Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shake me up Judy!

We just finished watching the 2006 version of the BBC adaption of this Dickens classic:
Holy hell, it's fucking great. No shit, it's one of the best BBC costume dramas ever. For those not familiar with this Dickens story, in a nutshell it's about the insanity of the British legal system during the Victorian era and how social rank and economic class prevented many people from having a life that included love, liberty, and happiness.

The center of the story is Esther Summerson, played by my new imaginary British girlfriend Anna Maxwell Martin.
Ms. Martin radiates warmth and compassion and her portrayal of this selfless Dickens heroine would make even the coldest heart melt.

The most memorable character, a heartless businessman, who pretty much embodies modern business and corporate practices today, is Mr. Smallweed, who is portrayed by Phil Jones, who also starred as Archie in the BBC adaption of one of my favorite books, White Teeth, which co stars my original adopted actor Archie Panjabi.
Jones is Victorian business viciousness at it's worst, and that's what makes him the best.

Turning in a fine icy performance as Lady Dedlock, Gillian Anderson also shines in this miniseries.
Her character is trapped by societal mores and conventions and her longing to be rid of them is palpably portrayed. She's a victim and a beneficiary of circumstance and that conflict is writ large all over her portrayal of Lady Dedlock.

And finally, in a sea of great performances, which include those of current pixie 'It girl' of the moment in British film and TV, Carey Mulligan, and Johnny Vegas, the performance turned in by Burn Gorman as Mr. Guppy is a gem.He's all obsequiousness and cunning, like a great Dickens secondary character should be, and yet he's tragic, funny, and sad as well.

This mini series is 15 episodes long but the story flies by. I highly recommend it. It's hella great.

6 comments:

Wings said...

I watched this when it first aired and I loved it, too. Very dramatic and "period" (if that is a word), but just awesome if you love that stuff.

Wings said...

Anderson was great, too, you are right. So NOT Dana Scully here.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Not all that bleak to watch then?

Blueberry said...

ooooh! Just reserved this at the Library! 15 episodes... that's a lot. How long are they? About 45 minutes?

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

The first episode is an hour and the rest are half hours.

kirby said...

I didn't think my guys would sit through this with me when it originally aired, so I'm glad it's out on DVD now.