Movie Review, BBC Production
Michelle Dockery is a governess who is in an institution. She is confined and considered disturbed by the experience of her work.
Her savior is young, blue eyes himself, our faithful pal, Dan Stevens playing a doctor, counselor or a scientist. He coaxes the story of Michelle’s work before she is carted off to a more secure facility.
The problem with this story is the source, Henry James. The script is derived from one of his stories and is evidence that Henry James read far too many women’s books of the nineteenth century. I know this because in A Jury of her Peers Elaine Showalter explained the formula for many novels written by women during that century: Perfectly reasonable woman finds that life, work and circumstances drive her to the edge. [Note Michelle Dockery has no housecleaning, gardening or cooking to do.] In this case what drives Michelle bonkers are ghosts, or perhaps her imagination, or her undisclosed, unbalanced nature as a woman, of some other absurd cause. Only Henry knows for sure.
But I don’t care. It was good to see Dan and Michelle in another production set in the 1920s, but not in this movie.