South Riding (2010)
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Top Customer Reviews
There is politicking in the British style, especially through Alderwoman Beddows (Penelope Wilton). Council meetings do some havoc on the community and individual family situations. As a result, not everything turns up a bed of roses. There is struggle with recession. A truth quite realistic on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1930s. A nice period piece. Sit back and enjoy the characters and the interaction. Rural strength of people in a beautiful Yorkshire setting.
Character depth within the people of South Riding hamlet makes this worthy of 5 stars.
If this three part miniseries is guilty of anything, it is of having too much story to compress into its limited timeframe. Ostensibly the tale covers an entire town's worth of characters and story lines and three episodes is not adequate time to present them in an in-depth way. The heart of the story involves a local girl (Maxwell-Martin) returning to South Riding to take up a position as the school mistress. Headstrong and independent, she immediately clashes with some of more traditional town leaders--including Morrissey. You know immediately where this battle of wills is headed, but credit the writer and actors for maintaining a credible conflict without an easy resolution.Read more ›
Firstly, the pros. Anna Maxwell Martin is bright, beautiful and interesting. Her costumes are so lovely I want them for myself, and she is a stellar actress. I have no complaints about her performance whatsoever (although I do have some issues with the character). David Morrissey is also excellent. He has a knack for portraying both the absolutely repulsive (ie. Bradley Headstone in 'Our Mutual Friend', Stephen Collins in 'State of Play') and the terrifically endearing (ie. Colonel Brandon in 'Sense and Sensibility') and sometimes both at once (friendly/murderous Nazi Gunther Weber in 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin'). In 'South Riding' he's utterly convincing as a brusque Yorkshireman. Other stand-out performances include the always marvellous Penelope Wilton, and Charlie May Clarke, who plays impoverished and heavily accented student Lydia Holly with such authenticity it's hard to believe she's not real.
The landscape is breathtaking, and the sweeping cinematography very impressive. The score is very dramatic too. In short, the production values generally are excellent. Unfortunately, once you're fully invested in the characters and in love with the scenery, the director abruptly pulls the rug out from under you. For the sake of brevity, I'm going to list the awkwardly resolved plot points that left me scratching my head:
*I found myself wondering if I had missed an episode, or at least some vital piece of the action, as love interest Robert Carne (David Morrisey) and his horse abruptly plunge off a cliff.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had been reading Vera Brittain's TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, in which she often mentions her eventual best friend, writer Winifred Holtby. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cheryl Reavis
Great story of poverty,money and corruption.very good story.I saw it on masterpiece and had to own it.good viewing.Published 11 months ago by Miss K J Kennedy
A very good yarn by the English authoress Winifred Holtby, a friend of Vera Brittain (Testament of Youth - quintessential reading for those interested in a personal account of the... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Miguel
I watched this twice, months apart. I'm a bit of a wuss with tragedies so it was hard to watch, but very well done. Ms. Read morePublished 19 months ago by PBS Fan
I brought this DVD because I saw Anna Maxwell Martin in "Bleak House," and her performance in this film was excellent - I wasn't sure about the overall story of this film,... Read morePublished 20 months ago by ZSky