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Affinity (2008)

ZoŽ Tapper , Anna Madeley , Tim Fywell  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: ZoŽ Tapper, Anna Madeley, Domini Blythe, Amanda Plummer, Mary Jo Randle
  • Directors: Tim Fywell
  • Writers: Andrew Davies, Sarah Waters
  • Producers: Adrian Bate, Andrew Davies, Bogdan Moncea, Greg Dummett, Gub Neal
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MTV
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018O5WVO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,097 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Affinity" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus Scene
  • Over 30 minutes of Interviews

Editorial Reviews

Affinity, based on the mystery romance novel by Sarah Waters, is a well-done melodrama spun from ghost tales, sexual tension, and female rebellion. Director Tim Fywell, known for his work with Masterpiece Theater and other British television programming, maintains period detail in this story of a modern love quandary between two women in Victorian England. In it, Margaret Prior (Anna Madeley) begins visiting Millbanks, a dreary women’s prison, to combat the malaise she feels following her father’s death. There, she meets famed medium Selina Dawes (Zoe Tapper), imprisoned for her client’s murder that she alleges was committed by Peter Quick, an evil, uncontrollable spirit she channelled. As the two women grow closer, their psychic battles with unknown forces increase congruently to the external and internal conflicts that arise, namely warnings from Margaret’s male suitor, and the prison guards that protest her criminal alliance. The physical beauty of the two actresses greatly enhances the sexual tension implicit to this supernatural fantasy. The story maintains an historical relevance to women’s socio-political issues, as it envisions what women’s prisons looked like during the Industrial Age, and it tackles a subject matter, namely séance, that was of major interest to women during the Victorian era. Dark atmospheres and repeated close-ups of the protagonists’ emotionally fraught faces lend Affinity a severity that is borderline sensationalistic. Overall, Affinity functions as a witchy soap opera suited to ladies wishing for a light spook. --Trinie Dalton

Product Description

Anna Madeley, Zoe Tapper. Sarah Waters' powerful novel details the daring escapades of the wealthy Victorian lass, Margaret Prior. Prior, while mourning the death of her father, decides to find new purpose in her life by visiting female inmates at the Millbank Prison. But her mission takes on a new persona as she finds herself infatuated with the attractive Selina Dawes, a medium imprisoned for assaulting a young girl at a seance. 2008/color/94 min/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elective Affinities September 24, 2009
"Affinity" is a surprisingly good thriller set in a women's prison during Victorian times. Margaret Prior (Anne Madeley) is devastated by her father's death;to make matters worse, her former lover Helen is now wed to her brother. She decides to be a lady visitor at a women's prison. In a sense,it symbolizes women's imprisonment at the time. Margaret is expected to marry&bear children--but she keeps her secret "locked tightly inside her." Selina Dawes (Zoe Tapper) is literally imprisoned, apparently for an accident that happened during a seance. The conventions of the time are confining. Anna Massey,a classic British actress,stars as a prison matron.

Margaret finds herself falling in love with Selina. Their union is primarily platonic (unlike other Sarah Waters movies)--there are only a few chaste kisses at the end. Margaret finds herself haunted by spirits. Her locket carrying Helen's hair vanishes; she mysteriously receives flowers. She finally has the strength to break her engagement with Theophilus.

"Affinity" is an engrossing movie. The cast is uniformly excellent. Like Sarah Waters' previous movie "Fingersmith",con games are important to the plot. The final plot twist is heartbreaking,and surprised even me. Despite its use of overused tropes (women in prison, suicidal lesbians, same-sex relationships basically doomed to tragic ends),it succeeds as a thriller.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story! October 9, 2008
By dcg
Interesting story! As expected, it is beautifully filmed, the dialogue is convincing and the actresses are wonderfull - like other Sarah Waters stories. The actresses do a wonderful job in displaying love for one another, despite the lack of love scenes between them. I Really enjoyed the twist in this one, very unexpected! I give it a 4 however, because the end was a bit disappointing. I agree with the previous reviewer in that if you like happy endings movies, this one will likely dissapoint. Overall though, I though it was a very good movie and worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie January 1, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie is so intriging. The story is awesome yet heart breaking at the same time. I love it! The twist was crazy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful plot October 14, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A repressed Victorian young woman does charity work at a women's prison and falls in love with one of the inmates and unwittingly gets involved in her eventual escape. keeps you guessing and the end in not exactly what you would expect.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Work for Me At All August 21, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film version of Sarah Waters' brilliant novel "Affinity" seemed rushed and muddled and had very little emotional impact on me. I recognize that it must have been challenging to adapt the book, whose strengths are its detailed character development and slow ratcheting up of psychological tension. Although the book has action scenes and dialogue, much of the story is built on the internal thought processes of characters which cannot be as easily conveyed in a movie.

