In 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist weighs whether a murderess should be pardoned due to insanity.
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2017  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...  Grace Marks 6 episodes, 2017
...  Dr. Simon Jordan 6 episodes, 2017
...  Mary Whitney 6 episodes, 2017
...  Jeremiah Pontelli 6 episodes, 2017
...  James McDermott 6 episodes, 2017
...  Reverend Verringer / ... 6 episodes, 2017
...  Thomas Kinnear 6 episodes, 2017
...  Nancy Montgomery 6 episodes, 2017
...  Mrs. Humphrey 5 episodes, 2017
...  Jamie Walsh 4 episodes, 2017
...  Keeper #1 4 episodes, 2017
...  Keeper #2 4 episodes, 2017
...  Lydia 4 episodes, 2017
...  Mrs. Honey 4 episodes, 2017
...  Mrs. Parkinson 3 episodes, 2017
...  George Parkinson 3 episodes, 2017
...  Grace's Father 3 episodes, 2017
...  Diane 3 episodes, 2017
...  Cook 3 episodes, 2017
...  Effie 3 episodes, 2017
Diane D'Aquila ...  Mrs. Quenell 3 episodes, 2017
...  Agnes 3 episodes, 2017
...  Mr. McDonald 3 episodes, 2017
...  Orderly 3 episodes, 2017
...  Immigrant / ... 3 episodes, 2017
Scott Edgecombe ...  Tory #1 2 episodes, 2017
...  Tory #2 2 episodes, 2017
John Mallett ...  Asylum Doctor 2 episodes, 2017
...  Reformer #1 2 episodes, 2017
...  Reformer #2 2 episodes, 2017
...  Ship's Doctor 2 episodes, 2017
...  Inmate 2 episodes, 2017
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Storyline

In 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist weighs whether a murderess should be pardoned due to insanity.

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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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3 November 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Grace i Grace  »

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Trivia

The original novel is based on factual events, but it's historical fiction. Several characters, including Dr. Simon Jordan, were created by author Margaret Atwood. See more »

Goofs

When Grace is beside Mary's bed, just before the cemetery scene, the 'corpse' can be seen gently breathing (torso moving). See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Powerful Novel Brought to Life
1 November 2017 | by See all my reviews

Those who have read Margaret Atwood's amazing book, Alias Grace, already know of its layered and nuanced treatment of the story of convicted maidservant Grace Marks.

With that complexity in mind, the six-part mini-series had massive shoes to fill. The various editions of the landmark Canadian novel often exceed five hundred pages, making an on-screen adaptation that much more challenging.

Enter director Mary Harron from stage left. She, with fellow producers Sarah Polley and Margaret Atwood, has put together a drama that captures Victorian-era issues of femininity in a gripping and engaging story of passion, murder, and deceit.

The tale focuses on a retelling of the events leading up to the real-life murders of Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery just outside of Toronto. The imprisoned Marks is questioned, decades following her conviction, at the Kingston Penitentiary by ambitious psychoanalyst, Simon Jordan. The young doctor listens intently as she stitches together the events that preceded the dreadful killings of Kinnear and Montgomery. Grace, along with stable-hand James McDermott, was convicted of murder, but doubts surrounding Grace's guilt (and sanity) remain. As Dr. Jordan delves deeper into her psyche, he becomes more obsessed with what really happened. His efforts to determine her culpability persist, and truth and falsity become dizzying motifs in the story. What isn't said becomes as crucial as what is said and, as the narrative continues, certainty retreats into the shadows.

Sarah Gadon's casting as Grace Marks is, without question, marvelous. She manages to simultaneously convey purity and malevolence with a single glance, and the dynamic between she and Dr. Jordan is laden with wonderful tension. Supporting characters are all played capably (though notable renderings from Paul Gross and Anna Paquin emerge), but their solid performances are continuously, albeit unintentionally, overshadowed by Gadon's understated portrayal of Atwood's complex protagonist.

Whether or not you've read Alias Grace is of little consequence. It's a fantastic book, but the mini-series can be thoroughly enjoyed regardless.

Margaret Atwood's involvement in production clearly enhanced this magnificent mini-series. By the end, viewers are left to question fact, fiction, and everything in between.


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