Daniel Deronda
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  • However, Daniel has too noble of a heart to start an affair with another man's wife, although he does pity Gwendolen and tries to support and comfort her

    • by Frederick
      all reviews
      Daniel Deronda (BBC, 2002), based on a novel by George Eliot, is a treat for period drama fans, especially those with the idealistic side who love a Noble Hero. Daniel (Hugh Dancy) is a handsome young gentleman raised and educated by Sir Hugo Mallinger, a wealthy aristocrat. The society thinks that Daniel is his illegitimate son.

      Daniel suspects the same, but Sir Hugo never speaks of the matter. One day Daniel meets Gwendolen (Romola Garai), a spoiled rich beauty who flirts with everyone and cares for no one.

      Gwendolen has recently found out


      that Mr. Grandcourt, a gentleman courting her, has a mistress and three illegitimate children.

      Having no feelings for Grandcourt to begin with, Gwendolen decides not to marry him. When she meets Daniel, Gwendolen, perhaps for the first time in her life, feels that she genuinely likes someone.

      Daniel is attracted to her as well. But Gwendolen soon learns that her family has lost everything.

      She now has to find a way to support herself - or to marry the wealthy Grandcourt, whose offer of marriage still stands. Unable to bear the thought of ...


      • becoming a governess, Gwendolen accepts Grandcourt’s proposal.

        Very soon, she pays dearly for her mistake. Grandcourt has no feelings for Gwendolen, either; his whole purpose in marrying her is breaking her pride, which he begins shortly after the wedding.

        His attitude changes from generous to controlling, even abusive. Now Gwendolen wants to see Daniel more than ever, and they do meet socially.

        However, Daniel has too noble of a heart to start an affair with another man’s wife, although he does pity Gwendolen and tries to support and comfort her. Daniel and Gwendolen

        are in many ways the opposite of each other: he is a sincere, caring man, and she is selfishness incarnate.

        Both actors are perfect for their part, and both parts are played to precision. Hugh Bonneville is also convincing as the heartless Grandcourt.

        The scene of him teasing one of his dogs with a treat and then giving it to another tells everything about his character. All in all, this is an excellent production; script, costumes, scenery, music � everything is top notch, including a surprise ending (for those who have not read the book, of course).




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