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The Line of Beauty [DVD]

4.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Dan Stevens, Tim McInnerney, Alice Krige, Hayley Atwell, Alex Wyndham
  • Directors: Saul Dibb
  • Producers: Kate Lewis
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 31 July 2006
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FZDH0U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,010 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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.

From Amazon.co.uk

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 --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Here and now - the place and time to be. Handsome and talented, gay Oxford graduate Nick relishes his prolonged stay at the London family home of his friend Toby. Toby's father is charismatic MP Gerald Fedden, rolling in money and clearly destined to rise high in Thatcher's Government. Nick savours the opulence, the endless partying, being at the centre of the buzz.

Painful lessons lie ahead. Just as disease increasingly afflicts the gay community, Nick recognizes much that is rotten in the glittering world he has joined - it dominated by the blinkered and arrogant, they interested only in self-preservation and motivated by greed. They have no concern for the less fortunate, even those existing under their noses.

Gerald's troubled daughter sees things as they are. Woe betide others should she ever seek to expose the truth....

I know nothing of the book and can only comment on Andrew Davies' three part adaptation. It certainly looks good, but I could not help wondering if Nick was really so shallow in the novel. Here he certainly seems part of the problem, he himself an exploiter for as long as circumstances permit. Then there is Toby. He too appears astonishingly passive, never really making his mark. Tim McKinnerny excels in the plum role of Gerald - outwardly so affable and trustworthy, but secretly engaged in dubious activities, both business and sexual.

An attack on Thatcherism and the attitudes it seemed to encourage? Sadly we now know that in any party much which disturbs lies beneath the gloss. "The Line of Beauty" could perhaps have involved us far more than it did, but the main point is successfully made. Be not led astray by outer show. Delve deep to appreciate how things truly are.
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This is a masterly TV adaptation, beautifully acted and filmed, of Alan Hollinghurst's Booker Prize winning novel; different in some details, but faithful to the spirit of the book, and an excellent introduction to it. There are no characters in this drama to admire, not even the protagonist Nick Guest (a wonderfully photogenic Dan Stevens, looking far more handsome than he does in Downton Abbey, due to masses of gorgeous hair) who appears sympathetic at first, but who is careless and self-seeking in many ways, but that doesn't matter, in fact, it's rather the point. The Fedden family are materialistic and self-seeking, Gerald (a brilliant turn by Tim McInnery) is duplicitious, daughter Cat is brittle and mad, cocaine snorting is de rigeur and practically everyone's out for themselves, especially the villainously vile millionaire and his wife (Kenneth Cranham does nasty people really well!) And what a coup de grace to cast the famously left-wing Kika Markham as Mrs Thatcher! A neat, ironic little cameo.

Loved it.
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I really enjoyed the book, so was very keen to see the dvd. It didn't disappoint. All the characters were true to the book, especially Tim Mc Innery's pompous millionaire Tory MP Gerald Fedden.

The early part of the story is hopeful, with young gay graduate Nick Guest moving into the house and the world of the Feddens, becoming part of the family and also becoming part of the gay scene.

The latter stages follow Nick through an unsettled love life and the parallel emergence of his antics and that of Gerald cause the bubble to burst.

The only crazy bit was the party scene at the Feddens when Nick persuades Margaret Thatcher to dance with her much to the delight of the crowds. Trying to suspend my disbelief that this delicate looking actress was really the lady herself was a bit difficult!
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An excellent tv series that translates well to DVD. The story of a young man and his relationship with the family of a politician during Thatcher's years of power. The 80's are well represented and if you lived through those years, as I did, would resonate more than perhaps with a younger audience. For adults only as the themes of gay sex are very explicit it is nevertheless a very powerful series and well acted by a stellar British cast. Dan Stevens (more famous now for Downton Abbey)plays the naive central character with aplomb.
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The Line of Beauty is a 2004 Booker Prize-winning novel by Alan Hollinghurst. The book explores the tension between Nick's intimate relationship with the Feddens, in whose parties and holidays he participates, and the realities of his sexuality and gay life, which the Feddens accept only to the extent of never mentioning it. It explores themes of hypocrisy, homosexuality, madness and wealth, with the emerging AIDS crisis forming a backdrop to the book's conclusion. It is a breathtaking portrayal of life among the privileged governing Tory classes during the early to middle 1980s.

The novel was adapted for television by Andrew Davies as a three-part mini-series for BBC Two, broadcast in 2006. This sophisticated social analysis is captured to perfection in the mini-series. It is no funny, typical gay story. Sex and drugs mix, love ends by social pressure and ignorance and all begins to be overshadowed by HIV. It is sad to watch.
Nothing what seems perfect in the beginning stays perfect, rather the reverse. It gets under your skin.

The title " The Line of Beauty" has many meanings ranging from Nick's company name Ogee taken from the sinuous double curve cited by Hogarth as the "line of beauty", to a line of cocaine to a man's lower back cleaves to his bottom.
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