This is another superb film directed by Tim Fywell, based on a novel by Sarah Waters and with a script by the noted Andrew Davies. The film is dominated by a superb central performance by the young actress Anna Madeley. It is an eerie tale set in Victorian London, and the directing and art direction are a bit high Gothic intentionally, to heighten the sense of the supernatural. For me, the high point was a personal one, for it featured one of the last film performances of my old friend Domini Blythe, who died not long afterwards of cancer. The first time I met Domini, John Hurt and I were in the Flask pub across from his little house in Flask Walk in Hampstead. It was a hot day and we needed cold beers. Then an amazingly beautiful girl entered the pub, in search of a cold beer for herself. John and I agreed that she was so beautiful that we must try and pick her up, if only to find out who she was. We got her name out of her, but John was otherwise getting nowhere and so I decided to try a chat line of asking her if she were related to Blythe the stage hypnotist, and said I was fascinated by his technique of being able to exercise mind control by speaking through a loudspeaker attached to a large balloon which he floated above crowds of people outdoors. When Domini realized I knew of and appreciated her grandfather (her father was Peter Blythe the actor), she instantly made me a blood-brother, and she fastened her magnetic eyes on me and began speaking to me in her low, sultry, mesmerising tones so that I was quickly entranced. Later, her favourite thing to do with me was to 'become a python'. She would make me stand in the middle of a room, preferably with an audience of friends, and she would slither over my shoulder, down my back, under my arms, under my legs, and eventually come to rest on my shoulders, hanging her down down in front of my chest and look up at me with a penetrating hypnotic gaze. During all of this performance she never once touched the ground, and appeared to defy gravity. She later became part of the original cast of the hit show OH, CALCUTTA!, which was written by the weird Ken Tynan, who was married to Claire Bloom. That was back in the days when we were all young together. She went on a long Shakespeare tour of Canada and didn't come back, so we were out of touch for many years. In the last months of her life, as she was desperately ill, my wife and I exchanged loving emails with her, having by chance discovered how to contact her. Her brother told us how much it meant to her that her old friends had not forgotten her, and it gave her some comfort in her last days. Another actress in this film who was also near the end of her life and would die of cancer at practically the same time as Domini is Anna Massey. I did not know her nearly as well as I could have wished, but she was one of the most fascinating women in London. If you wanted real conversation, then going to her house and talking to her and her scientist husband Uri could not be bettered. I shall never forget the moment when she handed me a dull grey rock and told me that it was from South Africa and was called kimberlite. She kept it on inconspicuous display in her sitting room at the front of the house. She told me to look at it more closely. I saw that it contained a raw diamond. Apparently, that is how they occur in Nature. Probably it was the only such specimen in London apart from the Natural History Museum's mineral collection. And now they are gone, such amazing and irreplaceable souls. Anna Madeley, however, remains, now has 41 credits, and was even in A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING (2012, see my review), part of which was shot in my office. The other young female lead in the film is Zoe Tapper, whose treacherous allure is enough to lead many astray, which is what happens to poor Anna Madeley. For this film is about spirits, séances, lies, treachery, crime, redemption, and girls liking girls. And there are lots of jangling prison keys and cell doors and female wardens. So it is quite a heady offering. And watch out for Peter Quick! Oh yes, there is the comforting and soothing presence of Anne Reid as Mrs. Brink in the film, who seems prepared to reach out of the screen and wipe any anxious brow.