Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Season 31 - The Way We Live Now (2001-2002)

Every once in awhile you stumble on a miniseries that gives you a new perspective on an actor you love, like Hugh Bonneville's villainous turn in Daniel Deronda which I talked about last week. And every once in awhile you stumble on a miniseries where you fall in love with an actor previously unknown to you. But the rarest of the rare is when both these events happen within the same miniseries, and that's what happened when I first watched The Way We Live Now. Let's tackle a returning favorite first, David Suchet. David Suchet plays the indomitable Augustus Melmotte, a wealthy foreigner taking in interest in British Rail. Everybody knows Suchet as Poirot. I mean it's not just a role, he IS Poirot and I will fight anyone who disagrees. If you've watched any of the interviews or documentaries with him that often air on PBS it's amazing how unlike Poirot he is. He becomes the character created by Agatha Christie. Which is why his completely submerging himself into the roll of Melmotte shouldn't be a surprise, but it is. I mean I even saw him in The Importance of Being Earnest as Lady Bracknell and he was her! But I'd never searched out films or shows with him starring other than Poirot so The Way We Live Now opened my eyes to his range, his professionalism, and how I definitely need more of him in my life, hence my going to see The Importance of Being Earnest. And speaking of someone welcome in my life at ANY time, let's talk Matthew Macfadyen. Matthew Macfadyen plays Sir Felix Carbury, who is wooing Augustus Melmotte's daughter in a vain attempt to right his family's financial problems. Nowadays everyone knows Matthew as Mr. Darcy opposite Keira Knightly. Keep in mind that film was four years away from happening when I first watched The Way We Live Now. So I hunted up everything I could that Matthew starred in, which wasn't much at the time! Even Spooks was a year away! But thankfully there was Enigma, Murder Rooms, Wuthering Heights, the one with him having no lines, and maybe it's best to skip Maybe Baby. I was enamored of this English John Cusack as my friend Jess dubbed him. To this day I will watch him in anything! Though there are a few that I wish I could forget. Looking at you Any Human Heart!


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