Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Alias Grace

Mary Harron brings a rich rendition of Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace to screen this month in this series streaming on Netflix.  

In Alias Grace, acclaimed murderess Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) recounts her life, shown in flashbacks, to psychologist Dr. Simon (Edward Holcroft), who wishes to have her acquitted.  

He draws from her detailed memories journeying from Ireland to Toronto, struggling with an abusive father and dysfunctional family, and working as a servant for a well-to-do Toronto family.  

He's less successful soliciting a solid account of her time spent working north of Toronto, where two people were murdered within her first two months.

Sarah Gadon brings serenity to the deeply disturbed Grace, who quilts as she recounts her story.  Holcroft conveys his empathy through subtle but convincing facial expressions.  

Anna Paquin and Rebecca Liddiard give solid performances as Grace's coworkers.  

Although based on actual murders that took place in Upper Canada in 1843, Atwood has created a work of fiction with Alias Grace.  The costumes and frequent discussion of Canadian Rebellion of 1837 effectively capture Canada in the Victorian Era.  

Sarah Polly writes convincing dialogue, and despite an ambiguous ending where two characters never acknowledge their relationship from the past (you sense something may have been cut out from the book), this series is good for a binge-watch.  

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