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This is a sad, but wonderful movie. If you enjoy Charles Dickens, you’ll want to see this presentation of Bleak House.
posted Jun 2, 2006 at 6:12PM
(From the 2005 Masterpiece Theatre season.) Once upon a time, a man named John Jarndyce made a will. Actually, he made a few wills, and the case deciding which will gives what amount of money to which heir is still in court. Against the background of this seemingly unending courtroom drama, the lives of those at the heart of the case play out. The current John Jarndyce (descendant of the original) takes the case’s young wards, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone, into his almost-too-kind-to-be-true kind care. Compassionate young Esther Summerson longs to know her true identity. And beautiful, mysterious Lady Dedlock guards her deep, dark secret. Gillian Anderson, best known for her role as skeptical Scully on The X-Files, does a remarkable dramatic turn keeping her emotions in check as Lady Dedlock, with Charles Dance playing her--and everyone else’s--coldhearted nemesis Mr. Tulkinghorn. But the real star of the film is Anna Maxwell Martin, who plays Esther with a charm and intelligence that makes her the true heroine of the story. If you feel inspired to open up the book after (or instead of) watching the mysterious, suspenseful, absorbing film adaptation, Penguin Classics published a movie tie-in edition of Bleak House (which Dickens’ wrote in 1853), complete with a cover image of elegant Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock.
posted Jul 6, 2009 at 11:45AM
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Sent to live with a guardian after the aunt who raised her passed away; discovers she is Lady Dedlock's illegitimate daughter.
Owns his ancestral home in rural Lincolnshire and also a place in London.
Leicester's wife; has an illegitimate daughter from when she was younger.
Legal guardian of Esther, Ada, and Richard; involved in a long complicated legal suit which involved an inheritance.
John's ward and Richard's wife.
John's ward; insecure; unsure of his future; spends time on John Jarndyce's legal suit; secretly married Ada.