with relief and pleasure that I saw BRIGHT STAR at its preview this week.