Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Telly Time

What do tea, taxicabs, buses, bookstores, church spires, cobblestone streets and lavish lesbian period pieces have in common? If you said, “Things that are better when British,” then reward yourself with a lovely biscuit (the British cookie kind, naturally). So imagine my delight at the news from last week that the good old Beeb will be producing yet another Sarah Waters lesbian bodice ripper. The BBC will adapt “The Night Watch,” Sarah’s most contemporary novel to date, into a 90-minute film. For those unfamiliar, “The Night Watch” is set in 1940s London, during and after the Blitz of World War II. It opens in 1947 and is told largely backwards – sort of like “Memento,” but with lesbians and without tattoos.

After “Tipping the Velvet” (for sentimental reasons), “The Night Watch” is my favorite Waters novel. In the film version mysterious, trouser-wearing Kay will be played by Anna Maxwell Martin from “Becoming Jane” and “Bleak House,” match-making agency runner Helen will be played by Claire Foy from “Little Dorrit” and her straight assistant Viv will be played by Jodie Whittaker from the TV series “Accused.”

[L-R: Anna, Claire, Jodie]

I have to say, the three women all look a bit like British doppelgangers for American actresses. Anna looks like Annette Bening’s younger sister, Helen looks like Alexis Bledel after four years at Oxford and Jodie has a Rooney Mara meets Elisha Cuthbert feel. I’m not super familiar with any of their work, since most of it is from across the pond. But the good old Beeb has an impeccable track record when it comes to sussing out fresh talent.

So, let’s raise a pint to those wily Brits for bringing more lesbian action to the telly. The country that gave us “Tipping the Velvet,” “Fingersmith” and “Lip Service” makes me seriously consider ex-pat status sometimes.

7 comments:

Norma Desmond said...

Times like this, I wish America hadn't managed to secede...

vrgriffith said...

I just got The Night Watch.Can't wait to watch.Despite what the GOP and the Tpartiers think, it's not patriotism but ART that America needs to step up to.

Zillah said...

Anna reminds me of Carey Mulligan.

Anonymous said...

I've seen plenty of work by all three of these actresses and I can assure you that they are really top quality. Anna Maxwell Martin is (IMHO) quite brilliant. I'm delighted they've managed to get such excellent actresses for this adaptation. Can't wait.

gummipanda said...

The only worry I have is that you compared it to Memento my least favourite film in the history of the world times a million. I'll watch it/read it and hope you're dead wrong.

eyesmiling said...

Oh man! Night Watch! One of my all time favourite books. It was on sale at the bookstore I worked at and I bought them out so I could give them to my friends. Ultimately ending with giving away my own copy and thus my horrible deprivety begins. I must get another copy and must must see this film. Thanks for letting me know, Snarker!

Ros Williams said...

is the second across the younger sister of rachel weisz?