Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Moving Finger 5* - Geraldine McEwan progress..

s2 v3 Clip. Full. Despite convoluted plot filled with coincidence and solved in a dream, I could watch BBC Marple with sound off, just for the visuals. The intro voice-over scene should be cut, naked man in strange bed the morning after. Looking up from the Colonel's grave at all the suspects could be postponed after the country fields.

Windblown in a sporty convertible, flamboyant Joanna (Emilia Fox) drives her brother Jerry Burton (James D'Arcy) for subdued recuperation in quiet Lymstock village. "A torture for both of us, as we had an absolute loathing for the country". She is always all in red: cherry car, driving gloves in supple leather, evening ruby Oriental silk, and velvet full-arm length, flame bob, crimson lipstick and nails, blaze suit, red trim on white day suit, even accents accessories, wrist bangle, tiny clutch relieves funereal black (on procession after, purse is black, little v-shape under jacket glashes (my word, not a typo) bright.

Over tea, Miss Jane Marple (Geraldine McEwan) discusses the recent death and posted threats. Soon we meet Jane's friend Maud (Frances de la Tour), devoted to her older vicar husband Caleb Dane Calthrop (Ken Russell). Maud says Jane "has a nose for rotten apples", and Caleb "no taste for fornication". Cardew Pye (John Sessions), "a little queer and what's wrong with that?", "came to attention of [police] colleagues in West Country over matters of an unsavory nature".

Megan Hunter (Talulah Riley) 20, looks and behaves 12. "Nothing ever happens .. people don't like me .. I don't like them", her father repressed lawyer Richard Symington (Harry Enfield), her disliked step-mother Mona (Imogen Stubbs), old friend from "the North" doctor Owen Griffith (Sean Pertwee), and tweedy interfering manly sister Aimee (Jessica Stevenson), shown below leading girl guides.

I missed double entendres first time through, "delectable" "radiant" governess Miss Elsie Holland (Kelly Brook) notices Jerry now walks without sticks "upright .. I do hope you stay that way". Even postboxes are red, where poison pen letters are dropped. Picture of Elsie beside tall postbox, Aimee leading girl guides past small box.

"Blah blah fishcakes. But a thing like this could send her completely off her onion" Upright Amy Griffith on resentful oddball Megan "people will talk .. our little village likes to think the worst". Maid Agnes Brown (Ellen Capron) voices puzzlement, setting her up to be next victim. She gets coshed, and skewer to base of neck suggests professional.

Peace interspersed with suspense - black leather glove snips medieval ornate capitals, dabs glue onto wicked compositions. Police siren breaks quiet. Inspector Graves (Keith Allen) lifts torn scrap from the body's grasp "I can't go on", crumpled but un-scorched accusation in cold fireplace grate. Why are letter envelopes typed at machine publicly available in Women's Institute, donated by Symington office, but the insides pasted? Why not type everything? Spread around suspicion by planting medieval book?

Names confuse - hero Burton with landlady Emily Barton (Thelma Barlow). Author assigns nobility hyphenated names, servants usually simple names. At their first tea, Joanna looks delightful, both in feathered cloche hat and full skirt, next opening letters at breakfast in silky dressing gown.

Plot has too many coincidences plus dreamed solution. Jerry finds torn pages source of harassing letters. He finds sister's regretful memo by phone "I can't come" on single line declining proposed appointment. Dreams blur together scraps "all nonsense .. what we sought to save?"

Colors and costumes add positively to the mood. In darkness, full moon, colors fade to grey blue. Amy I had imagined clothed brisk tweedy masculine, here soft sweet feminine in floral looks, change top to toe. Joanna goes creamy beside doctor she loves. Lastly, her floral black tiny pattern on white with soft green necklace blends with other tea drinkers. Megan goes tough smooth black pant outfit and hair instead of holed scruff before, thick-lined dark eyes large bright, even leather slippers instead of holey sneakers.

Jane Marple appears outwardly sweet in embroidered fine soft cardigan.

"I usually find the most likely people behaving exactly as I would have expected."
"We are not put into this world to avoid danger when lives are at stake."

Special Features

Behind the scenes - alternates clips of film "Isn't it sweet?" then actors
"tremendous sense of humor to write ordinary seeming woman, murders keep falling in her lap"
Photo gallery 15 mostly posed stills, few from film
Cast filmographies - text bios: McEwan, D'Arcy, works: Fox, Tour, Pertwee, Enfield, Stubbs, Stevenson (Shaun of the Dead)

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