Thread: Decent Telly
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Old 2nd Feb 2015, 11:07   #1672
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Colyngbourne's Avatar
Join Date: 30 Apr 2003
Location: England
Posts: 10,739
Default Re: Decent Telly

I think it is tremendous - the production values are top notch and the acting too. I particularly like Mark Gatiss and Jonathan Pryce (though no more of him now ) and Mark Rylance naturally excels at Cromwell.

So some people don't like the naturalistic lighting? It's perfectly possible to see what is going on. I watched the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds Persuasion yesterday, which is similarly lit - a wonderfully praised production in 1995 - and what of Barry Lyndon's equally superb cinematography?

Then there's the complaint being made that it recasts Thomas More as a villain, and Cromwell as a praise-worthy reformist. I find this interesting too because reading the books, I still come away with a strong impression of Cromwell as a dangerous and dark man, expert in the political arts maybe, striver for some reformist principles (anti- the corruption in the Roman Catholic church), but essentially a rather nasty - intelligent - fixer, with an eye to his own survival and improvement. I never felt I *knew* the inner man, and the loss of his wife and daughters - whilst sad indeed - didn't convince me that this was a shining man of virtue out to drag the English court and government (and church) out of the putrid medievalism it was clinging onto. Clearly the 'truth' - whatever that may be - is far more complex, and so far, by Episode Two, we haven't seen the extent of Cromwell's manipulations/management - and to be sure, Thomas More's attitudes towards torture or execution are not ideal either.

I am just loving the details - the strapping on Henry's arm as he practises archery, the ordinariness of a pile of linen on Wolsey's bedside table, the cluttered comfort of Cromwell's living/study room; the amazing locations, the stillness and moderated speed of the scenes.

And the actual lute-player (not the actor playing Mark Smeaton) was in the front row of a play in our local church hall last Friday
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