a handful of dust movie
Last week I posted about this month’s Wall Street Journal Book Club choice, Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust. My public library had a copy of the 1988 film version so I watched that. The cast is impressive: James Wilby as Tony Last, Kristin Scott Thomas as Brenda Last, Rupert Graves as John Beaver, Anjelica Huston as Mrs. Rattery, Judi Dench as Mrs. Beaver, and Alec Guinness as Mr. Todd. But Waugh’s story of Bad Decisions and the tragic consequences still casts a pall over this work. As Roger Ebert said, “A Handful of Dust” has more cruelty in it than a dozen violent Hollywood thrillers, and it is all expressed so quietly, almost politely. GRADE: B

10 thoughts on “A HANDFUL OF DUST [DVD]

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I’ve detected an undercurrent of cruelty and despair in all of Waugh’s work. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s not. But it’s always there.

      1. Todd Mason

        The wit helps, in both making the point and taking it. THE LOVED ONE was my first Waugh…and first film of his work, a coupla/few years later.

  1. Beth Fedyn

    The cast IS impressive.

    I didn’t know (or maybe I did and forgot) this was a film. I’ll watch for it.


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