Fingersmith - (Import DVD)
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Three-part BBC television adaptation of the novel by Sarah Waters, set in Victorian London. In the dark alleyways and backstreets of the capital, orphan girl Sue Trinder (Sally Hawkins) is raised by Mrs Sucksby (Imelda Staunton) and her family of petty thieves, crooks and con men. Among Mrs Sucksby's crew is a sinister young man, Richard Rivers (Rupert Evans), known as 'the Gentleman', who has come up with a bold scheme to steal an inheritance from a vulnerable and naive young heiress, Maud Lilly (Elaine Cassidy). Arranging for Sue to be employed as a maid in Maud's household, Rivers poses as a suitable gentleman for Maud's hand in marriage. The scheme is derailed however when Sue finds herself falling in love with her. With Maud eventually committed to an asylum as a result of Rivers' devious plan, Sue must turn her back on her adopted criminal family and avoid the wrath of 'the Gentleman' in order to save her.
Marguerite, South Africa. 31 July 2014
Contemporary authoress Sarah Waterson has borrowed heavily from Victorian author Wilkie Collins's psychological drama THE WOMAN IN WHITE, to create her novel FINGERSMITH. Director Aisling Walsh, screenwriter Peter Ramsley and costume designer Susannah Buxton have done an excellent job in bringing the book to life on the screen. Nor must one overlook the cinematography of Simon Kossof and the evocative music score by Richard Blackford, all of which makes this BAFTA nominated 2 part miniseries a memorable viewing experience. Set in late Victorian England, the complicated plot revolves around Grace Sucksby (played by the incomparable Imelda Staunton) and her gang of "fingersmiths" - Cockney slang for pickpockets & thieves. She and a con-man, who goes by a number of aliases (Rupert Evans), devise a plan to rob a young heiress, Maud Lilly (Elaine Cassidy), of her fortune. The decoy is another young woman, Susan Trinder (Sally Hawkins), who has been raised by Grace since she was a baby. Nothing is as it seems in this story, and things start to go awry when Susan and Maud fall in love, and yet betray each other - the one for money, the other for freedom from the life she lives with her seedy uncle (Charles Dance). Keep your wits about you while watching this film - it is convoluted.