04 July 2009

The Glass Virgin (starring Emily Mortimer)


I’ve read a few of Catherine Cookson’s historical novels, and haev usually found them a bit too full of gritty reality, sometimes with rather depressing endings. So I wasn’t too sure what to expect of this DVD; it came free in a newspaper and was passed on to me by a relative. I had not read the book so had no idea of the story. It was originally a mini-series on British TV.

The story opens with Annabella, a ten-year-old child of luxurious circumstances in the 1870s, who doesn’t understand that her beloved father is a promiscuous, violent spendthrift. The first part of the film shows her background, and uncovers a few family secrets. Annabella's naive innnocence gets some of the servants into big trouble.

Then the plot leaps forward seven years, and Annabella’s life takes on a very different form. Her father is threatened with bankruptcy, and she finally learns the shocking truth about her past.

I thought the production was extremely well done. I was particularly impressed with the young Annabella, and also with Nigel Havers as her unpleasant (but attractive) father. I would have been happier without one violent boxing scene – I averted my eyes – but other than that, it was, on the whole, an enjoyable film.

Since it was originally a series, the film was quite long at two and a half hours; I was relieved that the ending was much more satisfactory than I had feared.

Rated PG in the UK, although I would personally have thought that a 12 rating would be more appropriate. It does not seem to be available in the USA.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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