The film's use of flashbacks to show the backgrounds of the main characters (a device used effectively in the book to slowly reveal character and keep you on edge) were too fleeting and, even for someone who has read the book, confusing. Two other weaknesses undermine it. The lead actresses, altho lovely to look at, are sort of one-note, not very subtle actors and I didn't feel any chemistry between them that would support them developing a real passion for each other (which is rather crucial to the concept of "Affinity"!). There is also a third character who plays a critical role in the story who is only brought in minimally at the very end of the movie. If you haven't read the book, you are likely to wonder where the heck she suddenly came from and what her motivations are/were. I wonder whether they shot additional scenes with her that maybe ended up on the cutting room floor, because her placement in the movie just seems so clumsy.

The special features section of the DVD includes interviews with the director, producer and screenwriter (the great Andrew Davies, who penned the excellent screen versions of "Pride & Prejudice," "Bleak House" and "Little Dorrit").
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Affinity" Video Is Wonderful July 2, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The acting and the sets are wonderful. Generally, the movie is faithful to Sarah Waters' novel; unusually, I would say it improves on and enhances the work it is adapted from. The special features include excellent interviews with the author, the scriptwriter, the director and two of the actors which add tremendously to appreciation of the work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gutsy Gothic April 4, 2011
How marvelous to find a modern British drama unshrouded by multiculti or other manifestations of political correctness! This is a straight-out suspense story that manages to float elements of supernaturalism and existentialism into a well-paced plot that glides smoothly from the haut monde to the demimonde, from rococo parlors to rock-walled prison cells.
No rose-colored lens distorts this stark vision of Victorian society. Strict morality and convention may cast a pall over one's hopes, but so may the spector of spiritual and physical poverty. Naivete and sexual frustration can prove to be as dangerous as material deprivation and desperation.
Superbly acted and directed, this drama hosts a cast of multidimensional characters whose depictions may startle and even disquiet contemporary viewers who are accustomed to sensitive treatment of subcultural portrayals. Such unflinching grittiness, however, adds layers of possibilities to a plot that digs deep into the underworld of a strait-laced society.
Surprises and plot twists abound as the protagonist--as well as compliant viewers--allow themselves to wonder just what is possible in this cinematic dimension. What, if anything, is real in this particular realm? Apparitions? Clairvoyance? Autokinesis? Each audience member should have a self-satisfying answer by film's end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars What it lacks: redeeming value
Never thought I'd say this: a film with a lesbian subplot that can cure insomnia. I have not read any of Sarah Waters' novels, but this is the third movie I've watched that was... Read more
Published on October 20, 2011 by Diva
4.0 out of 5 stars The book is better but...
You have to approach this movie with the idea "that it will not be like the novel". They have imagined lots of things that are not in the book... Read more
Published on February 23, 2011 by Guillaume Lesage
3.0 out of 5 stars just OK . . .
the friend for whom i bought it says it's OK, but she wasn't thrilled . . .
Published on July 19, 2010 by adale o'brien
4.0 out of 5 stars I love Sarah Waters Novels
I liked this adaptation on a spooky Sarah Waters novel. I am a huge fan of her writing and was a bit disapointed with another adaptation of a previous novel, but this movie did a... Read more
Published on May 24, 2010 by Jenn D.
2.0 out of 5 stars would have been better is not for marketing
There are three problems with the movie. The first of which is lighting. Ok I know is a victorian prision and it not going be the best lit place in the world, but its also just a... Read more
Published on December 12, 2008 by Jonathan M. Fox
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story but not entertaining enough
*SPOILER ALERT* I'm a big Sarah Waters fan, but Affinity was the one book I could not finish. I hoped, however, that I would be able to get into the movie. Read more
Published on December 1, 2008 by LA
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