Welcome to Hailsham boarding school. Beautifully secluded in the English countryside, Hailsham embodies all that is best in traditional British values: fair play, justice and a stiff upper lip. Hailsham children are the best and the brightest, the fit and fittest, meticulously prepared for adult life through a curriculum that favours artistic flair and physical rigour.
Born into the Halcyon halls of Hailsham are three friends: capricious Ruth, troubled Tommy and sensitive Kathy H. Continue reading
I can’t decide whether Red Riding is the greatest movie trilogy since Satyajit Ray’s Apu films or simply the smoothest job of making three episodes fit together seamlessly while also working as standalone films. Who cares, though?
Screenwriter Tony Grisoni has made a shockingly coherent miniseries with the tone and texture of an epic poem. Credit the directors for much of this atmosphere: each amplifies and holds the more operatic notes. The cliché “intimate epic” fits perfectly here, especially with the first film, subtitled 1974. Its brooding intimacy and tactile interiority rival Lynn Ramsay’s “Morvern Callar.” But Morvern Callar was about one woman coping with her boyfriend’s suicide. “Red Riding” is about an entire region of England responding to a string of grisly femicides. Somewhat miraculous, then, that the series sustains a touch as delicate as its fragile victims, reeling witnesses and tormented heroes. Continue reading