The Crimson Petal And The White (Import DVD)
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All four episodes of the Victorian drama that follows the attempts of a young prostitute to improve her social standing and escape the poverty that threatens to destroy her. Having gained a reputation for not disappointing her clients, young, quick-witted prostitute Sugar (Romola Garai) yearns to leave her life behind and move up in society. Her chance appears to arrive when she attracts the attention of William Rackham (Chris O'Dowd), the unwilling heir to a perfume empire, whose increasing debts and domestic trials have led him to search for other, more attractive diversions.
But as they become involved, the pair soon find themselves caught up in events outwith their control.
Marguerite, South Africa. 13 May 2014
Beware, if you thought that the Victorian era was a model of morality and decorum, think again. This study of Victorian prostitution and abuse, is strong stuff, but beautifully photographed and acted. Sugar (BAFTA nominated Romola Garai)is a teen age prostitute, working for her brothel-keeping mother (Gillian Anderson), who vents her rage in her sadistic writing. Into her life stumbles William (Chris O'Dowd), a man burdened by his failure as a businessman, a husband and an unfulfilled writer. Willia's wife Agnes (Amanda Hale)is a tragically unstable woman, subjected to the dubious and disturbing ministrations of her doctor (Richard E.Grant). Adding to the tension within the household is William's equally unstable brother Henry (Mark Gatiss)and the doctor's consumptive sister (Shirley Henderson) who share an unrequited love for each other.
When William brings Sugar into the household as governess to his young daughter (Isla Watt), Sugar reacts to Agnes's emotional vulnerability with unexpected compassion, and sets in motion a chain of events that eventually leads to her long-awaited revenge on the male sex.
This thought-provoking 4 part TV series is not recommended for more sensitive viewers.