Critical Condition: The Woman in White

The Woman in White | SoHo, 8.30 Sunday

☆☆☆☆ “Fiona Seres’ period adaptation of the classic Victorian sensation novel, directed by Carl Tibbetts, is reverberating in the present day. Not just with its #MeToo-ness, but also in having a 21st-century flash-forward structure that teases and hints without giving too much away, adding intrigue and momentum … Classy BBC drama – period but fresh – for a Sunday night.” — The Guardian.

☆☆☆ “Someone in the BBC’s sexy corset department has read Wilkie Collins’s sexually deranged, largely unreadable masterpiece. She’s so relieved she’s finished it, she decides to commission a big breeches-buster for Sunday nights … It doesn’t quite come together. It is neither a big and sexy ode to crinolines nor a reflective and calm ‘feminist’ offering … It’s at once ponderous and ridiculous.” — Sunday Times.

☆☆☆ “This big-budget adaptation of Wilkie Collins’s 1859 sensation novel promised from the start to recreate the England of the Industrial Revolution with lavish authenticity … The magnificent house in the Lake District where the half-sisters were cooped up did not disappoint either, a maze of passages and staircases, with Charles Dance as a mad uncle in one dusty chamber. It was gorgeously Gothic.” — Daily Mail.

☆☆☆ “In the new five-part TV adaptation of the book, there’s no blood, no ghosts, and only a few high-pitched screams—hardly a Halloween fright fest. But The Woman in White still scared me—especially its second and third hours. What’s so disturbing about the story is the sheer terror of its female protagonists’ unknown future—how little understanding or control they have over their fates, in a world ruled by men.” — Vanity Fair.

☆☆☆ “It’s a story made for serialisation, and, unlike some Victorian television adaptations, it doesn’t employ garish audio-visual effects to galvanise the modern viewer. Screenwriter Fiona Seres follows the outlines of the novel (and finds a way to maintain its multiple-testimony narrative), with some economical compression and original elaboration in the denouement.” — Los Angeles Times.

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