Alias Grace Is a Gritty and Marvelous Margaret Atwood Adaptation

From TIME - November 9, 2017

On Netflixs new miniseries Alias Grace, we meet Grace (Sarah Gadon) humbled. Its been years since her 1843 conviction for murder; shes escaped death but not suspicion. A psychiatrist (Edward Holcroft) interrogates the former servant about her memories of the deaths of her former employer and his mistress, and Grace picks at her quilting as she answers.

But as we see just how ably Grace can shift between ways of beingfrom naif to knowing and backwhether to believe her story becomes a less compelling mystery than whether she herself believes it. Is the humility just a pose? (Its no surprise that the story is so novelistic; its an adaptation of a book by Margaret Atwood.)

Gadon sells every flickering transformation. Shes aided by Mary Harrons able direction and a juicy script by Sarah Polley. Together, these women have made an Atwood adaptation thats even more rewarding than Hulus The Handmaids Tale. That show draws upon history to imagine how womens rights might regress in a dystopia. Alias Grace makes the case more explicitly, showing how dark the past really was by depicting a woman her era could barely contain.


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