Alias Grace

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - GUIDE -

IT was in­evitable after be­came one of the run­away suc­cesses of this year, that more of Margaret At­wood’s rich back-cat­a­logue would be mined for TV adap­ta­tions and Alias Grace is cer­tainly one of her best. The story of Grace Marks, a no­to­ri­ous 18th cen­tury mur­derer who em­i­grated to Canada from Ire­land, is told from her own per­spec­tive and that of the doc­tor who vis­its her in prison, help­ing her to re­con­struct her dreams and mem­o­ries. This cre­ate doubts about Grace’s guilt as we hear of the same cat­a­clysmic event from dif­fer­ent an­gles, each of which seems to be the truth. It is this am­biva­lence that drives both the book and this adap­ta­tion. Sarah Gadon shines here as Grace and Anna Paquin, the win­some child from The Pi­ano all grown up, is ex­cel­lent sup­port. The mix of gothic hor­ror, his­tor­i­cal drama and so­cial com­men­tary that en­thralled At­wood’s read­ers trans­lates with sur­pris­ing ease to the small screen.

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