‘The Miniaturist’ Review: PBS’ Dollhouse Drama Is a Haunting and Exquisitely Crafted Surprise

Two weeks after HBO’s Southern gothic thriller “Sharp Objects” revealed its twisted ending, another drama featuring a dollhouse is opening its doors to welcome viewers into a meticulously crafted world. “The Miniaturist,” based on Jessie Burton’s novel of the same name, is PBS’ three-part adaptation that satisfies the “Masterpiece” aesthete’s hunger for beautiful visuals, lavish costuming, and mesmerizing performances.

Set in the 17th century, “The Miniaturist” follows Petronella “Nella” Oortman (“The Witch” and “Split” star Anya Taylor-Joy), a wide-eyed 18-year-old from Assendelft, who has traveled to Amsterdam to join the household of her new husband, Johannes Brandt (Alex Hassell). On the surface, it appears to be the usual sort of marriage contract: She and her family benefit from his wealth and status, while he receives a youthful bride to help continue the Brandt line and look pretty while doing it. The latter, in fact, appears to be
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