Returners and Recasting...
Returning to her role as Corrine, Heather Graham seems to fit into the part much better this time around, likely due to some changes in the way Corrine's presented. No longer is she hesitant and full of excuses, as she was in Flowers in the Attic. In Petals on the Wind, Corrine seems to be embracing her new life and the power that comes with being an heiress. Her disdain for her mother is also far more apparent, and that almost makes Olivia seem sympathetic, especially when taking into account the Grandmother's bedridden state. Ellen Burstyn still steals every scene she's in, but Graham's performance works better in Petals on the Wind than it did in Flowers in the Attic.

With the jump forward in time, the parts of Chris, Cathy and Carrie understandably had to be recast with older actors. As Cathy, Rose McIver steps into the role nicely, capturing the many faces of Cathy, who is sometimes loving and innocent, sometimes vengeful, and always beautiful, not to mention a dancer. That last part is demonstrated well enough when she gets involved with the volatile Julian (Will Kemp). Cathy is also wise beyond her years and angry enough to do whatever it takes to pay her mother back for the years of suffering she and her siblings endured. I don't think the movie fully captures the scope of Cathy's rage, but the fact that Graham plays up Corrine's unlikable side in this adaptation certainly helps in allowing us to appreciate Cathy's efforts to take her down, regardless.

Bailey Buntain plays the sweet and vulnerable Carrie well, and the casting really is perfect here, as she looks so much like her character's sister, and Buntain brings the right amount of lovability and vulnerability to the youngest Dollanganger sibling. Wyatt Nash's Chris comes off a little awkward at first, but he shifts into the role of the rising star doctor in training, who's trying to move forward in his life, despite the unhealthy level of affection he feels for his sister.

Finally, Dylan Bruce's reprisal of the confident and sexy Bart Winslow pays off as much as we might have hoped in the followup. As for the pacing...

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