Oh, boy, this is a good one. The Netflix limited series Alias Grace is based on the 1996 novel by Margaret Atwood.
We find ourselves back in the 1850s. Sarah Gadon plays Grace Marks, a young girl who leaves Ireland for Toronto and whose trajectory can only be described as grim.
Is she a murderess?
I’m halfway through this six-episode limited series, and I will not say another word. I loved knowing very little about this series and this story before I began watching—sometimes the hullabaloo around a movie sucks all the surprise out of it.
The performances are good to great, the desaturated color of the whole thing feels like a faded memory, and the performance of Sarah Gadon is perfectly flat and ambiguous.
There is a ton of heartbreak in here, and not a little violence, so fair warning. But Margaret Atwood’s interest in the lives of women is front and center here, maybe a prequel of sorts to The Handmaid’s Tale in terms of providing the historical background of women who get very, very little from the world—and often sacrifice pretty much everything.