This year I again watched The Pallisers, that marvellous – and marvellously long – adaptation of the wise works of Anthony Trollope. No finer viewing for a politician wanting to see his calling ennobled. And loving Trollope as I do, I also watched The Way We Live Now (and still do) – featuring a bravura performance by David Suchet. Hugely recommended, both.
Then there’s Visconti’s The Leopard, again an adaptation of a novel, this time by the Sicilian prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. The conservative philosophy made high art – “For things to stay the same, everything must change”. Burt Lancaster is magnificent, and Claudia Cardinale… How much do I love this? I’ve baked the pie that stars in one scene, and gone on pilgrimage to Lampedusa’s old country palace, devastated by earthquake.
The Leopard clearly inspired Francis Ford Coppola in making The Godfather, with a soundtrack by the same composer, the great Nino Rota. Both films are works of genius on every level.