25 September 2008

meant to be the sexy arterton


Well-worded review by The Spectator's clever James Delingpole of BBC1's adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbs.

He talks about the documentary, Earth: The Climate Wars, but then chides us that,

"None of you will have seen it because you'll have been watching Tess ... either going, 'Phwoar, I wouldn't mind a bit of that stuck on my relentlessly turning tragic wheel,' if you're a man, or 'Hurry up and die, bitch!' if you're a woman ...

... my wife hates Hardy so much I was forced to watch it on my own, which was maybe for the best. When the Polanski version came out with Nastassja Kinski, my schoolmate Simon Nelson and I rechristened it 'Toss', and I have to say the Tess in this version, Bond girl artertonGemma Arterton, is no less inspirational.

Has a novelist ever used his creation more cruelly? There's never a moment where poor Tess has the slightest chance of escaping her tragic fate.

  • She has to go to court favour with the d'Urbervilles because of the accident with the horse.
  • She has to go with Alec on the ride where he rapes her because otherwise she'd have been torn to bits by the drunken harridans who are jealous of her beauty.
  • And just when she might have been redeemed she ends up with the most vicious prig - Angel Clare - on the planet.

    My wife thinks it's all too implausible. Me, I think Hardy's the one writer who tells it like it really is."

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