Wolf Hall (PBS)
2015 | A Playground Entertainment and Company Pictures Production for BBC and MASTERPIECE in association with BBC Worldwide, Altus Medi
The greatness of Wolf Hall lies in the way it re-invents a familiar genre, the historical costume drama, and moves it to an entirely new level. Hilary Mantel’s prizewinning novels are here distilled by the skill of adapter Peter Straughan into a series of key scenes over six hours, then given the feel of a political thriller by the direction of Peter Kosminsky. Fantastic attention to detail in costume and production design evoke the 16th-century setting, while the beautiful visual composition and Debbie Wiseman’s subtle score complete the mood. And then there are the acting performances, perfect down to the smallest role, but featuring phenomenal work from the three main leads: Damian Lewis as Henry VIII, Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn and, above all, Mark Rylance, mesmerizing as Thomas Cromwell. The climactic execution scene is tense and riveting, even though you already know how it ends. For a completely new and engrossing insight into what we thought was familiar history, Wolf Hall receives a Peabody Award.
Executive Producers: Colin Callender, John Yorke, Polly Hill, Rebecca Eaton, Martin Rakusen, Ben Donald, Tim Smith. Producer: Mark Pybus. Director: Peter Kosminsky. Writer: Peter Straughan. Director of Photography: Gavin Finney. Actors: Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy, Bernard Hill, Anton Lesser, Mark Gatiss, Mathieu Amalric, Joanne Whalley, Jonathan Pryce, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Harry Lloyd, Jessica Raine, Saskia Reeves, Charity Wakefield.
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