7.5/10
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21 user 8 critic

The Line of Beauty 

A young man becomes attached to a family that's not his own, and casts himself into the life of plentiful riches and gay love affairs for which he seems destined.
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2006  
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Dan Stevens ...  Nick Guest 3 episodes, 2006
Tim McInnerny ...  Gerald Fedden 3 episodes, 2006
Hayley Atwell ...  Cat Fedden / ... 3 episodes, 2006
Alice Krige ...  Rachel Fedden 3 episodes, 2006
Carmen Du Sautoy ...  Elena 3 episodes, 2006
Alex Wyndham ...  Wani Ouradi 3 episodes, 2006
James Bradshaw ...  Polly Tompkins 3 episodes, 2006
Oliver Coleman Oliver Coleman ...  Toby Fedden 3 episodes, 2006
Lydia Leonard ...  Penny Kent 3 episodes, 2006
Don Gilet ...  Leo Charles 3 episodes, 2006
Christopher Fairbank ...  Barry Groom 3 episodes, 2006
Oscar James Oscar James ...  Brentford 2 episodes, 2006
John Warnaby John Warnaby ...  Badger 2 episodes, 2006
John Standing ...  Lord Kessler 2 episodes, 2006
Siri Svegler ...  Martine 2 episodes, 2006
Nikki Amuka-Bird ...  Rosemary Charles 2 episodes, 2006
Justin Salinger ...  Russel / ... 2 episodes, 2006
Caroline Blakiston ...  Lady Partridge 2 episodes, 2006
Julia St John Julia St John ...  Greta Timms 2 episodes, 2006
David Yelland ...  John Timms 2 episodes, 2006
John Quayle ...  Geoffrey Titchfield 2 episodes, 2006
Bruno Lastra ...  Tristao 2 episodes, 2006
Tom Knight ...  Norman Kent 2 episodes, 2006
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Storyline

Nick Guest (Dan Stevens) comes to London to live with his college friend's family, the Feddens. A short stay becomes permanent, and Nick positions himself in the family's plentiful lives of parties and politics during the Thatcher years. Over the course of three episodes spanning four years in the mid eighties, we follow Nick's two homosexual love affairs in a time of promiscuity and carelessness, until the A.I.D.S. crisis, and a bout of scandal, threaten life as he has come to know it. Written by Peter Brandt Nielsen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Line of Beauty See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(3 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Henry James novel that Nick (Dan Stevens) and Wani (Alex Wyndham) try to turn into a movie is "The Spoils of Poynton" from 1897. The producer with whom they meet complains about the story's unhappy ending and the name of the main character, Fleda Vetch. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nick Guest: Wow. Is this really where you live?
Toby Fedden: Yep, well, you know, where my parents live. What's the matter, something wrong with it?
Nick Guest: No, it's... it's lovely.
Toby Fedden: Come on, then.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hypocrisy and Hubris
2 November 2006 | by B24See all my reviews

Now that all three episodes have aired in the U.S., one may fairly comment on the overall production.

Any comparison to The Great Gatsby is at best superficial, given that the only clues are incidental to the main thrust of the story. In most respects it is a uniquely British tale with relevance to any similar American theme to be found in something Reaganesque or Bushite rather than anything from the era of Calvin Coolidge. Interestingly, Margaret Thatcher is labelled in one telling scene as more the tool of the ruling classes than their leader -- just as their American contemporaries in the Republican Party have been.

But the main elements of the story -- class division and envy, reverse snobbery, interethnic relations that have evolved from the disintegration of the Empire -- are less comparable to the scene on this side of the Atlantic. Simple hypocrisy of the kind found in nearly all politicians and the hubris resulting from too much success found too young in life lie at the center of it all. Add to that the drug scene and AIDS in the 1980's and you have a compelling story.

The title is also intriguing. It suggests that beauty may be found in amongst all the hypocritical swill running as counteractive impulses that seem on the surface to be merely eccentric. Thus the character of Nick, casually characterized by the housekeeper as "no good," is really something of an antihero. At the beginning of the story he is all superficial and bright, and at the end he is simply bemused.

It may be melodramatic and a bit soapy, but I liked it.


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