The adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has take the world by storm, both due to its excellent production and also the enduring relevance of the themes it explores. The new Atwood inspired Netflix show Alias Grace, based on the 1986 novel, is set to do the same.
The six-part miniseries is based on the true story from 1843 of Irish immigrant in Canada, Grace Marks, who was convicted of murdering her employer and the housekeeper assisted by stable-hand James McDermott. Similar to The Handmaid’s Tale, the story explores themes of oppression and abuse, but it is not set in a dystopia. This was real life, which, the A.V. Club points out, makes it all the more scary. The L.A. Times says ‘Alias Grace isn’t The Handmaid’s Tale, but it is part of the same story – a story of oppression passed down from generation to generation.’
Image Via Toronto International Film Festival
The A.V. Club are calling it a ‘remarkable series.’ In response to the show’s handling of reproductive rights and the dangers of backstreet abortions, they note that ‘like [A Handmaid’s Tale], it’s a stern reminder of everything today’s women have to lose, and how little conservative legislation it would take to lose everything.’
The character of Grace is somewhat mysterious, her truth never quite clarified. Director Sarah Polley says, ‘I’d never read a character that complex, a woman or a man.’ Hailed as ‘electrifying’ by Entertainment Weekly, star Sarah Gadon leads the cast as the unreliable narrator, accompanied by True Blood‘s Anna Paquin and Game of Thrones‘ Kerr Logan. Of Gadon, Polley says:
She has an old-soul quality that you needed for Grace. She can do very delicate shifts of emotion, even when listening or reacting, even when being still. Her face is very emotionally transparent. It’s like water, with little shifts under the surface.
I absolutely cannot wait to watch this, so much so that I may commit the cardinal sin of watching an adaptation prior to reading the book. I’m a slow reader with a to-read list the length of my entire body, I’m not going to get to read it AND watch the show in time to join in all the lively discussion with my peers. I CAN’T MISS OUT ON THAT SWEET, SWEET DISCUSSION.
Featured Image Via Entertainment Weekly