I checked this out of the library for two reasons: first, I knew I'd want to see this book come alive and see not only the actors' takes on their characters but what was considered the important parts of the story to keep in; second, this film was mentioned as one to see by Themis-Athena on the discussion board. Also, I'd been driving my husband nuts by talking about all these characters that he had no idea about.
And...I agree with Themis-Athena. It's worth it to watch this for Michael Redgrave's portrayal of Sir Walter Elliot alone!
Not to say it was a bad film; far from it. The actors were quite good and none were unbelievable as their character, quite the reverse. Few casts have ever set so well with me. The settings were well chosen and there was clearly a great deal done to ensure the places were not visited by anachronisms.
As for the story...I felt the choices they made were understandable, until the end. The back stories were related in a few, well placed scenes and the flow was better paced for the movie. Most of the truly great scenes were included and I came away with a better understanding of how all the parts worked together.
Yet, there were some issues. One is that it really was not understandable without knowledge of the book. Indeed, there were times the only way I could understand wha was going on was placing the scene within the right part of the text. But worse, to me, were the changes made towards the end. The big one was(show spoiler)
I did however love the very end and seeing the two of them together and happy. I guess the married couple won the argument after all!
Note: We spent as much time on the old "We know this actor from" game as we did watching the movie. Petunia Dursley, Prince Caspian, and Nyberg from Wallander were all wonderful surprises!