a very english scandal

Director: Stephen frears (the queen, philomena)

Starring: hugh grant, ben wishaw, alex jennings, and partrica hodge

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

★★★★

British Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe is accused of conspiracy to murder his gay ex-lover and forced to stand trial in 1979.

You know when there are those stories that appear to be so far fetched they couldn't possibly be true? That is the story we find in A Very English Scandal. And it is an incredible tale to say the least. 

Beginning in the 1960s, Thorpe is the leader of the Liberal Party, the youngest head of a political party in 100 years. But he is hiding an affair with a man at a time when homosexuality is still illegal. When Scott threatens to reveal the affair, Thorpe decides upon a plan of action that eventually exposes the scandal and leads to a watershed moment in British social and political life, illuminating the level of dark secrets and cover-ups in the British establishment.

A Very English Scandal breaks up the story into three episodic parts with the first part focusing on the development of the relationship between Thorpe and Scott, the second part exploring Thorpe's attempts to silence Scott by whatever means necessary, and the last part focused on Thorpe and his co conspirators subsequent trial. 

It really is both gripping and a completely mad story that a leader of a UK political party would attempt to get an ex lover murdered. Director Stephen Frears and writer Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who, Queer as Folk) have pulled together a story that is not only a drama with depth but its thrilling as well. It also pulls no punches as it tackles the cultural and societal issues that surrounded homosexuality in those times. 

A Very English Scandal, even though Ben Wishaw and the rest of the cast are magnificent, belongs to Hugh Grant. In the 90's if Hugh Grant was in anything you could almost put your house on it being some romance and he would be playing some bumbling, awkward Englishman. 

But boy can Hugh Grant act. He's both delightfully charming and incredibly controlling and manipulative. The baby blue eyes, replaced with dark contact lenses, lend to Grant's performance as a brilliant yet murderous politician. A magnificent performance. 

A truly bizarre but brilliant story, A Very English Scandal, anchored by a magnificent performance from Hugh Grant will enthral from start to finish. 

★★★★

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A Very English Scandal is available on DVD and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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