Parade’s End, the five part HBO miniseries, begins tonight. It stars a blonde Benedict Cumberbatch, a pale ginger Rebecca Hall, and Carey Mulligan, Kirstin Dunst and Michelle Williams-esque Adelaide Clemens.

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You’ll want to make Downton Abbey comparisons, but they won’t work.  While our beloved Abbey is something we expect to be warm, tragic and sentimental… Parade’s End is none of those things.

Instead, what you have here is a dry, sometimes slowly dull piece that feels frosty and mournful. Though, I made it through two parts of the mini series already, and will inevitably continue through the rest. Why?

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The acting is solid, but it is the characters that truly dazzle. Their intentions are murky at best, and infuriating most of the time.

In true fashion, it is the fashion and set design (plus – landscapes!) that I want to really praise. The costume designer here was magnificent. I’m still mesmerized by that pale pink off-the-shoulder dress we saw in the first few minutes. The pastoral landscape will only feed your urges to move to the English countryside, as will the indoor decor of elegant silk couches and carved dining tables.

If you do watch, I am curious to hear whether you feel you will watch the next installment. Did it make you feel sad? I must admit I was left a bit…depressed. But, perhaps that the British for you.

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rebecca hall

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adelaide clemens

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adelaide clemens

 

Photos: HBO



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