Wednesday, September 12, 2007
In 1987 BBC produced a miniseries from Olivia Manning's autobiographical novels Fortunes Of War. The story follows the lives of Guy and Harriet Pringle (Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson): a university professor and his wife. It begins in 1939 Rumania and moves to Greece, Egypt, and Syria as the Pringles try to stay ahead of the Germans during World War II. Interesting characters move in and out of their lives such as Simon Boulderstone, a young army officer played by Rupert Graves; Castlebar, a renown British poet hiding from his wife; and Prince Yakimov, a British expatriate who will do anything for a drink. The diplomats, spies, professors, and soldiers come to terms with their various issues in a surprisingly contemporary tale. The comment made on Islam is especially fresh. The acting performances of all the major characters are first rate and makes the excellent writing come to life. Stunning locations and photography make this film a classic to enjoy again and again.