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J.A.A. Purves

The Crown (2016- )

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We've just started it and the first two episodes were surprisingly above average, both in plotting and acting.  Jared Harris is more moving here than I think I've ever seen him.  Lithgow is great fun as Churchill.  Foy and Smith are a complex pair, and they both communicate a great deal without words.  Anyone else started it yet?

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My wife and 13 year-old daughter started it yesterday and are really enjoying it.  My wife couldn't say enough about Jared Harris's performance.  

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We enjoyed it a lot, despite constant fact checking just to see where the narrative diverges a bit. There are a few outright beautiful moments, such as a hunting scene with George VI and a small flotilla of boats rowing through through a wide shot of an English river. The bits taking place in Africa are also well-crafted. But the 9th episode has a stunning conversation between Churchill and Sutherland during the sitting for his infamous portrait. Though purely conjectural, Lithgow captures so much in this discussion of his art - and what it might mean about him. A perfect clip to generate conversation about art and authorial intention.

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Finally finished this one. Didn't find it utterly compelling, perhaps because although it is (as M. Leary says) beautifully filmed and has a few thoughtful moments, I still felt as if I were watching some kind of Masterpiece Theater "BEHIND THE SCENES AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE!"

Will I feel the same about Victoria, which starts on PBS next week? Probably not, as I've seen at least two other "young Victoria" movies/mini-series, and because they're all long dead and gone. The Crown felt a bit creepy because so many of these people are still with us, I guess.

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Haven't seen the series yet, but your last comment, BethR, got me thinking about how the Queen -- who has been Queen all my life (I remember seeing all the 25th anniversary paraphrenalia when my family visited England in 1977) -- actually had professional dealings with Winston Churchill, who has always seemed to me like some iconic figure from the quasi-distant past (he died in 1965, five years before I was born). I imagine watching a series like this could be kind of strange, in the sense that there'd be lots of characters who have that "iconic figure from the quasi-distant feel" side-by-side with characters who are still very much alive today and having an impact of sorts on the world I live in.

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