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Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten (2004)

| Horror, Music | TV Movie
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Lisa Milne ...
Mark Padmore ...
Diana Montague ...
Catrin Wyn Davies ...
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Musically fine, dramatically disappointing version of Benjamin Britten's masterpiece.
31 August 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Though this version of Britten's opera is musically impressive and has some fine performances and good photography, this TV. adaptation is bitterly disappointing, due entirely to some poor directorial decisions.

The chief of these is to make the ghosts appear far too early, in far too corporeal form. Henry James, the author of the novella on which the opera is based keeps the ghosts at a distance at first, seen fleetingly high in a tower, or across water or through glass until, as their sinister presence grows stronger, they approach nearer. Here, they are striding about in very fleshy form, right from the beginning. As a result, the most chilling scene in the opera, with Peter Quint appearing at the window, a terrifying moment in most opera or movie versions of the story, has no impact whatsoever. This is a fatal fault in a production of the most subtly frightening of all ghost stories.

The children also appear too old for their roles.

All in all, what is the point of a production of this work, now matter how well performed, if it delivers no chills


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