An adaptation of Flora Thompson's autobiographical novel "Lark Rise To Candleford", set in 19 century Oxfordshire, in which a young girl moves to the local market town to begin an apprenticeship as a postmistress.
In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.
This mini-series tells the story of Amy Dorrit (Claire Foy), who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father (Sir Tom Courtenay), who is a long term ... See full summary »
Based on the novel 'Au bonheur des dames' by Emile Zola See more »
Late in Season 1, the Glendenning family purchases freehold rights to the properties on which the Paradise and neighboring businesses stand, and in Season 2 the family has turned out Moray from the store and contemplate selling it. Although the legal relationship between a business tenant and freeholder is complex, purchasing the freehold (ownership of land and structures) is not the same thing as purchasing a business on the property. Though the Glendennings may have attempted to oust Moray or the Paradise by breaking the lease, they would not automatically own the business once they bought the freehold, as is portrayed here. See more »
I normally avoid what I call "modern" costume-dramas like the plague, no "Downtons" or "Candlefords" in our house, but having read the source novel by Emile Zola (one of the rare novels my wife and I both enjoyed reading) and believing then that it had continued relevance in today's shopping mall, hypermarket, bigger-is-better consumer society, I was persuaded to tune in.
I'm rather glad I did, as, while I can easily see the soap suds gathering around the fringes, still Zola's story-telling skills shine through. I can't remember enough about the novel to place the appropriate episodes depicted here, although some of course were of modern invention, still I felt as a whole, the series maintained consistency, continuity and credibility throughout.
It's well acted with, in the lead roles, Emun Elliot as the charismatic retail supremo Moray (Mouret, in the original French) and Joanna Vanderham as the initially demure but fast developing shop-girl-in-a-hurry Denise, while the rest of cast support well, with the possible exception of Sarah Lancashire, who overplays the starchy department manageress, Miss Audrey.
I would carp at the sets which seem to be have been done on the cheap, you hardly get the impression that the store is large at all and as for the exteriors, it appears the BBC could only be bothered to dress up one section of the street outside the shop, giving an air of budget-cuts to proceedings.
Nevertheless, this was easy-to-watch family entertainment, which I'm pleased to see has been commissioned for a second series. We'll be watching.
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