On the Box #3 | The Long Song

To see the original post in this series, click here.

Today’s featured TV show is the 3 part miniseries adaptation of 2011 Walter Scott Prize recipient The Long Song by Andrea Levy. I adored every second, and since it’s only available on BBC iPlayer for 3 more weeks, I thought I’d waste no time in letting you know all about how amazing it is!

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Credit: BBC

What’s it about?

The Long Song tells the story of July, a slave born on a sugar plantation in Jamaica. It follows her life as maid to Caroline Mortimer, sister of the plantation’s owner, in the period leading up to the abolition of slavery in the 1830s.

As I didn’t read the novel before watching this adaptation, I can’t comment on how faithfully it follows the novel’s plot – I can only comment on how thoroughly gripped and moved I was by the TV series.

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Credit: BBC

Why I love it

This series is definitely not an easy watch – at times I felt so uncomfortable witnessing how horrifically the slaves were treated by the plantation owners. But it’s such an important story, and one that very much needs to be heard. July gives voice to a generation of Jamaican slaves in the time on either side of the abolition.

At points I was moved to tears, but these darker moments are lightened by July’s boundless resolve, courage and sense of humour. I completely fell in love with her character, and equally hated the character of Caroline Mortimer; the entire cast gave fantastic performances, stirring up so many different emotions in me.

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Credit: Heyday Television/Carlos Rodriguez

Recommended if you like:

Moving dramas, biographical stories, educational series

 

On the Box #2 |Anne with an E

Last month I started a new feature on my blog to discuss period films and dramas I’ve been enjoying recently. For my first post I talked about Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in his early days as Prime Minister.

Today’s blog post is all about Anne with an E, Netflix’s show based on beloved children’s classic Anne of Green Gables.

Credit: Netflix


Title: 
Anne With an E
Format: Netflix Original TV Show
Released (UK): S1 May 2017, S2 July 2018
Starring: Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James, R. H. Thomson

What’s it about?

As mentioned above, this Netflix show is based on the beloved children’s classic Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. Set on Prince Edward Island, Canada in 1908, it tells the story of Anne Shirley, the lovable, chatterbox orphan who is mistakenly sent to live with brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert.

It’s worth pointing out that the TV show doesn’t directly follow the novel’s plot – but for me this doesn’t detract from my enjoyment, as I tend to think of them as separate things. The show definitely features some elements I love from the novel, though – such as Rachel Lynde’s penchant for gossip, and the lovely friendship between Anne and Diana Barry.

Dalila Bela and Amybeth McNulty in Anne (2017)

Credit: Ken Woroner, CBC

Why I love it

I think my absolute favourite thing about this show (other than the fabulous acting, especially by Amybeth Mcnulty as Anne) is the incredible soundtrack. The music has quite a modern feel, but is also very folksy and lilting which I think suits the setting perfectly.

Although there’s plenty of lighthearted humour (mostly thanks to Anne’s to dive headlong into one scrape after another), the show also touches on some important issues. The topic of bullying is handled in both seasons, with racism and female education covered in season 2 along with some great LGBT rep.

Geraldine James, R.H. Thomson, and Amybeth McNulty in Anne (2017)

Credit: CBC, Netflix


Recommended if you like:

Children’s classics, female friendships, spunky heroines

Have you been binging S2 of Anne over the past couple of months? Did you love Anne of Green Gables as a child? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

 

On the Box #1 | Darkest Hour

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, my love of historical fiction is not limited to novels. A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about my Favourite Period Dramas, including popular new shows such as The Crown and Victoria, and adaptations of beloved classics such as Pride and Prejudice.

Since then, I’ve discovered several new favourite period dramas and films, so I thought I would make a regular feature on my blog for me to share what I’ve been watching recently.

So without further ado, here’s the first post in my series of period dramas/films I’ve been loving recently!

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Credit: United International

 

Title: Darkest Hour
Format: Film
Released: 2017
Starring: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas

 

What’s it about?

This Oscar-winning film starts with Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister in 1940, as Britain faces the very real possibility of a Nazi invasion. Facing opposition from fellow politicians, Churchill must decide whether to attempt to negotiate peace with Nazi Germany, or continue fighting.

Leading right up to Dunkirk, the famous rescue in which hundreds of thousands of Allied troops were rescued from beaches in the north of France, Darkest Hour deals with Churchill’s struggles – both internal and external – as he fights to gain the confidence of fellow politicians and the credibility of the public whilst being forced to make one of the most difficult decisions a prime minister has ever had to make.

Plot: Darkest Hour stars Gary as British wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill who showcased a jaw-dropping transformation to play the revered Briton

Credit: LMK

 

Why I love it

I’m one of those people who seems to live under a rock and is really quite ignorant about famous actors, so when I watched the film I didn’t actually know what Gary Oldman looked like in real life. As soon as I Googled him afterwards, I was completely amazed – because as I’m sure most of you will know, that is some make-up and hairstyling team who succeeded in pulling off his transformation!

Incredible make-up aside, Gary Oldman’s acting was absolutely phenomenal. He was Churchill for me, in every sense of the word, and I loved the way that he was portrayed as a flawed person who was incredibly difficult to deal with despite his courageous decisions.

Kristin Scott Thomas and Gary Oldman in the film 'Darkest Hour'

Credit: Focus Features

 

Recommended if you like:

Oscar-winning films, WWII, films based on true stories

 

Did you see Darkest Hour when it was out in the cinema? What did you think? Leave your comments below, as I would love to hear your thoughts!