ACORN Out Now
There are layers of you, aren’t there?” says Julie Walters’ Marie, peering into the face of her comedian husband, Paul Finchley (Robbie Coltrane), in this sharp-edged Channel 4 drama.
The crack casting allows those layers and more to be assiduously peeled away during writer Jack Thorne’s forensic, focused drama, based upon the sensationalist scenarios prompted by the police’s Operation Yewtree. Coltrane invests great nuance in Finchley, a much-loved stalwart of British light entertainment who’s accused of rape and sex with a minor. Conveying both threat and comfortTV cosiness, Coltrane superbly sustains Finchley’s ambiguity, which is artfully framed by Marc Munden’s heightened direction and Cristobal Tapia de Veer’s spooked score. Thorne also scrupulously explores Finchley’s tellingly fraught family crises (aided by controlled work from Walters and Andrea Riseborough), the public/private divide, his accusers’ anguish and his defence team’s cynicism.
After Finchley’s accusers are debunked and his TV partner (Tim Mcinnerny) commits perjury, the resolution brings answers and also inflammatory, culture-wide implications.
A landmark series that’s tense, layered, bruising and designed to stick with you.
Riseborough, Coltrane and Walters portray the Finchleys brilliantly.