Hugh Grant wins rave reviews for 'revelatory' portrayal of Jeremy Thorpe

Written by Dods staff on 21 May 2018 in Culture

A Very English Scandal has been given five star treatment by critics.

Hugh Grant has been applauded by critics for his portrayal of Jeremy Thorpe in the first part of the "immaculately-scripted" BBC drama about the disgraced former Liberal leader.

The new three-part series tells the real-life story of Thorpe, who in 1979 was accused of conspiring to murder his secret lover Norman Scott.

The Telegraph calls the drama "hilariously entertaining" and says that Grant plays Thorpe as "an outrageous popinjay embodying everything that is perfectly loathsome about some Establishment figures".

The Independent congratulates the BBC on the production and says that Grant captured all of Thorpe’s superficialities well, including "the tendency to treat politics as some sort of game… and, above all, the reckless randiness of his secret life as a promiscuous homosexual".

The Guardian is even more effusive, describing the opening episode as "brutally funny, endlessly clever" and "immaculately-scripted".

Reviewer Lucy Mangan adds: "Hugh Grant… is revelatory. Charming, sly, duplicitous, forthright, manipulative, sometimes by turns, sometimes all at once, he is never less than wholly convincing and compelling. Everything (bar the stutter) that made him a romcom star is still there, but now there is everything else too.

"He handles the comic scenes and moments, which are sprinkled liberally throughout, with the deftness you’d expect, but never loses sight of the underlying nervousness, fear and venality underlying the politician’s moves."

But not all reviews were so focused on the Four Weddings And A Funeral star.

Writing on Twitter, Stella Creasy reckoned that Ben Wishaw paying Scott was "a magical actor to watch". But both Scott and Grant were eclipsed by another figure on the set, in the view of the Labour MP for Walthamstow.

"Frankly that cute Jack Russell is stealing every scene," she said.




Picture credit: BBC

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