~No. 14 - The Inheritance~
What would be your reaction if a new, complete Jane Austen novel - written when she was in her teens - were discovered? Well, that's what happened in 1988 - only the author in question was Louisa May Alcott, not Jane Austen. The book - The Inheritance, written when Alcott was just seventeen - was first published and hence made available to the public for the first time in 1997. In the same year, a TV movie adaptation was aired. The movie makes some pretty major changes (some might say improvements) from the book, but essentially it's still the same story and characters.
You know, I always find the plot synopsis part of a review rather boring (and often confusing) to read. Besides, it spoils the story. So in this series of reviews, I'll try to avoid writing about the plot, and just focus on the movie itself, and my thoughts on it.
Technically, this isn't that great a movie. Period drama is something that the British do remarkably well - sadly, not so the Americans or us Aussies. The script isn't that great; some of the acting is good, while some of it is honestly pretty bad! The costumes and sets are nice, but not stunning.
And yet, it works. As I said, some of the acting (particularly from the actors playing the two "baddies") is sub-par, but the chemistry between the two leads is good, and Tom Conti's and Meredith Baxter's performances were genuinely good. The story may be predictable, but it's sweet, and besides, it's refreshing to find a family-friendly love story that isn't Austen or Gaskell. . .
It's several degrees less brilliant than most BBC miniseries, but several degrees less cheesy than your average Hallmark movie. In other words, whatever its shortcomings may be, I would still heartily recommend The Inheritance to anyone looking for a clean, enjoyable romance. It's also a movie for all ages - my grandparents loved it, as did my younger brothers and sisters!