Based on the best-selling novels by Elizabeth Jane Howard, The Cazalets follows the lives of a large, privileged family transformed by the outbreak of World War II. As storm clouds gather over Europe, the family's three generations retreat to their country estate where the trials and tribulations of life play out against the backdrop of war. Births, deaths, marriages, secrets and intrigue test their stoic British restraint and resilience to the limit, as both the country and the family are fractured by the horrors of the escalating conflict. The highly-acclaimed BBC adaptation is a gripping and poignant portrayal of one family's life during wartime Britain.
Excellent production - but .....
- The Cazalets: The Complete Series review by LR
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You rated this film: 3
As you would expect from BBC period drama, the Cazalets is an excellent production. Acting, casting, direction, décor, period detail, etc are all first class. I have not read the source novels by Elizabeth Jane Howard, but I am assured by those who have that the adaptation is also first class and conveys the spirit of the books throughout. But .. (and this is a major flaw, in my opinion) the drama is often ruined by intrusive, hackneyed background music. Tinkling pianos and lush strings are forever intruding on the drama as if to emphasise the soap opera dimension of the narrative. It is as if someone in the production team though that the audience would need a lot of emotive prodding to get the point in various scenes. What a blunder! The scenes which have no background music play well as straightforward drama and fortunately there are lots of them. It is a pity that someone decided to pour sugary custard over so many other scenes. And that is how a five star drama ends up as three star.