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Wed Sep 19, 2012, 07:41 PM

"The Way We Live Now" - BBC, on Netflix instant -- 3 thumbs up

The story & villain are perfect for our times. The character of
Mr. Melmotte is particularly brilliant -- you will recognize him.
(Based on the book, which I've never read.)





The Way We Live Now is a satirical novel published in London
in 1875 by Anthony Trollope, after a popular serialisation.
In 1872 Trollope returned to England from abroad and was
appalled by the greed which was loose in the land. His scolding
rebuke was his longest novel.

Containing 100 chapters, The Way We Live Now is particularly
rich in sub-plot. It was inspired by the financial scandals of the
early 1870s, and lashes out at the pervading dishonesty of the
age, commercial, political, moral, and intellectual. It is one of
the last significant Victorian novels to have been published in
monthly parts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Way_We_Live_Now

Here is what the author of the book (on which movie is
based) had to say


Nevertheless a certain class of dishonesty, dishonesty
magnificent in its proportions, and climbing into high places,
has become at the same time so rampant and so splendid
that there seems to be reason for fearing that men and
women will be taught to feel that dishonesty, if it can become
splendid, will cease to be abominable.

If dishonesty can live in a gorgeous palace with pictures on
all its walls, and gems in all its cupboards, with marble and
in all its corners, and can give Apician dinners, and get into
Parliament, and deal in millions, then dishonesty is not
disgraceful, and the man dishonest after such a fashion is not
a low scoundrel.

Instigated, I say, by some such reflections as these, I sat down
in my new house to write The Way We Live Now.

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Reply "The Way We Live Now" - BBC, on Netflix instant -- 3 thumbs up (Original post)
Voice for Peace Sep 2012 OP
Voice for Peace Sep 2012 #1
smirkymonkey Sep 2012 #2
Voice for Peace Sep 2012 #3
muriel_volestrangler Sep 2012 #4
Voice for Peace Sep 2012 #5

Response to Voice for Peace (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 07:42 PM

1. "there seems to be reason for fearing that men and women will be taught

"...to feel that dishonesty, if it can become splendid,
will cease to be abominable.

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Response to Voice for Peace (Original post)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 08:00 PM

2. Interesting. That is the next film up in my Netflix queue.

I'm really looking forward to seeing it!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 19, 2012, 10:16 PM

3. It has surprised me, really insightfully written, the dialogue especially

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Response to Voice for Peace (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 06:17 AM

4. It is very good - I saw it on British TV

The adapter was Andrew Davies, who is the premier adapter of classic novels for TV (eg the 1990s Pride and Prejudice, which launched Colin Firth's career, and is superior to the film they did a few years ago).

You say "you will recognise him" - Melmotte was acted rather like Robert Maxwell, who may or may not be so familiar to Americans, because most of his business was in the UK (not all - he did buy Macmillan Inc., and the New York Daily News).

Did you draw on real-life examples? Melmotte does have his share of contemporary equivalents.

When I read the script, the man who immediately came to mind was Robert Maxwell, the British businessman and media tycoon who drowned in 1991. After his death it came out that he was involved in all sorts of dishonest financial manipulation. Extraordinarily enough, Maxwell's life almost exactly mirrors Melmotte's, and it has been said that he was a 20th-century Augustus Melmotte. So I was able to draw on his example, and in doing so I didn't deny myself fattening things to eat. I put on a lot of weight and really got into the role.

Did you ever meet Robert Maxwell?

No. I met a relative of his while researching the role. I'm not at liberty to divulge who, but that person was a great help to me.
...
Do you think that someone who is a great swindler has to be a great actor?

Yes. The thing about Melmotte and Maxwell is that both had enormous charm, with totally convincing, wonderfully winning ways. In addition to being good actors, both knew how to manipulate people. They were great salesmen. I suppose that's the key. A successful swindler has to be a great salesman even more than a great actor.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/waywelive/ei_suchet.html

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 20, 2012, 09:41 AM

5. interesting, thanks!

when I said "you will recognize him" what I meant was his approach to business & dealing with people. Reminded me of so many swindlers in politics & finance in our current day. So much obfuscation, distraction, etc.. and I thought so well acted and filmed.

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