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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH (2005)

Richly mounted UK mini-series from one of our least deserving Nobel Laureates (English division), William Golding, displays much the same Swiftian/Hobbesian view of humanity as his chef d'oeuvre LORD OF THE FLIES. Here we’re on a British ship with a motley crew & civilian passangers sailing for Australia at the tail end of war with the French. Helmer David Attwood portrays a disgustingly realistic vessel and, storms aside, lets the inter-personal dynamics supply most of the drama. Jared Harris (Richard’s son) is particularly fine as the enigmatic captain, while both Jamie Sives & Niall Macgregor stand out as counterweight lieutenants. As our alternately arrogant & sympathetic/callow & wise uppercrust narrator, Benedict Cumberbatch (yep, that’s the name) probably errs on the asinine side of his weak-chinned character.

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