Danny Kavanagh leaves Liverpool for the Lake District, finding work at a hotel and love with a local girl named Emma. Yet Danny remains an outsider in the close-knit community, and through ... See full summary »
Charming Brendan Block dates Miranda Cotton and gets seriously committed. But she dumps him, claiming he invaded her privacy. A few weeks later, Brendan gets engaged to Miranda's sister and... See full summary »
The trial, under The Obscene Publications Act, of the publishers of D.H. Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterley's Lover'in 1960 was a sensation that consumed the nation. The movie follows two ... See full summary »
Based upon Wilkie Collins Victorian mystery, the gothic tale tells of a pair of half sisters whose lives end up caught in a grand conspiracy revolving around a mentally ill woman dressed in... See full summary »
It's hard to know who is more manipulated in "The Politicans Wife," the audience or the actors. These episodes seem to offer no more than an apathetic mess on an issue that cries out for clarity and commitment. Banalities replace ideas; paparazzi camera-work (why not put the camera inside Julia Stevenson's skin?) that makes the actual paparazzi in the film seem benign replace sensitive vision; moral confusion replaces ethics (nothing new here so perhaps it's too much to ask for); and an up-to-date spectator sex replaces an adult look at sexuality.
The movie, in short, offers little to the viewer in the way of enlightenment, challenge, or change. And equally little to the actors who are victims of unconvincing, stereotypical roles that often border on the grotesque. Which is too bad, because as we can sometimes glimpse, they deserve far more.
And somehow these episodes are enclosed in such a way as to make very public lives seem uncomfortably private--to the viewer and the viewed. The lighting and composition gets switched from too harsh and naked to flattering in the bat of an eye. But it's the starkness that makes this an endurance test for the viewer. One can be saved just so many times by Juliet Stevenson's brightly expressive eyes only to have to be jerked back to their sulfurous fierce intensity. Or by the the heavy-handed symbolism which manipulate them, and to which all the other characters are subject. (the father hospitalized in episode 3 was the last gasp for me--and the end of the torture)
In sum, "The Politician's Wife" is one big exercise in obscurity: a contorted plot,twisted relationships, stunting manipulations, half baked cynicism with a dollop of social concern, and opportunistic sexuality conspire to this end. Pass it up--it's current grade is truly mistaken.
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