The Way We Live Now (2001)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama | Romance
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,726 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 3 critic

At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city',... See full summary »

0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: August

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they recommend for August 2014.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 07 Aug 2011
a list of 21 titles
created 10 Jul 2013
a list of 47 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 33 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 25 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Way We Live Now (2001– )

The Way We Live Now (2001– ) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Way We Live Now.




7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Vanity Fair (TV Mini-Series 1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Stars: Natasha Little, Frances Grey, Philip Glenister
The Forsyte Saga, Series II (TV Mini-Series 2003)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In the 1920s, decades after the troubled and unhappy marriage between Soames Forsyte and the beautiful pianist Irene Heron came to an end, Soames and Irene have both remarried and moved on.... See full summary »

Stars: Damian Lewis, Rupert Graves, Gina McKee
He Knew He Was Right (TV Mini-Series 2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Stars: Oliver Dimsdale, Christina Cole, Laura Fraser
The Crimson Petal and the White (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Set in 1870s London, a young prostitute finds potential power and status after becoming the mistress of a powerful patriarch.

Stars: Romola Garai, Chris O'Dowd, Amanda Hale
The Forsyte Saga (TV Mini-Series 2002)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Chronicles the lives of three generations of the upper-middle-class British family, the Forsytes, from the 1870s to 1920.

Stars: Damian Lewis, Gina McKee, Amanda Root
North & South (TV Mini-Series 2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

North and South is a four part adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's love story of Margaret Hale, a middle class southerner who is forced to move to the northern town of Milton.

Stars: Daniela Denby-Ashe, Richard Armitage, Tim Pigott-Smith
The Glass Virgin (TV Mini-Series 1995)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Set in 1870s England, the story tells of Annabella Lagrange and the terrible secret her wealthy parents have kept from her. When she finally learns the truth, she runs away and eventually ... See full summary »

Stars: Jan Graveson, Christine Kavanagh, Brendan Coyle
Jane Eyre (TV Mini-Series 2006)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A young governess falls in love with her brooding and complex master. However, his dark past may destroy their relationship forever.

Stars: Ruth Wilson, Toby Stephens, Lorraine Ashbourne
The Barchester Chronicles (TV Mini-Series 1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Janet Maw, Nigel Hawthorne
Berkeley Square (TV Mini-Series 1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Three young women from very different backgrounds meet, become friends and share experiences when they all gain positions as nannies in the wealthy households of London's exclusive Berkeley Square.

Stars: Victoria Smurfit, Clare Wilkie, Tabitha Wady
Our Mutual Friend (TV Mini-Series 1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Intertwining tales of love, greed, and secret identities in Charles Dickens's 1860s London.

Stars: Paul McGann, Keeley Hawes, Dominic Mafham
Sense & Sensibility (TV Mini-Series 2008)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Widow Dashwood and her three unmarried daughters, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, inherit only a tiny allowance. So they move out of their grand Sussex home to a more modest cottage in ... See full summary »

Stars: Hattie Morahan, Charity Wakefield, David Morrissey


Series cast summary:
 Augustus Melmotte (4 episodes, 2001)
 Sir Felix Carbury (4 episodes, 2001)
 Paul Montague (4 episodes, 2001)
Paloma Baeza ...
 Hetta Carbury (4 episodes, 2001)
 Lady Carbury (4 episodes, 2001)
Richard Cant ...
 Dolly Longestaffe (4 episodes, 2001)
 Marie Melmotte (4 episodes, 2001)
Tom Fahy ...
 Butler - Grosvenor Square (4 episodes, 2001)
 Croll (4 episodes, 2001)
Angus Wright ...
 Miles Grendall (4 episodes, 2001)
 Mrs. Hurtle (4 episodes, 2001)
 Lord Nidderdale (4 episodes, 2001)
Tony Britton ...
 Lord Alfred Grendall (4 episodes, 2001)
 Mr. Longestaffe (4 episodes, 2001)
Helen Schlesinger ...
 Madame Melmotte (4 episodes, 2001)
 Roger Carbury (4 episodes, 2001)
 Ruby Ruggles (4 episodes, 2001)
 Marquis of Auld Reekie (4 episodes, 2001)
 Georgiana Longestaffe (4 episodes, 2001)
 Mr. Broune (4 episodes, 2001)
Sarah Niven ...
 Simpson (3 episodes, 2001)
 Mr. Alf (3 episodes, 2001)
Jon Rumney ...
 Herr Vossner (3 episodes, 2001)
Nicholas McGaughey ...
 John Crumb (3 episodes, 2001)
Michele Dotrice ...
 Mrs. Pipkin (3 episodes, 2001)
 Mr. Brehgert (3 episodes, 2001)
 Hamilton K. Fisker (3 episodes, 2001)
Lilo Baur ...
 Didon (2 episodes, 2001)
Tony Pritchard ...
 Mr. Wakeham (2 episodes, 2001)
 Lady Pomona Longestaffe (2 episodes, 2001)
 Lady Julia Monogram (2 episodes, 2001)


At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city', but the "something" part is not always clear. Within weeks of arriving in London, he announces a new company and promises instant fortune to those who join him in this scheme. Melmotte is surrounded by a circle of decadent aristos, scheming widows and nouveau riche businessmen, all trying to get a piece of the financial pie. His disobedient daughter, Marie, is played by Shirley Henderson, while Cheryl Campbell, Matthew Macfadyen and Paloma Baeza bring to life the aristocratic but impoverished Carbury family. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

11 November 2001 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Elomme päivät  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An engrossing adaption from the Eng Lit specialists
13 August 2002 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Another fine Sunday night filler from Andrew Davies and the BBC. Based on one of Anthony Trollope's later and less well known novels, this six -part story (300 minutes) covers the short but spectacular career in London of Augustus Melmott, financial fraudster extraordinaire. Melmott is a Victorian Robert Maxwell (the bouncing Czech), a promoter of huge ambitious business ventures with a flamboyant style that proves irresisitable even to the hard-nosed. Like Maxwell, he has a seat in the House of Commons. Some of the hard-nosed have their suspicions but go along for the ride anyway no doubt hoping to get something for themselves along the way.

Trollope weaves the strands of the plot adroitly using the Carbury family as the central characters. Lady Carbury (Cheryl Campbell) is the widow of a baronet (minor aristocracy) and without the means to live in the appropriate style. Her son Felix (Matthew McFadyen) is a total waster, putting any money he gets on the card table, and losing it. Lady C is trying to palm her rather priggish daughter Hetta (Paloma Baeza) off onto her nephew Roger (Douglas Hogg), also a prig, who has inherited the family estates. Roger is interested but Hetta is not, as she fancies Paul Montague (Cillian Murphy), a railway engineer and friend of Roger's. Murphy works for Melmott's company (the board is stacked with peers and baronets, including Felix). The Central American railway is supposed to be building a railroad from the central west of the US to Mexico. The railroad route has been surveyed, but funnily enough construction keeps on being delayed even though enough money has been raised to at least start it. Where's the money Melmott? Some is syphoned into his daughter Marie's trust fund. Marie (Shirley Henderson) is courted by Felix, who is very interested in the money, though not so interested in Marie.

To say more would spoil the story. The casting is splendid, except for Cillian Murphy as Paul whose pretty-boy looks are more appropriate for a Romeo than some who has been a civil engineer for some years and spent a lot of that time in the merciless Mexican sun. As his American mistress Mrs Hurtle, Miranda Otto, otherwise a capable actress, can't do the Deep South accent. It would have been better to re-write the part for an Australian. If it's any consolation, Meryl Streep can't do an Australian accent either – it comes out as cockney, as we saw in 'Evil Angels'.

The star performance is without a doubt David Suchet's as Melmott. Though a small man, he dominates every scene he is in, with his deep loud voice and grand manner. Critics are silenced by a mixture of flattery, bluff and sometimes threat. In the finish we almost like him, despite the chaos he causes. It is truly the role David Suchet was born to play, one utterly different from his small fussy Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Shirley Henderson as Marie also stands out in this company of very accomplished acting.

I haven't checked the novel, but there are one or two quite modern touches for which Trollope may have been responsible, such as Marie's (or was it Hetta's?) feminist speech towards the end. He may have got that from his mum, who had to support her family by novel-writing after her husband died, and did so quite successfully.

In the 1870s we had railways, in the 2000s we had dot coms. The vehicles change but we still have fear and greed as dominant players in the markets. The title 'The Way We Live Now' is just as apt today, as we see the Enron, Arthur Andersen, Worldcom crashes in the US, and HIH, FAI and One-tel in Australia. It is interesting that this 1875 novel, with no high literary pretensions, pulp fiction in fact, should be so relevant today. A engrossing film adaption from the Eng Lit specialists.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Miranda Otto almost ruined the whole series for me solstice-6
Mrs.Hurtle ednalyn99
This is really a great serie Sanadu
Wed-nes-day goheathergo
Squirkum BrandyW319
Music ilovegarfield
Discuss The Way We Live Now (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: