Friday, February 3, 2012

George Elliot's Daniel Deronda

This week's costume drama spotlight is on the 2002 BBC adaptation of a George Elliot novel.

Written in 1876, Daniel Deronda, was her last completed work.

This classic follows two different story lines based on two very different people: Daniel Deronda, the wealthy ward of Sir Hugo Mallinger and spoiled Gwendolyn Harleth who have a chance meeting at the beginning of the story and then whose lives weave together and diverge throughout the rest of the tale.

Daniel is smart. He is compassionate. But when it comes to the direction he should go with his life, he is unsure.

Gwendolyn is beautiful. Used to getting her way. Not above using manipulation. And determined to save her family from destitution by marrying rich.

Daniel, while attracted to Gwen at first, starts to question whether or not she would be a good match for him. He ends up saving a Jewish girl, Mirah, from drowning in the river one day. She is on the run from her father who was trying to sell her off to some nasty dude.

Mirah can sing and play the piano beautifully. She is in London trying to find her mother and brother. He agrees to help her. He is drawn to her Jewish heritage and meets many fascinating people in the Jewish community.

Daniel begins to wonder if his connection with this new found culture and religion is more than just an affinity and begins to dig into his past and find out who his parents really were.

I liked this movie.

It kept my interest which is always a plus.

The characters were well played and the storyline was fascinating and not completely typical of your usual Victorian storyline especially with the added component of a religious faith and what it was like at that time period for the Jewish folk in London.

I love Hugh Dancy. Romola Gari was great as Gwen. And Jodhi May did a lovely job as Mirah.

Oh and Hugh Bonneville is in this (He is Lord Grantham on Downton Abbey). Although I was a little scared of him in this :)).

You can rent this movie online or buy it through all the usual outlets.

I would give it two thumbs up!

Let me know what you think and if you've seen this one!

The End.


  1. This aired on TV in the UK in December 2002, at the same time as Doctor Zhivago (starring Hans Matheson and Keira Knightley). Daniel Deronda was on the Saturday, and Doctor Zhivago on the Sunday, so I could watch both (which was nice, because usually the channels have ratings wars over costume dramas here and so put them on at the same time as each other, grrr). I absolutely loved Doctor Zhivago but didn't enjoy Daniel Deronda that much. At the time Doctor Zhivago blew me away, and I'm afraid that Daniel Deronda paled in comparison.
    I do remember that it was beautifully filmed and very well acted though. Your post has tempted me to give it a second chance and watch it again. I get the feeling that now I'm older I'll appreciate the story a lot more :)

    1. I never did get to see Doc Zhivago...I admit, Keira Knightly is not my number one fav actor, so I was reluctant to see it. Maybe I'll have to give it a go now that you mention it. Awww, give poor Daniel one more chance! Haha go onnnn see it again :))

  2. I haven't seen it but...hello! Hugh Dancy in period makes it a must-see! ;)

    1. Yes, right??!!! Thanks for stopping by Kayleigh :))

  3. Replies
    1. yay :)) Thanks for stopping by Jennifer! :))))

  4. Love this costume drama. I is definitely darker than most but so mysterious and romantic. =)

    (Or maybe it is just melodramatic!? LOL!)

  5. This looks great! But I have a reluctance to see anything until I read the book, which has a downside because I have to wait a long time! I have a very long book list!


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