A Handful of Dust (1988)

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Director: Charles Sturridge
Cast: James Wilby, Kristin Scott Thomas, Rupert Graves, Anjelica Huston, Judi Dench, Alec Guinness


The marriage of an aristocratic couple is destroyed by the wife's dalliance with a fortune-hunter, and the tragic death of a child.

The Review

Evelyn Waugh's novel of petty humanity's crueller face, meticulously presented and proficiently acted by a coming together of two great pillars of heritage cinema: the director of Granada TV's Brideshead Revisited, and a number of Merchant-Ivory performers. The present endeavour unfortunately suffers from cinematic constraints of length, while retaining the televisual manner of following one inconsequential scene with another with little regard for narrative shape; meanwhile the tone of the novel is lost, where the TV Brideshead had Ryder's voiceover.