Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Scandalous Lady W.

The Scandalous Lady W. is a 2015 BBC production on the scandalous life of Lady Seymour Worsley, nee Fleming.

Aneurin Barnard as Captain George Bisset
Shaun Evans as Sir Richard Worsley

The story of the Lady Seymour Worsley is told through a series of flashbacks as she had her lover, Captain Bisset, runaway to London. All Seymour Fleming wanted in her marriage was to please her husband. On September 17, 1775, she married Sir Richard Worsley, a man whose needs are of a particular sort. Their marriage is consummated only after Seymour gives her husband a strip show through a keyhole. After a few years of marriage, Richard proposes that his wife bed his friend, Viscount Deerhurst, for his viewing pleasure. At first Seymour refuses out of love for her husband but eventually gives into to please Richard.

Worsley begins a criminal conversation against Bisset for the grand sum of 20 000 pounds. In 1778, Sir Richard befriended George Bisset and granted him access to Lady Worsley's bed. The two fall in love and produce a daughter, Jane, although the child is claimed by Sir Richard to avoid scandal. The case seems to be an easy victory for Sir Richard until Lady Seymour decides she is not worth 20 000 pounds. She calls upon all the lovers that Richard forced upon her, her doctor implies that she is infected with a venereal disease and the truth of Jane's bastardom is revealed. The famous incident of the bathhouse concludes the court case. Captain Bisset is to pay Sir Worsley the grand sum of a shilling for damages against his property.

Despite their victory over Richard, George and Seymour's relationship disintegrates. Seymour is sent to exile in France where she lives as an independent woman.

I give this television movie a 1/5. I really wanted to like The Scandalous Lady W., I really did but the highest compliment I can pay this movie is that the costumes and sets are breathtaking and Natalie Dormer is absolutely gorgeous. The script is absolutely horrendous, I felt like I was watching a lifetime TV movie. The script was riddled with many modern sayings that stuck our like a sore thumb. There were too many camera-pan-to-dramatic-stare moments in the show that as I write this I suffer from a horrid headache. They were largely ineffective. I do not know if it's because Natalie Dormer cannot pull off catching an emotion  in her face or lousy directing but it was so terribly awkward! THAT ENDING SCENE! I'm more inclined to believe the latter because there were a few moments when Dormer SPOKE that she shined as an actress. The use of flashbacks in this movie should be called abuse! We would get flashbacks of scenes we saw less than 10 minutes ago. The characters were really under developed for the 90 minute run time that the movie had. You could have replaced Aneurin Barnard with a twig and no one would notice the difference. Shaun Evan had an interesting character to play but the script and the direction caused him to flounder under long and awkward stares. The movie ends with a supposed feminist triumph of Lady Seymour against society but given what happens to her after the final scene concludes leaves much to be desired. I would only recommend this movie if you are a lover of period pieces and pretty dresses. 

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