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Friday, March 6, 2015

Death Comes to Pemberley (2014)

This mini-series is for people who enjoy solid Jane Austen (and Austen-adjacent) adaptations and other fare of that kind. The BBC adaptation of the P.D. James book is exactly what I expected it to be: A pleasingly executed diversion featuring capable and textured performances from actors in key roles. Here is what I mean.  Elizabeth is just as practical and likable as I would expect.  Darcy is a bit of an ass, but certainly a ramrod straight shooter and one who would never leave family in a lurch, no matter how annoying and troublesome they might be.  Lydia is self-centered and Wickham is a cad.

The weaving of a murder mystery into the cast of Pride and Prejudice will undoubtedly set the teeth of some Austen fans on edge, but as a big fan of both James and the genre, I was quite happy with the result.  The lushness of Austen's settings, the classism of the era, and the costumes are all wonderful.  Trevor Eve gives a good performance as a nuanced bad guy.  Recommended, and it is streaming on Netflix.

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