In 2003, author John Pearson (Paul Freeman) interviews elderly John Burke (Sir Michael Gambon) and Susie Maxwell-Scott (Jane Lapotaire) for his book "The Gamblers", centering on the Clermont Club, a Mayfair casino run by ruthless zookeeper John Aspinall (Christopher Eccleston) around thirty years earlier. His chief client is John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan (Rory Kinnear), ironically nicknamed "Lucky" due to his consistent losing streak. When Lucan's long-suffering wife Veronica (Catherine McCormack) protests at his profligacy, he gets violent, and, under Aspinall's malign influence, tries, and fails, to discredit Veronica's sanity to gain custody of their children after their divorce. While Veronica delights in the friendship of her nanny Sandra Rivett (Leanne Best), Lucan, once more led on by Aspinall, arrives at Veronica's house with murder in mind, but, in the dark, accidentally kills Sandra, rather than intended victim Veronica. Realizing his mistake, he attacks Veronica, but she ...Written by
don @ minifie-1
DCI David Gerring:
Are you proud to be the friend of a man who tried to bash his wife to death?
If she'd been *my* wife, I'd have bashed her to death five years ago - and so would you.
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Bland, unsatisfying retelling of an interesting story
There's a lot of detail omitted from this two-part melodrama. Given its length, I would have thought it would have packed in more. Lord Lucan's colorful background and activities before this incident are omitted, so this becomes just a simple story of how a compulsive gambler, after a bitter divorce, plotted against his wife. But for the stately homes and tuxedos, it's a Lifetime movie about a woman in an abusive relationship.
The crime itself was not that complex, and the theories about what may have happened fairly obvious and not very numerous, so I'm not sure why they had to drag this out for as long as they did. I appreciate their faithfulness to the materials, but if they weren't going to do more with them, they could have at least made the film shorter.
The acting is excellent, and the posh British interiors include some great upholstery, but I'm not sure this is a good investment of movie-watching time. You could spend five minutes reading about Lord Lucan online and then pick a different film.
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