Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, this is one to get excited about… and it starts tomorrow on Netflix!
For those mourning the end of The Handmaid’s Tale (and while we wait for season two), we bring you great news: there’s another Margaret Atwood TV series adaptation about to arrive on Netflix. And this time, the setting moves from an unsettling dystopia to a take on historical fiction. Netflix is adapting Atwood’s award-winning novel Alias Grace into a six-episode miniseries starring actress Sarah Gadon as the titular Grace Marks, a poor Irish servant in the 1840s in Canada who finds herself convicted of brutal murders – without memory of why.
Along with stable hand James McDermott, she was convicted of the brutal murders of Thomas Kinnear, who employed them both, and his housekeeper and lover, Nancy Montgomery.
Atwood based her novel on real-life events – we won’t spoil all the plot points for those who haven’t read the book – and created fiction around them. But was Grace a murderer or in the wrong place at the wrong time? That is what has always been debated. The author is involved with the adaptation once again, and as she did with The Handmaid’s Tale, will have a cameo.
In the trailer below, Graces muses over what has been written about her in the press; one side convinced she is an inhuman monster and the other an innocent victim, precisely what Atwood was making a point about in the novel – how society and the media treat men and women differently.
Atwood’s work has always reflected this stark societal difference between the sexes and not just in her most popular books; have you read The Heart Goes Last? Cat’s Eye? Even the perhaps lesser-known titles in her body of work offer shrewd commentary on what it means to be a woman in society – she’s ‘unlikeable’ or she brought it on herself. It’s a tale as old as time and even in 2017, this hasn’t gotten much better, as Atwood knows.
“When there are crimes of violence involving both a man and a woman, it usually goes as follows: nobody ever says the man is a nice guy, but opinion often splits about the woman,” Atwood told The Guardian. “Either she’s the villainous instigator of it all, or else she’s a terrified victim, and she only did it because she was frightened for her life. That’s the pattern with Grace. And there’s evidence supporting both sides.”
The series has an impressive cast: Edward Holcroft, Zachary Levi, and True Blood‘s Anna Paquin co-star in the six part mini-series, with a female creative team producing – Sarah Polley has written the script, and Mary Harron (of American Psycho) will take the directing reigns.
While you wait for tomorrow, the trailer is below:
Main image: Netflix