tue 04/08/2020

Hattie, BBC Four | reviews, news & interviews

Hattie, BBC Four

Hattie, BBC Four

Bungling Beeb biopic betrays the spirit of beloved entertainer

Ruth Jones as Hattie Jacques, with Robert Bathurst as John Le Mesurier (left) and Aidan Turner as John Schofield

The way the BBC keeps knocking out these little biopics about the lives of various household names (John Lennon, Gracie Fields, Margot Fonteyn etc), you'd think there was nothing simpler than to get inside the mind of some complex public figure, deftly sketching in a bit of socio-historical background on the side with a bit of help from the props and archive department. And, as this low-rent effort to drill into the emotional life of the beloved comic actress Hattie Jacques amply demonstrated, you'd be completely wrong.

Nowhere was there any inkling of the aircraft-carrier-like presence she could lend to the slenderest comic scenario

Share this article


Thank you for writing this! spot on, found the portrayal of Le Mesurier quite depressing- all the 'big reveal scenes' were very rushed, the way they were suggesting that Schofield was beginning to control her in domestic situations was strained and felt shoved in. Shame that spent so long on such a sad topic when there was so much more to Jacques life.

Agree with comments so far. But what about Le Mesurier's love of Jazz and disappearing for evenings with Jacques not knowing his whereabouts. There was a lot more complexity in their relationship which may have made sense of events. The Scofield character was totally unconvincing - an actorish portrayal of a stereotypical cad.

Disagree completely. The characters were portrayed quite accurately, and I found that there was a great deal to discern about their relationships and the reasons why Hattie fell for the younger man. The subtext is there to be read by a more discerning viewer and I felt I understood Hattie completely. Le Mesurier was a one-off in real life - a consummate gentleman who was actually extremely gentle and loved Hattie unconditionally. His reactions and behaviours in the film are true to character and Hattie, left baffled on many occasions, loved him for precisely the reasons we find puzzling. I thoroughly enjoined this film and didn't want it to end.o

Add comment


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters