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The Sculptress (1996)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | Thriller | Crime  -  13 November 1997 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 236 users  
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Olive Martin (Quirke), a heavily overweight young woman is convicted of killing and butchering her mother and sister and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, when she is assigned to ... See full summary »

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(novel), (adapted by)
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Title: The Sculptress (TV Movie 1996)

The Sculptress (TV Movie 1996) on IMDb 7.3/10

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James McCarthy ...
Geoff Wyatt
...
Hal Hawksley
...
Olive Martin
...
Rosalind 'Roz' Leigh
Lynda Rooke ...
Iris
Maureen Hibbert ...
Prison Officer #2
Sophie Stanton ...
Prison Officer #1
Michael Percival ...
Peter Crew
...
Father Julian
Jay Villiers ...
Rupert
Timothy Bateson ...
Albert Hayes
Maureen O'Brien ...
Sister Bridget
Felicity Finch ...
Sally Wyatt
Angela Belton ...
Dina
...
Estate Agent
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Storyline

Olive Martin (Quirke), a heavily overweight young woman is convicted of killing and butchering her mother and sister and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, when she is assigned to write a book about her life, author Rosalind Leigh (Goodall) begins to develop a relationship with Olive and is soon convinced of her innocence. With the help of restaurant owner and former policeman Hal Hawksley (Fulford), she sets out to prove it and undo what she sees as a miscarriage of justice. However, all is not what is seems. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

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13 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sculptress  »

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Technical Specs

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(4 parts) | (DVD)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pauline Quirke wore a bulky, 22-stone "fat suit" in order to look the part for her role as the heavyweight killer Olive Martin. See more »

Connections

References Criminally Insane 2 (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good but could have been better.
18 March 2010 | by (Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.) – See all my reviews

Having stumbled upon 'The Sculptress' on IMDb some years ago, I was immediately interested: Pauline Quirke ('Birds of a Feather') playing Olive Martin, a young woman incarcerated for brutally murdering her mother and sister, with Caroline Goodall as a work-hungry novelist trying to understand get inside her murderous psyche. After a few years trying to see it, I finally managed to borrow it on an old VCR and settle down one evening to watch it.

The first hour and a half is highly captivating portraying Olive and Roz (Goodall) initial encounter with Roz embarking on her investigation. The acting between Quirke and Goodall is fantastic, the script is well written and the directing is highly admirable. It was a pleasant surprise to see the exteriors of Oxford Prison, primarily known for it's use on ITVs 'Bad Girls', being used for the forbidden jail where much of the action takes place.

My main issue with 'The Sculptress' would be that I did find that the scriptwriter (and possibly Minnette Walters in her original novel) went off on a complete, wild tangent. He appears to forget about Quirke - who for the bulk of the second hour and half isn't featured – and instead focuses way too much on Goodhall's character and the unnecessary subplots surrounding her character. Because of this, the dark psychological thriller-element seems to be abandoned and it quickly turns into any other trashy TV drama. The seemingly-hastily written ending is rather obscure and very confusing. It is jam-packed with twists, turns and one-too-many flashbacks, leaving me completely baffled as to what had actually happened. I am a great admirer of open-endings but this was far too unclear and a little too amateurish.

Nonetheless, Pauline Quirke was sensational as Olive Martin. Forget Sharon Theodopolopodous - here she is barely recognizable: hidden beneath a gigantic fat-suit, with long dark hair and a ghostly-pale complexion, borrowing an evil glare in the process. I was particularly unnerved by the eerie lullaby she sings over the credits at the end. I did feel for Caroline Goodall's character when she and Olive come face to face in that dark prison cell. Caroline Goodall was also very good as the eager journalist desperate to uncover the truth behind Olive's disturbed behaviour.

Still, I'm very glad I was finally able to see this and would recommend it to anyone interested in the psychological thriller/crime-detective genre. Not to mention, anyone who admires Pauline Quirke.


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