A week or two ago, we sent in an order to Amazon. I bought several DVDs, including The Inheritance. I hadn't watched it before, but I'd heard it recommended, and when I found that it was based on a book by Louisa May Alcott (author of Little Women) I knew that it ought to be good. Amazon had said that our order wouldn't arrive until late August, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when a certain little box was delivered on Monday, all the way from America!
I watched The Inheritance yesterday afternoon. I had to watch it on the laptop, the others wanted to watch something else on the TV. (When I told the boys that it was by the same author as Little Women, they weren't too impressed... they rolled their eyes and groaned, "Oh no...!!") Actually, I think the boys rather like Little Women, though not as much as they do Pride and Prejudice. Yes, my brothers are Janeites at heart, though they'd never admit it!
Now, about the movie: I liked it very much indeed.
It tells the story of a young girl named Edith. Edith is the companion and confidante of the teenage daughter of the Hamiltons, a wealthy family living in New England in the late 19th century. Loved by all, Edith is actually treated more like a daughter than an employee by the Hamilton family. She lives happily with them until a distant cousin of the family comes to stay.
Ida is young, glamorous, and determined to get what she wants out of life. Mrs. Hamilton sets about finding a suitably husband for Ida. There are two bachelors visiting in the neighbourhood; Mr. James Henry and Mr. Frederick Arlington, both rich, handsome, and extremely eligible. But things don't exactly go as planned - rather than falling in love with Ida, they both fall for sweet, shy, little Edith! Of course, Ida is not at all pleased with this turn of events.
It's a lovely little movie, filmed amidst beautiful countryside and big, rambling mansions. The casting for nearly all of the characters was just about perfect.
Edith is such a sweet, lovable heroine, good and kind without ever seeming too perfect. Credit must be given to Cari Shayne, who did a fantastic job playing Edith. Positive values are affirmed throughout the movie, and Edith lives happily ever after with a man who deserves her, while the baddies get their just deserts.
I should mention Tom Conti, who did excellently well playing Mr. Hamilton. He was one of the best things about the film, I thought!
In terms of family-friendliness, it's pretty good. There's some mild language, one or two kisses, no violence to speak of.
I'd highly recommend this movie for any romantic, particularly if you have watched and enjoyed Anne of Green Gables and/or Little Women. You can buy it at Amazon for $6.99, plus you get a free CD, featuring Strauss's Emperor Waltz and a half-dozen other classical favourites. OK, I'll be honest, I haven't listened to the CD yet, but if they're going to throw it in for free. . . free music's great.
The book upon which the movie is based was only very recently discovered and published. From what I've read, the book isn't as polished as the movie, but I would still like to read it sometime. Louisa May Alcott wrote it when she was only 17 years old, and I think it would be interesting to read some of the very early work of this classic author.