Wide Sargasso Sea (1993) - IMDb
5.7/10
1,918
27 user 11 critic

Wide Sargasso Sea (1993)

NC-17 | | Drama, Romance, Thriller | 16 April 1993 (USA)
Trailer
1:58 | Trailer
A young female landowner in 1840s Jamaica marries a just-arrived Englishman to avoid losing her property. All seems to be perfect, love arises, and happiness is on the way, but she is ... See full summary »

Director:

John Duigan
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karina Lombard ... Antoinette Cosway
Nathaniel Parker ... Edward Rochester
Rachel Ward ... Annette Cosway
Michael York ... Paul Mason
Martine Beswick ... Aunt Cora (as Martine Beswicke)
Claudia Robinson Claudia Robinson ... Christophene
Huw Williams Huw Williams ... Richard Mason
Casey Berna Casey Berna ... Young Antoinette
Rowena King ... Amelie
Ben Thomas Ben Thomas ... Daniel Cosway
Paul Campbell ... Young Bull
Audbrey Pilatus Audbrey Pilatus ... Drummer
Ancile Gloudon ... Nelson
Dominic Needham Dominic Needham ... Pierre
Kevin Thomas Kevin Thomas ... Benbow
Edit

Storyline

A young female landowner in 1840s Jamaica marries a just-arrived Englishman to avoid losing her property. All seems to be perfect, love arises, and happiness is on the way, but she is hiding an old secret regarding her childhood and her mother. Slowly, this secret begins to erode this perfect relationship and, perhaps, her mother's story will begin again...with her. Written by Luis Carvacho <lcarvach@lascar.puc.cl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for strong, explicit sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

First filmed production of writer Jean Rhys' novel of the same name. A remake and later other version, Wide Sargasso Sea (2006), was made and broadcast for television around thirteen years after this cinema movie. See more »

Quotes

Edward Rochester: England seems far away.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Edited, R-rated version available on video. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Seinfeld: The Bottle Deposit (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Minuet
from "Quartet, Opus 64 No. 5"
Written by Joseph Haydn (as Haydn)
Arranged by Charlotte Georg (as Les Peel)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Helpful Explanations
13 October 2008 | by rsternesqSee all my reviews

I think that there seem to be some confusion expressed in a number of the reviews of this and a subsequent version of Jean Rhys' most famous novel. Just for information:

1. Creole does not necessarily imply mixed race. Bertha (to use Rochester's name for her) was clearly white enough to appear white and indeed, like Jean Rhys herself, may have been entirely of European ancestry. The mixed race brother, Daniel, was black on his mother's side which has nothing to do with Bertha's mother being mostly/entirely French. He was angry and destructive because his father preferred the white daughter to him.

2. The Wide Sargosso Sea is a sort of prequel but it is also a re-imagining of the back story for Jane Eyre that is intended to take Bertha's character and expand on it with Rhys inability to ever fully reconcile herself to the differences between her origins and life in Europe.

3. While we think of the Caribbean as a dominantly black environment, the origins were Carib Indian and whites colonized the area before the introduction of African slaves. The racial undertone is a more modern view than Bronte likely had. She was trying to deal with the whole idea of foreignness/strangeness and the ultimate solution to the plight of Jane's situation, poor but of "gentle" birth.

4. Of the two filmed versions, the first makes the characters too physically attractive and really misses the novel's stress on the protagonists never meshing rather than loving and losing love.

5. One problem with the casting of Rochester in the first version is that the actor portraying Rochester is distractingly gorgeous and not sufficiently British (apart from his accent). In fact he looks like he rather fits in, in contrast to Bertha's uncle and the other European planters. Of course, the actress who portrays Bertha, even at the end, is so enticing that Rochester's loss of interest is inexplicable.

6. The first film seems to run out of time and rushes the end. Not enough is made of Rochester's anger at being manipulated, whether by voodoo, drugs or circumstances. Once he becomes his father's heir, the return to England should have led to something other than the conclusion. There is definitely insufficient deterioration in Bertha. Their stories are mirror images. He deteriorates and is miserable where she is able to live and she deteriorates where he is able to live.

7. The novels (both Jane Eyre and The Wide Sargosso Sea) have a great deal of narration which is lost in the earlier film and perhaps insufficient in the second. None of the films are substitutes for the books but all are interesting reimaginings.

8. In order to appreciate the Rhys novel, one should read about the author. The same is true of Jane Eyre and its author. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Finally, while not great, the films both aspire to be literary, which means a lot in an age when filmmakers think there is a need for horror/splatter movies and lots of people apparently agree so I for one say thank you for both versions of the Wide Sargosso Sea and all of the versions of Jane Eyre that offer relief from the current tripe.


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wide Sargasso Sea See more »

Filming Locations:

Jamaica

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,806, 18 April 1993

Gross USA:

$1,614,784

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,614,784
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed