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Reviews & Ratings for
"Fingersmith" More at IMDbPro »

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74 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant adaptation

Author: Heligena from Cardiff, Wales, Uk
12 April 2005

Having read all of Sarah Waters books i was eagerly looking forward to a BBC adaptation of Fingersmith. Especially since Tipping the Velvet had been done so well by old familiar Andrew Davies.

I was not disappointed with the results, in fact i think this might be on a par with TTV; both romantic and entertaining. And not as so many ignorant people would have you believe, a pointless lesbian romp. Having been a fan of Elaine Cassidy's since seeing her guileless turn in Felicia's Journey i thought she embodied both hard deception and a growing fragility as Maud. Her transformation was believable and impressive to watch. I recognised Sally Hawkins as Zena Blake from Tipping the Velvet, a small role primarily so i didn't have as many expectations but she was astounding in the role of Sue Trinder. Her eyes were mesmerising conveying everything from rage to absolute despair. The two of them acting together, combining these talents made this drama unmissable. Of course Imelda Staunton was amazing as usual, she is unmistakably a national treasure and the supporting cast were all of a high standard. Even the direction from the fairly unknown Aisling Walsh used contrasting yet beautiful shades of blue for Briar and brown for London.

However as much praise must be given to Ransley the script writer. To turn a 600 page book where every line is of the highest quality into a three hour extravaganza is a huge feat. He illuminated the main revelations at a steady pace whilst giving us plenty of back-story and character development at the same time. He has my full admiration.

In conclusion, a brilliant adaptation where all involved gave 100% and making this one of the best BBC dramas i've seen.

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58 out of 74 people found the following review useful:

Love, passion, and excellent acting

Author: flypoodle from United Kingdom
21 April 2005

I love Sarah Waters's Fingersmith, and was worried about the TV adaptation as I'd been disappointed by the BBC's version of Tipping the Velvet (which although beautiful to look at was let down by Keeley Hawes not being able to sing, and Rachael Stirling not being able to act). Fingersmith is a very tightly plotted novel with breath taking twists and turns and I wondered if this could be done justice to in just 3 hours.

I needn't have worried. The adaptation was excellent, very little cut out, and went along at a cracking pace (although I did wonder whether if you hadn't read the book, would you miss things?). It had the look and feel of a BBC classic costume drama and i kept having to remind myself that this is a contemporary book.

The acting was stellar. Sally Hawkins acting her heart out as Sue Trinder, and Elaine Cassidy, a slow burner, who by the end of the story was incandescent as Maud Lilley. The love, the passion, the realisation of the acts of betrayal both would have to perform, were written on their faces. It was a joy to watch.

I hope Rachael Stirling was watching: that's how you play a Sarah Waters character!

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48 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

Compelling viewing. Loved every minute.

Author: teenyclb from Hull, England
11 April 2005

Having read the book prior to watching this adaptation you would think that it would have lost some of its thrill. However, the story is so clever I could never tire of it.

Sally and Elaine really put their hearts into their roles and brought out so much of the characters. I fell in love with the story and the women all over again.

Beautiful to watch thanks to direction, settings and costumery. Despite the plot speed of television, I don't feel that anything important was lost in transit. It had me on the edge of my seat throughout with lots of wonderful stomach-trembling moments. Enjoyed it thoroughly. This is the kind of television I have been waiting for.

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38 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

such pearl

Author: dark_willow_7
18 February 2006

I had never read any of Sarah Waters' novels, or watched Tipping the Velvet. I only heard about Fingersmith when i was flipping through "The L word" websites. The storyline of Fingersmith interested me, yet i passed it away, thinking "Lesbian in Victorian period, that never ends well, i have enough of those lesbo series and movies that go no where"

However, during Christmas my local DVD store gave Fingersmith a discount, i brought the DVD, and my life has never been more colourful

This mini series deserves to be cherished and praised. The acting is so great that i call it rare. Sally Hawkins, Elaine Cassidy, Rupert Evans, Imelda Staunton, and many more that i can't name all, brought light and darkness to their characters. Just by a little gesture, a little look, a little touch, they made their characters real and as a viewer, i couldn't help it but take them home, keep them close.

Fingersmith, sets in Victorian area, is a story of Sue-a thief who loves and lives with her "Family" of pick-pockets. Little did she know that her fate is linked to Maud Lily-a somewhat shy, timid girl grows up in a Mansion miles and miles away. Maud's mother left her a fortune, but Maud herself can't touch it, unless she married. Worst of all, Maud's uncle makes sure she never will by keeping her prisoned in the house.

Enter Mr Gentlement, a charming, good-looking thief with a heart as bad as any. He wants Maud's fortune for himself, and in order to do so he sets Sue up as Maud Lily's maid, asking Sue to Persuade Maud to elope with him. as time goes by, Things would be simple, if Sue didn't fall in love with Maud.

And things would be simple, if the story was what i have just told. I do not wish to spoil, so i would like to stop there. But i can asure you that everything is twisted and turned before you can even aware of what has happened. Once it happened, you then question what would happen next. On top of that, the story is filled with passion unlike any others. There are no self-searching, sexuality questioning, "Oh my god do i like girls" moments, because the girls in Fingersmith are buried so deep in their own darkness that they barely be able to care. the story with such twisted plot moves as smooth as water, running passionately, but strangely calm.

Weeks have passed since i watched "Fingersmith", yet Maud's eyes still haunt me, and Sue's words still warm my heart "You pearl, you pearl, you pearl", she said. And such pearl it is.

