The question of whether Brideshead Revisted is better now or in the fondly remembered 1981 TV version is the wrong question, as it turns out. Perhaps the film's best recommendation is that, approached fairly, it renders the comparisons moot. And perhaps that, in itself is proof of its success.
If only things were quite so simple.
Brideshead Revisted is an impressive, lavish attempt to retell a familiar story... and yet, ultimately, the questions of its remoteness, and its relentless moralism are what really complicate the assessment of this film's appeal. If the piece makes you think... does it matter that the thoughts are often quite negative?