Friday, March 24, 2017

Now on Amazon Prime: Doctor Thorne (2016)

Doctor Thorne (2016) - Directed by Niall McCormick; Written by Julian Fellows; Starring Stefanie Martini, Tom Hollander, Harry Richardson, Alison Brie.

By Kenny Howell

Julian Fellows rides his Downton Abbey success into another period piece, this adaptation of Anthony Trollope's work.

It is the story of Mary Thorne (Stefanie Martini), a woman who grew up under the care of her uncle, the titular Doctor Thorne (Tom Hollander). Her father passed away before she was born, and her mom left to start a new life in Australia, her only chance to have a comfortable life, but also leaving her daughter behind.

Mary gains the attention of a young bachelor in Frank Gresham (Harry Richardson), but the Gresham's don't want Frank with Mary because she has no money, and they would struggle to get by once married. The Greshams are in debt, and another of Mary's suitors threatens to wreck their family because Mary doesn't want to be with him instead of Frank.

You kind of know what you are going to get with Doctor Thorne, as it follows the old Masterpiece formula. It is less soap-operaish than Downton Abbey, but it also seems to take itself a little less seriously. There is a lightness to it, and I think it would have benefited from being a little rougher around the edges. It does hit those notes you would expect, and the cast is quite good, including appearances by Ian McShane and Alison Brie (How to Be Single), so if you are into this genre, it probably is what it needs to be.

Doctor Thorne is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rating: ***

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