mon 06/07/2020

costume drama

Hamilton, Disney+ review - puts us all in the room where it happened

The movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights was meant to hit cinemas this summer, but, in response to Covid-19, has been put back to 2021. Instead, we get the early release on Disney+ of Miranda’s Hamilton – filmed, NT Live style,...

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The Luminaries, BBC One review - one of the most visually arresting dramas of the year

Alarm bells start ringing whenever you discover an author is adapting their own work for a screenplay. In the case of New Zealand novelist Eleanor Catton, the alarm proves to be false. Over the course of seven years, and apparently 200 drafts...

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Fanny and Alexander, Old Vic review - agile but shallow Bergman adaptation

Could an epic cinematic masterpiece be turned successfully into a three-act play? Confession first: Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander is my No. 1 film. On one level a slow-burn, pre-World-War-One family saga, on another a timeless human comedy...

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Peaky Blinders, Series 4 Finale, BBC Two review – Tommy faces his reckoning

Luca Changretta got his just desserts, Alfie Solomons made a last gasp for the quiet life, and Thomas Shelby revealed his true enemy – Peaky Blinders wrapped up another exciting series in a high-octane and neat finale.Tommy always has a way out...

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And Then There Were None, BBC One

None, or two? Only the tiniest whiff of spoiler is involved in pointing out that while the stage version, or at least the one I saw with an actor friend playing an early victim, settled for a semi-happy ending, this magnificently brooding adaptation...

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Mr Selfridge, Series 2, ITV

We return to the dramatised Selfridges five years after the opening of the store that changed the face of British shopping - and yet, despite proving those who doomed his enterprise to failure wrong, the smile on its eponymous owner’s face is as...

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The Paradise, BBC One

It's a reasonable assumption that Emile Zola would never have guessed his novel Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies' Paradise, part of the Rougon-Macquart series) would be the inspiration for a BBC costume drama. And it's an even safer one that he...

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Upstairs Downstairs, Series Two, BBC One

You remember Upstairs Downstairs – the lavish 2010 period drama-cum-soap based around servants and their masters that had the misfortune of not being named Downton Abbey. Making its entrance some three months after ITV’s series despite being filmed...

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A Dangerous Method

Those who are “Jung and easily Freudened” (to misquote Joyce) need have nothing to fear from David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. Yes, it’s the film where Michael Fassbender takes a cane to a barely corseted Keira Knightley, but don’t let the S...

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W.E.

“I’m not a beautiful woman,” Wallis Simpson once declared. “I’m nothing to look at, so the only thing I can do is dress better than anyone else.” Madonna’s second feature W.E. operates under a similar philosophy – with rather less success. Never...

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The Mystery of Edwin Drood, BBC Two

You can never have enough Dickens, doctors say. Or is it exercise? Either way, the BBC has gone to town on the 200th anniversary of Dickens's birth as if the moths are eating away in the Victorian closet and all the costumes need to be used as much...

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Downton Abbey, Series 2 Finale, ITV1

And so the eventful second series surged to a close with a bumper 90-minute edition - or at least it was in a 90-minute slot, generously padded with the commercials battling to scramble aboard the great ship Downton - and we were still left dangling...

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