Hollinghurst On “A Very English Scandal”

That extremely fine writer Alan Hollinghurst weighs in on the Amazon Prime miniseries “A Very English Scandal”: ‘Anything described as “very English” is being subjected to a subtle form of ridicule, an instant suspicion of stuffiness, hypocrisy, and ineptitude. It’s an idea of Englishness that has been the lifeblood of British film comedy, from the Ealing Studios of the late 1940s and 1950s through the saucier Carry On films of the following three decades, which are knowingly evoked in Stephen Frears’s direction of this richly enjoyable miniseries. Ben Whishaw, with his wiggling walk in revealingly tight jeans, is one moment as camp as the TV comedian Dick Emery, the next as ingenuous as Michael Crawford in Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em, the popular 1970s sitcom in which Michele Dotrice—here playing Scott’s protector, Mrs. Edna Friendship—was Crawford’s sweetly exasperated wife.’

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