Don't waste your time. Story was weird. Happy ending is basically nil. Characters go around looking tortured. Or depressed. Or psychotic. Seriously.
I wasn't convinced of who Daniel Deronda was supposed to be falling in love with - the Jewish girl whose life he saves when she tries to drown herself (this attempted suicide is never really addressed...it's kind of brushed of....) or the young married woman who married a man for his money while knowing he had a mistress with several children. This same young woman thinks she can control her husband, like she has controlled men before, only to find out he's playing her game - and is abusive (?) You never see anything, but that is what is definately portrayed. Oh, and then she feels sorry for herself and wants Daniel to pity her situation. (apparently forgetting she put herself there.)
Daniel is a young man who's been raised as an English gentleman by an English gentleman, but apparently is unhappy because he doesn't know who his mother is. (He assumes this English gentleman is his father and he is the illigimate son but we don't find out until the very end.) He save a young woman from drowning herself - she turns out to be a Jew and an incredible singer. Her tragic story inspires Daniel to help her find her lost family - which leads him into the Jewish community in London and the aquaintence with one Mordecia who upon seeing Daniel is convinced he is a Jew and the next chosen leader of his people. (*scratches head*) Daniel isn't convinced. The rest of the movie is him going between the Jewess and the married woman, like he can't make up his mind who he's in love with. Then suddenly- at the very end- he finds out who he is and gloriously (and again) suddenly, has new purpose in his life. Wahoo. Cheers. Everybody goes home happy, etc. The End.
I will say this, the costumes are fantastic, the scenery beautiful, and Romola Garai (who plays the young married woman) is a very good actress, who can go from tragic distress, to cool indifference, to wild hysteria, to extreme haughtiness. Kudos to her for her performance. That's about the only good thing I can say about this movie.
I'm on to Jane Eyre.