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Fingersmith (2005)

In Amazing, based on novel, BBC, Crime, LGTB, period drama, Recommendation, series on 06/09/2011 at 6:54 pm

This is a truly ingenious piece of writing by the talented Sarah Waters. Fortunately, the BBC did a mini-series so good it had me jumping up from my comfy sofa, exclaiming enthused cheers several times. I hadn’t read the book yet, mind, so every twist and turn taken was a surprise. But: if you have read it, watch it anyway. I do think it’s that well done.

Fingersmith (slang for thief) is set in 19th century Dickensian London and tells the tale of the unfortunate orphan girl Sue (Sally Hawkins), who is made to thieve to earn her keep. The deceitful and tawdry conman Richard ‘Gentleman’ Rivers (Rupert Evans) comes up with a scam to trick the beautiful Lady Maud Lilly (Elaine Cassidy) out of her money – and Sue must be part of the plan.

This plan naturally goes tits up in several ways (quite literally). Kudos to the starry and very convincing cast – and, to any lad harbouring the misconception that every period drama must be a chick-flick: this one isn’t. Not in the traditional sense, anyway.

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