The series is loosely based on the true story a sixteen-year-old maid named Grace Marks who was convicted in Canada of murdering her employer, Thomas Kinnear, in 1843. The young woman was also under suspicion of killing Kinnear’s housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery.
Grace’s story caught the public eye due to the allusive nature of the crime, as well as the lack of evidence surrounding the case. In 1996, Margaret Atwood published Alias Grace, a novel that strived to piece together what happened to Grace all those years ago.
As a book, it has many twists and turns as well as references to exaggerated unfavorable societal constructs as Atwood is known to write about. The show’s writer Sarah Polley and director Mary Harron‘s television adaptation of the book is much the same, which was their goal. The six-episode Netflix original limited series follows Grace’s (Sarah Gadon) life story through a series of interviews and flashbacks, that often collapse in on themselves, threatening us to confront universal truths none of us like to face.
Why is everyone so fascinated with Margaret Atwood’s works at this particular point in time? Aside from Hulu being in the process of deciding how to end its hit show The Handmaid’s Tale while developing follow up series The Testaments, our society is experiencing a challenging transformation.
“I think it’s a scary time,” said Polley, the Oscar-nominated writer who adapted Alias Grace for television told The Washington Post. “She has such insight and such a detailed curiosity about the past and where we’ve come from, and I think because this is such an unstable time in the world politically — and for women — it’s a moment where having context is helpful in terms of analyzing and figuring out our situation right now.”
Alias Grace is a brutal political tale with period drama costume wear and production similarities to The Handmaid’s Tale, so if you need to get your Atwood fill while patiently awaiting Season 5, pop on over to Netflix and check out Alias Grace.
You can watch the official trailer for the miniseries above.
Michael is a music and television junkie keen on most things that are not a complete and total bore. You can follow him on Twitter — @Tweetskoor
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