Made for the BBC and shown in the US on PBS, THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL was heralded as a vindication of the work of Anne Bronte, who remains less known than her sisters Charlotte and Emily. This examination of a woman freeing herself from an abusive marriage benefits from a more modern
slant on the issue of battered women. But too much of what is good about Bronte's complicatedly structured Gothic novel (which was savaged by critics in 1848) is lost in this over-praised, monotonously fussy adaptation.
Distraught Helen Graham Huntingdon (Tara Fitzgerald) flees her marriage to drunken Arthur Huntingdon (Rupert Graves), who treats her like chattel. With her son A...