Time Out saysEdzard's Little Dorrit was rightly acclaimed for its impeccable attention to detail; the same care, if not the literary pedigree, has gone into this successor, co-written by Edzard with her editor Olivier Stockman, but owing its inspiration to the more prosaic if equally socially-conscious work of Henry Mayhew. She has again produced an authentic period feel, but what the film lacks is a strong narrative. The confusing premise lies in the fact that Jacobi is leading a double life: first as Mr Frederick, a lowly theatrical booking clerk of humble means and charisma; then as Sir John, the effortless darling of polite Victorian society, able almost to create money out of the air, and accepted not because of who he is but how he behaves. Much has been made of the parallels between the ebullience of 1857 and the stock market scandals of today, but more intriguing is a fine theatrical climax in which Jacobi turns on the representatives of True-Brit greed, tearing their selfishness to bits - much to their seeming incomprehension. Jacobi is as usual superb, well supported by a galaxy of British actors.
Cast and crew
Jim Carter, Rosalie Crutchley, Patricia Hayes, Don Henderson, Michael Hordern, Stratford Johns, Miriam Margolyes, John McEnery, Michael Medwin, Murray Melvin, Miranda Richardson, Paul Brooke, Irina Brook, Derek Jacobi, Cyril Cusack, Ruth Mitchell, Maria Aitken, Joan Sims