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Customer Review

on April 5, 2001
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" is based on the Victorian novel by Anne Bronte. It tells the story of secretive, passionate and outspoken Helen Graham who lives quietly with her young son in Wildfell Hall. She befriends a young neighborhood farmer, Gilbert Markham, and he falls in love with her, despite her objections. It soon unfolds that Helen is "on the run" from her privileged life and her cruel, alcoholic husband - Arthur Huntingdon - and a series of flashbacks tell the story of her life with him. The story itself is engrossing and, like Jane Eyre, it's ultimately a story of a strong woman overcoming the odds and coming out triumphant in the end.
The BBC has done a great job with this production. Tara Fitzgerald ("The Woman in White," "Brassed Off") is perfectly cast as the downtrodden but feisty Helen. Handsome actors Toby Stephens ("The Great Gatsby") and Rupert Graves ("Room with a View," "Mrs. Dalloway") are excellent as the devoted Gilbert and the detestable Huntingdon. Tara Fitzgerald and Toby Stephens have a chemistry that most would find irresistible. The performances from the principal actors are excellent and Rupert Graves does such a good job that I found myself hating and pitying him at the same time. I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys Bronte's work or first-rate British drama.
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