Friday, February 26, 2010

This Means Waugh

The Evelyn Waugh Collection (Acorn Media) comprises two films—1988’s A Handful of Dust and 1987’s Scoop—that illuminate novelist Waugh’s multi-faceted artistry. The ironic romantic drama A Handful of Dust features Kristen Scott-Thomas’s tour-de-force screen debut as a young wife whose affair triggers the disintegration of a prominent British family, while the darkly-humored Scoop stars Denholm Elliott and Michael Maloney in a scathing satire about journalistic sensationalism. Scoop’sDust) and Herbert Lom and Donald Pleasance (Scoop). The transfers, though acceptable, are not perfect, and there are no extras. point about media complicity in creating “news” was far ahead of its time (the novel was written in 1938), and the movie adaptation gets Waugh’s tricky dry tone right. Both movies are filled with memorable supporting turns from great British character actors as Judi Dench and Alec Guinness.
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