Lady Summerisle (strange_complex) wrote,
Lady Summerisle

4. Fingersmith (2005, made for TV), dir. Aisling Walsh

I read the book of this about six or seven years ago, and thought it was great. Since I'm in the middle of a period of Doctor Who which isn't generally available on DVD (mainly for the very good reason that the moving pictures don't survive), I've been putting things like this on my Lovefilm list instead, so that I'm not wasting my subscription - and this one arrived last week.

It's a very faithful adaptation, with a lot of the same dialogue and narrative description as the book (as far as I remember, anyway). A few things were slimmed down a little, such as Sue's experiences in the lunatic asylum. But I felt that a very good job was done of covering the complexities of the plot while also giving enough time for the emergence of the attraction between Sue and Maud to be convincing and moving.

Obviously this time round, I knew what the twists would turn out to be. But I enjoyed that. It meant I could look out for things like subtle facial expressions during the earlier part of the adaptation, based on what I knew were the real motivations of the characters. And they were there. In fact, the acting throughout was superb - especially the two central characters, but I thought the whole cast was very well-chosen, and very convincing in their roles.

The sets and costumes were great, too, and I especially like the camera-work. A lot of the scenes were framed in a very painterly manner, capturing the feel of pictures of bonneted servants, country landscape and Victorian dressing-rooms which I've obviously absorbed in various art galleries over the years. (I can't remember or track down the specific images I'm thinking of, but the overall feel is definitely there). And I was sure I spotted Sarah Waters herself at one point in a brief, silent cameo - which IMDb confirms was not a hallucination.

Great if you've read the novel, and I'm pretty sure great if you haven't too. Bring on the adaptation of The Night Watch!

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Tags: art, films, films watched 2010, reviews, sexuality

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