Nicola Dove / Miramax Films
By Valli Herman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Ah, the lush trappings of the aristocracy. The palatial estates, vintage convertibles, breathtaking parasols, embroidered gowns and perfectly tailored suits -- if you weren't sitting in a theater, you might think this parade of '20s, '30s and 1940s Anglophile finery was a Ralph Lauren retrospective. Instead, these trappings of the upper-crust are on display in the film "Brideshead Revisited." The story is taken from Evelyn Waugh's controversial 1945 novel about the pampered lives, forbidden loves and religious conflicts of a family of English aristocrats, the Marchmains. To help tell the tale, the Irish costume designer, Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh, had to make viewers empathize with the protagonist, Charles Ryder. "Brideshead" is, after all, a story about Ryder, a middle-class London student, an outsider who, like the audience, aches to inhabit the Marchmain's glorious, sheltered world of wealth and privilege. A regal Emma Thompson shows Matthew Goode how to dress the part.
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