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34 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

One of the best lesbian stories told in the "big" screen

Author: wondernat from United States
20 March 2006

I'm usually disappointed by what the media dubs "lesbian" movies these days: murderous bisexuals; psychotic murderous lesbians; women who experiment with other women, but end up with men at the end; ridiculously good-looking women who only get w/ each other to turn men on, etc.

Thankfully, FINGERSMITH is on a very high pedestal above this garbage. It is a credible love story acted MARVELOUSLY by every cast member, down to the least of the supporting actors. Aside from having a very engaging central conflict, the romance between the heroines is well developed and believable thanks to Cassidy and Hawkins.

I have also seen TIPPING THE VELVET, but FINGERSMITH is far superior to the former, both in character/conflict development and the quality of the acting.

FINGERSMITH is both satisfying and enjoyable to watch, offering lesbians everywhere a great follow-up act to BOUND.

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25 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

atmosphere, emotion, suspense

Author: gm-1 from Berlin, Germany
27 November 2005

It is always difficult to bring a 450 pages book down to a three hours film. I read the book before, and I found the BBC production dealing with this difficulty in the best way possible. The qualities of the book haven't been lost: the dense and lively depiction of a fingersmith patchwork family in London in the 1860s, the cold and obscene cruelty in which Maud is brought up, the characterization of different social groups by different ways of speaking, the unexpected and surprising twists of the story, the way the film makes the spectators look different at the same scenes when they are told first from Sue's point of view then from Maud's one. The main actors do very good, and especially the growing love between the two women is convincingly developed, with a first culmination in a very tender love scene between the two and finally forgiving all the evil they were ready to do and did to each other, because they still love each other.

For each of her books the author, Sarah Waters, has thoroughly investigated what life was like in British 19th century. While in Tipping the Velvet it was the world of the vaudeville theaters and the beginning of social movements, in Affinity the dreadful reality of women penitentiaries and the fashionable evocation of spirits, in Fingersmith she depicts the public ceremony of hanging people in London and the inhuman treatment of persons supposed or declared disturbed in asylums based on the reading of sources and scientific research. This is very well transferred to the film so that the corresponding scenes show a high grade of historic truth. I highly recommend this film production because it offers three hours of colorful Victorian atmosphere, vivid emotions, and suspense.

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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Love, love, love this DVD

Author: dmschreib from United States
24 August 2006

I never dreamed when I started watching this DVD that I would be totally mesmerized by it within minutes. The story was completely absorbing and entertaining. The acting was superb. The biggest surprise of all was how I would be so completely enchanted by the love these two young women radiated across the screen. Their initial physical encounter for me was by far the most tender, romantic, delightful, vicariously enthralling love scenes I have ever witnessed on film. I literally stopped breathing. I could not believe the chemistry between the two actresses. With no nudity or graphic sex, they conveyed more passion and titillation than any American production could ever hope to evince. Bravo to the author, the screenwriter, the director and the cast.

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22 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

on Fingersmith...

Author: ceejay99 from United States
5 October 2005

This movie was incredible!!!! I did not know the back story on it so I needed to let it unfold before me on DVD. It had many twists and turns but still kept the story fresh and exciting. The acting by Elaine Cassidy was in a word Brilliant as well as Sally Hawkins. The storyline is rich with plausible occurrences as well as fresh ideas from the present.

There is truly something about Ms. Cassidy's eyes that leaves "a mark." This movie is a refreshing look on the way in which we look at the 'victorian times' and how we view that society. A very worthwhile watch.

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23 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Fingersmith - An Amazing Adaption

Author: cuddley_goffness from United Kingdom
10 May 2005

This was indeed an amazing adaption. I missed the first episode so I unfortunately missed out on the bonding between the characters and the smooth flow of the storyline. But as soon I watched the second and then the third instalment I was just blown away. I ordered the DVD less than a week later and unable to wait for it to come I went straight out and brought the book. From the moment I opened it I was hooked, I just couldn't put it down. I decided to finish the whole book before I dare watch the DVD at all. I preferred the book because it got inside the characters minds, you could understand totally where they were coming from and what there role was within the story. They missed a lot out of the adaption which was disappointing as the book is a master piece and I think they could have done it superbly if they had been able to stretch it over a longer period of time. But considering only being able to be fitted into a 3 hour slot I think it was done excellent. It followed the main twisted storyline brilliantly. And the actors which were enrolled as the main characters where amazing! The love making scene was pure beautiful. It was so tender and loving and just showed how natural homosexual love can be. I was totally blown away with both the book and the TV adaption! I loved both of Sarah Waters previous novels and also found the Tipping the Velvet adaption quite enjoyable. But when I read and watched Fingersmith I knew none of her previous novels/adaption could beat it. Sarah Waters has indeed exceeded herself this time! I recommend that you watch this adaption! If Tipping the Velvet wasn't your thing, then don't let it put you off this one. Fingersmith is a whole new ball game. It is a beautiful yet dark twisted story about love, greed and betrayal...


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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

This movie is amazing!!

Author: lazaragarcia2002 from United States
5 February 2007

I watched this movie recently and fell in love with it. I loved the storyline and the actors. It has a little of everything. I was completely taken by the unfolding of the story. It has so many surprises along the way. I highly recommend it. In fact, I loved it so much that I ran out and bought the book. I felt I had to read it in order to appreciate the art in the writing behind the movie. I also wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything that was in the book but kept out of the movie. I recommend people who love the movie to read the book because there is enough difference in the book, especially in the second episode, to want to read it. It has become my favorite movie. I am now a Sarah Waters and Elaine Cassidy fan!!

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