Sunday, August 17, 2008


This is the latest film adaptation of a Sarah Waters novel and definitively feels and looks as a good film that tells a compelling story, has good movie ambiance and cinematography with indoors takes of a prison that looks very real and in my imagination really Victorian, even when I know it was filmed in Romania.

Set in Victorian England, the movie tells about well-to-do Margaret Prior (Anna Madeley) that after her father died she was left with nothing much to do as she was his assistant and her decision to occupy herself by paying charitable visits to a local women’s jail. When she enters the prison she will found herself drawn to mysterious Selina (Zoe Tapper) and as Selina starts to introduce her to spiritualism, Margaret becomes more and more interested in Selina especially when Selina -thanks to spirits that know everything- ‘sees’ Margaret interior and finds her must-hidden sorrow.

What follows is a thrilling voyage into the life of a lonely woman that more unwillingly than willingly falls for a woman after being deeply hurt by another. So, it is not a regular romance story, as also Tipping The Velvet and Fingersmith were not; but what this story has it that very fast engages you with the mystery mood that was quite successfully achieved in the film.

Obviously you will enjoy the movie a lot more if you have not read the novel, as the end is unexpected even when at one moment you start to suspect everything but dismiss it as you truly wish everything you are seeing could be true in the story.

Tim Fywell directs the film with a screenplay by Andrew Davies that also wrote the script for Tipping The Velvet and does it with interesting cinematography especially in the indoor prison scenes. But this time I have to admit that the movie as a movie could have been better if it was not conceived as a movie made for TV and I say conceived as finally it was first released on DVD than aired on TV.

Tipping The Velvet is my favorite film adaptation of Waters novels and this one is the second favorite that came very close. Absolutely a must be seen for those that enjoy Sarah Waters stories even when this one is a lot darker than the other two. As a matter of fact Affinity is the second novel by Waters and it seems that only after the success of the other two film adaptations, this earlier and darkish story was done.

I really hope that sooner than later the film adaptation of the fourth novel by Waters, The Night Watch becomes another interesting film that I definitively will watch and hopefully by now producers know (seems they do as went DVD before free TV airing) that Waters’ film adaptations have a good mainstream and lesbian interest audience and will assign a bigger budget that will increase production values. But please do not get the wrong idea that this film has not acceptable production values as it does, but there is always room to improve with a larger budget.

According to what I have been reading Sarah Waters film adaptations have been gaining more and more mainstream audience, so I feel that this film could be enjoyed by those readers that not particularly like the lesbian interest movies, so I suggest you give it a try. Then absolutely a must be seen for those that enjoy the genre.


P.S. The following information is just for me to not forget it: this is a Box TV (UK), Cite Amerique (Canada), Castel Film (Romania) production for ITV (UK), in association with Movie Central, the Movie Network, Showcase and Logo.

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