BBC miniseries, adaptated by Andrew Davies from the Booker Prize-winning novel, exploring the underbelly of 1980s excess through the eyes of a young gay man. Nick Guest (Dan Stevens) moves to London in 1983, and finds himself caught up in a circle of the rich and powerful, including his Oxford friend Toby's (Oliver Coleman) father Gerald (Tim McInnerny), a new Conservative MP in Margaret Thatcher's triumphant post-Falklands administration. As the decade unfolds, Nick finds himself in two very different love affairs, which make him start to question the ruthlessness behind the glamour of 1980s wealth and excess.
Isn't it ironic that Nick Guest (Dan Stevens), the protagonist in the BBC's miniseries, A Line of Beauty
, is a Henry James scholar at university before being inducted into the fast-paced, sexy world of upper class British society? Director Saul Dibb has transformed this politically scandalous story, based on the Alan Hollinghurst novel, into a juicy, three-part series set in 1986/87 that pits decadence against the heartbreak and crash that often follows it. A Line of Beauty
follows Guest, an aspiring politician, who happily accepts an invitation to live and work for a friend's family headed by famous Conservative, Gerald Fedden (Tim McInnerny), under the condition that Guest watch their mentally unstable daughter, Cat (Hayley Atwell). Upon discovering that Nick's gay, Cat and Nick become best friends. Plots complicate to keep Nick's sexuality under wraps, as the viewer glimpses fancy debauched parties, major drug use (the show is named after a line of cocaine), and explicit sexual escapades. Soundtracked by great '80s bands like Duran Duran and New Order, the show's hip coolness counterbalances Guest's ultimate tragic fall, following the onset of AIDS. A story that at once assesses the British political corruption, sexual discrimination, and '80s fashion, A Line of Beauty
offers soap opera-like entertainment along with conceptual substance. --Trinie Dalton
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