Friday, April 9, 2021

Season 32 - Daniel Deronda (2002-2003)

On one level Daniel Deronda is all about the love triangle where there girl I was rooting for gets the guy despite not having the killer wardrobe the other girl does. I mean it, the clothes are top notch! On another level it's about making fun of Jamie Bamber's facial hair. I mean seriously, I can NOT look at him as Hans and not burst out laughing. I just wonder what would have become of Battlestar Galactica had he taken this look with him to that show later the same year. OK, now I can't stop laughing again. I should also stop googling images of him as Hans because this isn't helping things. At all. OK, it's making me happy, so perhaps I should continue. If you want to have a good laugh google "Daniel Deronda Jamie Bamber" and have yourself a gander and a giggle. Curtailing my mirth, most importantly this miniseries is about the acting range of Hugh Bonneville. His turn as Henleigh Grandcourt is nothing short of pure villainy. The first time I watched it I was enraptured by Hugh Bonneville, and yes, I feel obliged to use his full name in this review to not confuse him with the other Hugh in this adaptation, Hugh Dancy, who is also perfectly cast if you were wondering. Hugh Bonneville in recent years has cemented his teddy bear persona with his portrayal of Robert Crawley on Downton Abbey. He's a bit befuddled, but he gets there in the end and is the best dad a girl could hope for. He doubled down on this by helming the Paddington Bear franchise. Prior to Daniel Deronda he was also the teddy bear, the devoted husband in The Cazalets, the oblivious Mr. Rushworth in the version of Mansfield Park I fail to acknowledge, and of course most notably, Bernie, the bumbling friend of Hugh Grant, dammit another HUGH has snuck into this review, in Notting Hill. So Hugh Bonneville is almost always playing to his strengths here, which makes Daniel Deronda so amazing. He is an out and out brute and you don't for one second deny that this is who he is! He became the character and he is the driving force of this miniseries. This isn't Hugh Bonneville anymore, this is Grandcourt! A villain to watch out for and an actor to admire.


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