Finally, I was able to watch a good movie after weeks of boredom. I watched this flick with Janina sleeping (she just came from work) in my room. I liked this better than her first work (Tipping the Velvet) and actually enjoyed this one from start to finish. Yes, I was even surprised at the end.
From Sarah Waters, author of Tipping the Velvet, comes this twisting and twisted Victorian-era thriller with an L-word charge.
Sally Hawkins stars as Sue, an orphan who grows up among the reprobates of Lant Street to become an accomplished "fingersmith" (thief). Elaine Cassidy costars as Maud Lilly, an heiress who, as a young girl, was plucked from the madhouse and raised by her stern, bibliophile uncle (Charles Dance). He makes her wear gloves at all times so as not to smudge the precious tomes he makes her read every night.
Enter Richard Rivers (Rupert Evans, the otherwise sterling cast's weakest link), an artist hired to give her painting lessons. But he has designs on Maude's fortune, and recruits Sue for an elaborate con. That's when the gloves really come off.
Originally broadcast on the BBC, this riveting three-part tale of illicit passion and betaryal is by turns harrowing and quite erotic (the tasteful sex scenes manage to generate heat without baring a lot of skin). The literate script reveals its feminist leanings ("You are a man and might do everything," Maude tells Richard during their first meeting. "I am a woman and might do nothing."). The superb cast includes Academy Award-nominee Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake) as Mrs. Sucksby, a Fagin-esque character who mentored Sue, and has a few surprises for Maud, as well.
This adaptation of Sarah Waters' book was even better than "Tipping the Velvet" - better plot twists, more curvy storyline, etc. She "teases out" the subtext of Victorian novels to bring them into the forefront - giving them much deserved attention.