17 April 2016 | TheLittleSongbird
This reviewer considers 'A Rather English Marriage' one of the finest dramas she's ever watched, British or otherwise. So good in fact, that one does forget that it was made for TV.
'A Rather English Marriage' is beautifully shot and is a lovely-looking drama in general. It's sensitively directed by Paul Seed, and hauntingly scored with a nigh-on ideal use of Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade" at the drama's end.
Scripting is thought-provoking, gently funny and heart-wrenchingly poignant. The story is told with great sensitivity, with the parts that could easily have been contrived being handled gracefully and believably, and really touched me on an emotional level. The ending is one classic example of an ending that one can see it as little as once and never forget it, that's how effective an ending it is. It is paced very securely, while never hurting the gentle atmosphere or adopting the book's (of which it is a very faithful adaptation of apart from the ending) occasional tendency to plod.
The characters in 'A Rather English Marriage' are very well-written and easy to engage with. All serve a point to the story and they are interesting. Liz could easily have been annoying and one-dimensional considering her gold-digging nature, but 'A Rather English Marriage' successfully gives the character a good deal of heart. It is Reggie and Roy's relationship that holds 'A Rather English Marriage' together, and it is beautifully written and even more beautifully acted, the contrasting personalities of the two complementing each other perfectly.
You can't go wrong with the acting either, which is superb across the board. Especially Tom Courtenay at his understated best, while Albert Finney in the more broadly written role is a splendid contrast, without falling into ham or caricature. Joanna Lumley gives charming support, and the rest of the acting is without fault.
In conclusion, an unforgettably brilliant British drama. 10/10 Bethany Cox