Based on a little known 1848 novel by Anne Bronte, Tara Fitzgerald stars as an enigmatic young woman who moves to 19th Century Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone ... See full summary »
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Based on a little known 1848 novel by Anne Bronte, Tara Fitzgerald stars as an enigmatic young woman who moves to 19th Century Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone in the village and their prying questions, she remains totally aloof until a charming neighbor farmer gets her to reveal her past through his persistence. Only then does she reveal she is hiding away from a womanizing, belittling husband. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
This 3 part BBC adaptation of the Anne Bronte novel runs 160 minutes total.
Nicely shot, with a lot of surprisingly modern camera techniques for a Bronte novel. Usually this works well, although occasionally it gets self conscious (a couple too many 360 shots).
The acting is solid, with Tara Fitzgerald an edgy but still empathetic heroine. But Rupert Graves' switch from flawless seducer to "worst man in the world" type villain is a bit over the top, although that may be the material, or approach more than performance. Indeed, at times I could feel Graves (a very good actor) trying to maintain some humanity under the almost Gothic heartlessness.
The music is interesting and effectively anachronistic as well, often sounding something the Cocteau Twins, but as with the cinematography after a while it starts to get both repetitive and too self consciously avant-garde for a story mostly told in a straightforward Masterpiece Theater fashion.
Lastly, the tidy ending bothered me a bit. The film did a good enough job capturing the complex difficulties of life, that I found myself wish for something that felt more honestly open ended.
All that said, I still enjoyed the story, the scenery, and being transported into another time and place as only good storytelling can do. A quite good adaptation, I just wished it was great, and for 30 minutes or so, thought it might be.
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