This is a non-spoiler review for all six episodes of Netflix’s Alias Grace – adapted from Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, premiering Friday, November 3rd.
Written with melancholy flair by Sarah Polley (Go, Dawn of the Dead) and directed with a tragic ghost story panache by Mary Harron (American Psycho), Alias Grace takes us into the enchanting, incarcerated mind of a 19th century celebrity “murderess” to experience her many indignities, sufferings, and endured cruelties in a deeply rich and layered murder mystery based on true events.
Margaret Atwood, of The Handmaid’s Tale’s fame, crafted a story — a devilish narrative designed to unravel and mesmerize — around the real-life case of Grace Marks. The teenage Irish immigrant maid was convicted in 1843, in Canada, of killing her employer (while suspected of also having a hand in the death of a fellow housekeeper during the same manic spree). Alias Grace is, all at once, a coming of age story, an immigrant tale, a “whodunnit?,” and a chilling tragedy. It doesn’t involve ghosts, but it is haunted in its own way. There’s definitely a “presence” involved, a phantom feeling that permeates through the story – which is mostly, at its core, a collection of recollections.
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