Casting an Australian hunk to play Edgar Allen Poe is pure tosh, of course, but I’m glad for Natalie Dormer that she’s landed another pilot that will be high-profile stateside, ABC’s Poe.
I finally knocked off the second season of The Tudors and she, particularly in the arc leading up to Anne’s fall from grace and execution, is the finest thing in it. I don’t know that I think I’m going to continue watching the show—there is far too much of it that is unimaginative historical interpretation. And I think James Frain is rather wasted as Thomas Cromwell. Frain’s got the unique asset of a face that can be equally yearning and villainous, and he tends to get put to the latter use far more frequently than I think is good for his career. I think he could absolutely murder the lead role in an adaptation of Wolf Hall, and I’d love to see him do that. But there’s no greatness in watching him play the petty tyrant to John Rhys Meyers’ unworthy, and uninteresting king.
Dormer’s wonderful too, and she makes a group of ridiculous, scene-chewing performances around her plausible. She and Rhys Myers have genuine sexual chemistry, and the scene where she tells her father off for assuming he was the one who engineered her rise to royalty is genuinely thrilling, a bit of feminist retconning that illustrates the strictures placed on women at the time without feeling utterly ridiculous within their context. As a woman damned by the love she wasn’t supposed to feel for a capricious and nearly all-powerful man, she’s simultaneously composed and raw. I hope Poe gives her some scenery to chew, she’s rather good at it.