After the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey, his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, finds himself amongst the treachery and intrigue of King Henry VIII's court and soon becomes a close advisor to the King, a role fraught with danger.
In 1533, Anne Boleyn has given birth to a daughter, much to King Henry VIII's disdain. As Anne's paranoia over her inability to produce a son grows, Thomas Cromwell tries to convince Sir Thomas More ...
In 1535, King Henry VIII's attempt to be declared Head of the Church in England has been denied by the Holy Roman Emperor. Meanwhile, Anne Boleyn's failure to produce a male heir leads Henry toward ...
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the King dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The Pope and most of Europe oppose him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer, and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?Written by
Exquisite production, superb acting and, at last a realistic Middle-Age lighting!
I rate this 10/10 to counterbalance a couple of people who, perhaps used to watching flat TV shows, have given a most unfair 1/10 rate to a magnificent mini-series.
The acting is impeccable. Mark Rylance plays a remarkable Cromwell, completely taking over the audience with a subtly nuanced character composition. I've always enjoyed Damian Lewis, so it is no surprise his Henry VIII hasn't disappointed me in the least. But Claire Foy, what a talented, lovely interpretation! They, together with Saskia Reeves (an excellent actress), Jessica Raine and a constellation of great actors make Wolf Hall a truly powerful experience to view more than once.
The production boasts of a marvelous attention to detail, from indoors decoration to costumes, behaviours and dining-- a pleasure to relish on.
But what most impressed me (other people have hated the show for this) is the dim, realistic candle-lit night scenes. I have always deplored movies with fake candle-lit interiors which are an insult to viewers' discerning ability. Now you watch Wolf Hall and you can almost smell the dripping burning candles!
The action is very well plotted, considering the books are quite lengthy. There is nothing boring in this 6-episode great TV show and much to enjoy and admire. When episode 6 gets to the closing scenes, you end up wishing there were a second or third season (though, the truth must be said, no one would like to see Cromwell's ill-fated decapitation in Rylance's human and favourable depiction).
In short, if you appreciate exquisite direction and photography, excellent acting, a great script adaptation and a lavish historical production, you will find this show second to none.
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