ILLUSTRATION BY CONOR LANGTON
In a review full of quotable passages, Nussbaum raves about the intricate and uncompromising adaption, acknowledging that it might be too much for viewers, while rejoicing in the director’s refusal to use boring voice-overs or other expository tricks.
From the New Yorker review:
Wolf Hall,” the BBC adaptation of two Booker Prize-winning novels by Hilary Mantel, looked ominously like the same old, same old: a costume drama set in sixteenth-century England, scored to classical music, starring actors with faces like romantic ruins—yet another relic wheeled out of the vault.
Instead, the show’s deliberately paced six hours turn out to be riveting, precisely because they are committed, without apology or, often, much explanation, to the esotericism of their subject matter. (“Riveting” is what you call shows like this when you enjoy them; “dense” is what you say when you don’t.) Once I got comfortable with hitting Pause and consulting Wikipedia as needed, I found the series beginning to expand and deepen, intensifying with each episode.
Nussbaum focuses on the many ways the show ignores convention, and the real power dynamics and manipulations behind the storyline.
Now that the show has developed, do you agree with Nussbaum? Has it maintained your interest?
Posted by David Streever