If you’re not watching Alias Grace on Netflix, you should be. Here’s why…
By Naomi Gordon
If you’re still fearing for Offred’s fate in The Handmaid’s Tale and require another timely Margaret Atwood adaption while you feverishly await season 2 , then blessed be for Alias Grace.
The chilling six-part Netflix series adapted from Atwood’s 1996 novel tells the story of Grace Marks, a real-life Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Canada who, in 1843, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal murders of her employer and his housekeeper.
But the story goes deeper than making us question whether or not Grace was capable of committing the gruesome crimes, for which she was confined to an asylum, and pardoned some thirty years later, while her supposed accomplice James McDermott (played by Kerr Logan) was hanged.
As Grace and the other female servants are endlessly subjected to abuse and sexual assault by men in power and expected to remain silent, the series couldn’t be more relevant in the wake of the allegations of sexual harassment being made in Hollywood and Westminster.
“I could have never have anticipated that all of the allegations surrounding Harvey [Weinstein] and the other abusers would have come out at the same time as the show,” Sarah Gadon, who plays Grace, recently told Harper’s Bazaar UK.
“I would have never have predicted that, but I knew that the show would resonate with women especially, because it’s something we’ve all been subjected to – the power imbalance.”
And you’d be hard pushed to find a more gripping performance this year than Sarah’s mesmerising turn as the enigmatic Grace – which is already generating Golden Globe and Emmy award predictions.
The 30-year-old Maps to the Stars actress plays Grace at 15 and beyond, as she unfolds the horrors of what she has had to endure in the lead-up to the murders to Dr. Simon Jordan (played by British actor Edward Holcroft).
And while The Handmaid’s Tale gave us a glimpse of a terrifying future where women are forced into sexual servitude, at a time where women’s reproductive rights are being threatened by Donald Trump’s administration, Alias Grace provides us with an unsettling look back.
“The Handmaid’s Tale underlines the anxieties we’re feeling about gender politics and immigration and reproductive rights, things we are feeling collectively as a society and things we want to address.” Sarah continued.
“And The Handmaid’s Tale gives us a look into the future of what’s ahead, and Alias Grace is this look back from where we’ve come from, and right now we’re in the precious space in the middle deciding how we reconcile our past and move on in to the future. It’s very relevant that both shows are out right now.”
Watch it now – but perhaps keep the light on for the final episode…
Alias Grace – also starring Oscar-winning Anna Paquin, Zachary Levi and David Cronenberg – is available to watch on Netflix.
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