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Wide Sargasso Sea


Haven't done a Classic in a little while and things are a bit slow around here at the moment, so might as well enter the vault and cap something. Today will be a two-for, with two different versions of Wide Sargasso Sea, the 1993 Australian movie and the 2006 British TV movie.

Wide Sargasso Sea is a sultry drama set in Jamaica about the part French, part English Antoinette (Karina Lombard), who is deigned to marry an Englishman, Edward Rochester (Nathaniel Parker) or lose the house she inherited from her parents. Rochester is reluctant to come to Jamaica from England, but even though he is part of a well-off family, he is penniless, so he meets Antoinette and at first, they seem to get along well, even with Rochester struggling in his new environs. But, two things happen that will change all that. An opportunistic native named Daniel Cosway (Ben Thomas) tells Rochester of Antoinette's past, which she has been lying to him about. And Rochester receives a letter from home telling him his brother is dead and the family fortune is his. Rochester becomes restless and more aggressive and resentful towards Antoinette who still loves him, but the longer Rochester stays, the worse their marriage becomes. Based on the novel by Jean Rhys who based the novel on characters from Jane Eyre and is sort of a prequel to that book, Wide Sargasso Sea is not a bad little movie, very sultry and erotic, but when things go bad, they really go bad. Ably directed by John Duigan (The Year My Voice Broke, Flirting, Sirens), who seems to be in his wheelhouse with the tone of the tale, this is a very cynical look at a bad relationship that is forced upon its participants and both leads are quite good with some good support from the actors playing the house help. A far superior version than the British TV movie.

And with an Australian movie, there's barely an Australian actor in the movie. Rachel Ward (technically Australian I s'pose) briefly plays Antoinette's mother, while Naomi Watts briefly turns up as an aristocratic daughter, possibly getting the role because she was in Duigan's previous film, Flirting. Surprised that Thandie Newton doesn't appear playing one of the house help, as she was in a fairly notorious relationship with Duigan in this period. It's funny, I'd never seen Wide Sargasso Sea before this viewing, but I must've seen that trailer at the front of that many VHS movies back in the 90s and I could swear it had nudity in the trailer, but don't remember conclusively. But, that trailer was a staple back in the day.

Karina Lombard film clips (collages below)

Rowena King film clips (collages below)

Wide Sargasso Sea


This is the 2006 British TV movie adaptation of Wide Sargasso Sea that just isn't up to the quality of the 1993 version. One of the main reasons for that is the casting of the very English Rebecca Hall, an excellent actress in her own right, in the role of the clearly exotic Antoinette. So basically throughout the movie there is a constant dialing down of any of Antoinette's exoticness to accommodate this. Her mixed racial past, a key part of the story, is mostly absent and it means any relationship Antoinette has with the house help is also absent. This adaptation feels more likes it's just ticking off the plot points to the very end. While there's sexual tension between the two in some early scenes, that quickly dissipates before the relationship turns sour. Plus this version seems restrained as it barely shows the sex and tones down the ugliness of the downturn in the relationship. I suppose that's the limitations of television, but still it leads to a rather by-the-numbers version of the tale.

Rebecca Hall film clip (collages below)

TV and Film Clips

Salma Hayek in Everly (2014) in 1080hd

Laura Bonnani in Libre et Assoupi (2014) in 720p

Robin Tunney in Supernova (2000) in 1080hd.
I had forgotten what a spectacular figure she had.

Genevieve Picot in Proof (1991) in 1080hd

Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) in 1440x788.
 Nice size, but the quality is not that good.

Pics and Collages

Kelly Brook candids

The latest Chloe Sevigny photoshoot

Spectacular quality in this double areola slip from Rachel McAdams

Latvian model Sabine Jemeljanova.
The thumbnail doesn't show you why you should click. Trust me on this one.