Valjean gets scammed and almost caught, Marius finds purpose, Cosette discovers the outside world and Javert continues to be very obsessed. Continue reading Les Miserables Episode 4 Recap: Coincidentally…
Marius is raised by a Napoleon-hating grandfather, Fantine gets screwed in more ways than one, Jean Valjean is released from prison & finds a better path Continue reading Les Miserables Episode 1
Rawdon is exiled, Becky dashes to the Continent, Dobbin and Jos return, two boys come into their inheritances, and Amelia finally gets it together Continue reading Vanity Fair Episode 7 Recap: Endings and Beginnings
Becky reaches beyond even her own ambitions, receiving an invitation to meet the king, but then crashes spectacularly. Amelia makes a difficult decision. Continue reading Vanity Fair Episode 6 Recap: What Goes Up Must Come Down
The men march off to war, and one doesn’t come back. Two children are born, one elderly aunt dies, and new chapters begin for everybody. Continue reading Vanity Fair Episode 5 Recap: Battles Won and Lost
Becky et al head off to war, which seems like a big party, for a while. George drools over her, Amelia gets sad, and Rawdon gets promoted Continue reading Vanity Fair Episode 4 Recap: Oh, What a Lovely War!
Becky and Rawdon make it official, which upsets everyone with money; George finds his honourable side just in time; and Dobbin once again gets the shaft Continue reading Vanity Fair Episode 3: Unequal Marriage
Becky sets out to charm the Crawley family, in particular dashing second son Rawdon and his very rich aunt, Miss Crawley. Continue reading Vanity Fair Episode 2: Charmed, I’m Sure
Becky Sharp begins her distinguished career as a gold-digger, first by targeting her friend’s awkward brother, and then taking notice of her employer’s son Continue reading Vanity Fair, Episode 1: Husband Hunting
Time for our first costume drama of 2016, and the BBC has gone with a work that practically defines epic: War and Peace. This is the second time the BBC has shown Tolstoy’s masterpiece some adaptation love (the first time was in the early 70’s, with Anthony Hopkins playing Pierre). The first outing ran 17 hours and was a pretty slavish adaptation, from what I understand. This is a much leaner version that will undoubtedly trim quite a few minor characters and subplots. Let’s just see how it goes.
It’s 1805 and Napoleon has invaded Austria. Russia’s thrown in with Austria, which means war for Russia as well.
We open on a massive army encampment overlooked by, presumably, Napoleon himself before moving to St Petersburg, which looks really lovely.
Time for a ball! Drink! An awkward young man, Pierre, arrives and grabs a drink while the hostess, Anna Pavlovna (played by Gillian Anderson, whom the BBC just adores) chats about this impending war with another guest, Prince Vassily Kuragin, who reassures her their glorious emperor has things well in hand. Anna notices Pierre and we learn that Pierre’s the illegitimate son of a wealthy count who is also a kinsman of Kuragin’s. Pierre is staying in Kuragin’s home. We get a brief glimpse of Vassily’s two children, Helene and Anatol, who are clearly too cool for school here. Also, Helene’s costuming is so anachronistic it’s kind of distracting. She looks like she was dressed by a fashion designer from the 30’s who was taking some cues from the early 19th century but essentially hewing to art deco ideals.