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Masterpiece Classic: Any Human Heart
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Every life is ordinary and extraordinary. Logan Mountstuarts is a rich tapestry of both. Matthew Macfadyen, Jim Broadbent, and newcomer Sam Claflin all take a turn as Logan at different points in his life in this provocative glimpse at one mans quest for glory and bliss. Any Human Heart is the story of a full life, lived with passionexpansive, rich, unsentimental, comic, and profoundly moving.
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The story is not predictable. The characters are imperfect but understandable. The protagonist, whose life story is told, is an everyman, the person who muddles through life without any grand purpose. He claims to want to be a great author but a single success is followed by perennial writers' block. In fact, he has no great creative drive and far prefers socializing to writing. But he uses his skill to make money. At one point, he gets what amounts to a nine-to-five job in the military. This comes with a regular paycheck and a secretary, and he is truly happy.
Do not want to be a spoiler but his happiness is fleeting. Great series. Worth watching.
It's about the life of one person from young boy until old man and what happens to him in a lifetime. I thought it was ok but, of course, Matthew Macfadyen was great and that was really the only reason I watched it.
William Boyd, who wrote the novel and the screenplay for this spectacular PBS production, asks and answers this question: How did a boy adrift on a placid river in Uruguay become a grizzled old man sorting through piles of boxes and books in an old country house in France? It's a fascinating ride!
Sit back and enjoy the clever dialogue, the sets and the photography, the fine performances of Jim Broadbent and Matthew Macfadyen as Mountstuart.
Try to keep up with the wives and lovers. The casting is superb. Don't overlook the first wife, Lady Lottie Cassell, who gives Logan his love of the aristocratic life and a son. Hayley Atwell plays Freya, the much loved and beautiful second wife. Kim Cattrall (the sexy vamp from Sex and the City) plays Gloria, a redhaired lover and the third wife of Logan's Oxford buddy. And even after World War II, when Logan leaves a destitute life in London of eating cans of dog food and beans and moves to France, he charms a young neighborhood beauty who has a glorified memory of her father during the war. (The scenes of an older Mountstuart in military camoflage watching over her father's memorial plaque are hilarious.)
Enjoy the real-life 20th century figures who flit in and out of Logan's life. It does not go without saying...as the NYT reviewer suggests...that Logan with his minor literary fame meets Hemingway in Paris. There are multiple scenes with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Wallis Simpson is portrayed by Gillian Anderson (formerly of X-file fame) in glorious witchy mood---she even hisses! Ian Fleming becomes a suave friend who asks Logan to persuade the Windsor's to move to the Bahamas for national security reasons and encourages Logan to join the Royal Navy.
What was so stunning midst Logan's trials and tribulations is the sad fact that he survives a son, a daughter, a wife and two very good friends from his Oxford days. Although he steals Peter's Oxford girlfriend and seduces his third wife, there's a great deal of admiration there: Peter is a best-selling author of mystery novels. And to Ben, the other friend, he gives five Joan Miro paintings smuggled out of Spain to start a successful gallery. And the tender scenes are tender indeed, when he takes in Gloria who is still beautiful but dying of pancreatic cancer. Their scenes eating pate and drinking wine on a disheveled bed are joyously poignant.
This is not a tale to remind us "that success is so often bestowed on those whose personal conduct would seem to warrant it least..." nor is it a tale of an embittered old man. It's just an entertaining story of one man's journey through the 20th century.
Enjoy! I did.
All of the actors in this drama are superb. The story is poignant. It is the story of a life, with all of it's ups and downs and it's inevitable, bittersweet conclusion. In some ways it is elementally sad because it is what it is to be human.
Anyhoo, go buy it or rent it or something but do make a point of seeing it. And after you do, check back here and let me know your thoughts. I am curious to know how many others found it as affecting as I.
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A nice attempt to have the younger generation see through the eyes of an older generation.Read more