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ALIAS GRACE
November 3, 2017  | By David Bianculli

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

 
SERIES PREMIERE: Earlier this year, a new adaptation of a vintage Margaret Atwood novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, became the first streaming service TV production to win the Emmy as Outstanding Drama Series. Now comes another streaming-TV adaptation from another vintage Atwood novel, and Alias Grace, too, is sure to garner attention and praise. Sarah Gadon stars in this period story, based on actual events, about a woman accused and convicted of murder in the 1840s, who more than a decade later is visited in prison by a doctor who interviews her at length to determine her state of mind – and guilt or innocence, since she never confessed to the crimes. Actress Sarah Polley wrote all six episodes, and Mary Harron (American Psycho) directed all six. Alias Grace unfurls slowly, but stay with it. Halfway through, we get to the part of Grace’s story where she talks about the farmer and housekeeper she’s accused of killing – and that’s where Paul Gross and Anna Paquin step in, and give instantly captivating performances. For my full review on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, visit the Fresh Air website this afternoon. And for full reviews by TVWW contributors, see Ed Bark’s Uncle Barky’s Bytes and David Hinckley’s All Along the Watchtower.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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