Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Glorious 39/ The Hour

A double for Romola Garai this week, as the BBC broadcast the Stephen Poliakoff film Glorious 39 on Sunday, and there was the penultimate episode of The Hour last week.

Glorious 39 looked utterly delicious, with gorgeous locations and costumes to die for. I loved particularly loved the belted cardigans over straight skirts. The cast was stellar – Christopher Lee has always been a favourite of mine, and Bill Nighy was excellent. However, the storyline had the usual problems I find in Poliakoff's work: an obsession with the upper classes, and the portrayal of eccentricities so extreme you'd rarely encounter it in one person, let alone a whole group of them, plus an effort to be profound that borders on the ridiculous. (I felt similarly about Capturing Mary and The Tribe.) At one point, heroine Anne is walking through the back room of a vet's, where animals that owners fleeing London have had put down are hanging up in sacks and lying on the floor. Stretching the Holocaust theme somewhat, no? If you didn't get it then, the later scene with piles of burning pets would have driven it home. Anne is supposedly intelligent, and close to her family, yet she managed not to notice that every single one of them is involved in some form of dodgy politics? Oh, please. So, visually lovely, but overall a bit rubbish. If you're reading this review and wondering why I keep watching Poliakoff's stuff, it's because it always looks lovely, and I thoroughly enjoyed Shooting the Past.

EDIT: if you want to see some of the fab outfits from the film, Wendy has some great screencaptures over at The Butterfly Balcony.

The Hour keeps getting better. This week, Marnie finally revealed the iron beneath the angora when she confronted Bel about her affair with Hector. I'm impressed every week with Oona Chaplin's acting, as she does a beautiful job with what could have been a very flat character. Marnie could be simply a stupid, shallow woman, but Chaplin makes it clear that there's real depth to Marnie, who is simply doing her best to be socially acceptable – and probably envies Bel her freedom. Freddie finally uncovers the meaning of Brightstones, and it's not what he expected at all. As for the presence of a spy in the office, if there is one my money is firmly on Lix, and on her having been recruited during the Spanish Civil War.

Oh, and I want Bel's wardrobe, all of it, in a size 18, kthnxbai.

(And if you're the person who finds my site searching for 'Oona Chaplin nude', you're going to be disappointed again this week.)

2 comments :

  1. I wondered if you'd watched Glorious 39 - I agree with your assessment, I loved the outfits and locations but found the plot baffling and utterly bizarre in places.

    The Hour continues to grip me though :)

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  2. I am currently typing up a post about Glorious 39 well, its just about the clothes really as I enjoyed the film but felt completely lost by some of the plot, so glad to here that I'm not alone!!

    I am totally hooked on the hour though,I just love it!

    Looking at traffic sources always makes for interesting reading! Hilarious!

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