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Return to Cranford [DVD]
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Judi Dench, Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce and Francesca Annis star in the award-winning drama based on the novels by Elizabeth Gaskell.
Welcome to Cranford, where all changes and all remains the same. Miss Matty’s house is full of life and bustle. Her dream of having a child in the house has been realised in the birth of Tilly, daughter of her maid Martha and carpenter Jem. The shadow of the railway still looms but, to the relief of Matty and the Amazons, the line has been halted five miles outside of Cranford because of Lady Ludlow’s refusal to sell her land. Elsewhere Miss Matty’s friend Mr Buxton returns to town with his son, William, and his niece, Erminia. Miss Matty decides to introduce them to Peggy Bell, a young woman who lives in an isolated cottage with her mother and domineering brother, Edward, in the hope of building friendships. But, when tragedy strikes, she comes to believe that she has opened Pandora’s box and fears Cranford will never recover.
The two-part saga Return to Cranford opens to a struggling Cranford, a traditional village that in autumn 1844 is airing the conflicts that accompany progress. Miss Matty Jenkyns (Judi Dench), after having closed her business in the last series, is happily babysitting the child of her maid, Martha (Claudie Blakley). This gives the ladies in town something to gossip about, as does every other small event in this chatty group. The same women populate this new Cranford--the snooty Miss Jamieson (Barbara Flynn), nosy Miss Pole (Imelda Staunton), Miss Forrester (Julia McKenzie), Peggy (Jodie Whittaker), and Erminia (Michelle Dockery)--while a few new men added into the mix creates options for love interests throughout. In Part One, Peggy, visiting her dead father's grave, bumps into William Baxton (Tom Hiddleston), a young and dapper gentleman who becomes a central character in Cranford's growing divide between those who want a railroad coming through town and those who don't. While politics are sorted, scenes alternate between heated public debates and intimate domestic exchanges to make Return to Cranford as charming as the first incarnations of this historical drama. The emphasis on the ways the women in town navigate thorny social situations remains primary in Return to Cranford. Babies are born and the elderly pass away while the ladies busily decide what to make of it all. While Part One focuses on catch-up, showing where each crone stands on the latest current events, Part Two attempts more to challenge outmoded cultural values such as elitism and to show how the community members toughen up to become a courageous bunch. Unfortunately, Miss Matty discovers that solidarity is hard to come by in this small village, and Part Two is as much about a town falling apart as it is about ways to heal sore feelings and a violated landscape. Ultimately, life marches on in this pleasurably fictionalized glimpse into England's past. --Trinie Dalton, Amazon.com
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Slightly disappointed by this in comparison to the first series but still glad to have seen it and have it on DVD.Published 4 months ago by Edwina G
Having watched the whole of the original series of Cranford I just had to buy this DVD. I wasn't disappointed as it was as good as the first Cranford series. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lesjoh 45
I decided to buy this for the wife as she has the first dvdPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer