The Fool

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Edzard'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.

Release details

Duration: 140 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Christine Edzard
Screenwriter: Christine Edzard, Olivier Stockman
Cast: Derek Jacobi
Cyril Cusack
Ruth Mitchell
Maria Aitken
Irina Brook
Paul Brooke
Jim Carter
Rosalie Crutchley
Patricia Hayes
Don Henderson
Michael Hordern
Stratford Johns
Miriam Margolyes
John McEnery
Michael Medwin
Murray Melvin
Miranda Richardson
Joan Sims
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