If you thought the TV adaptation for Margaret Atwood‘s The Handmaid’s Tale was a lot to wrap your mind around, she has another novel being adapted into a mini-series, Alias Grace, and while the events that unravel are also hard to believe, the new series is based on a true story.
Atwood’s historical novel was published in 1996 and is now being made into a six-part miniseries, heading to Netflix on Friday, November 3. Sarah Polley (Stories We Tell) has adapted the novel into a screenplay, with Mary Harron (American Psycho) directing.
The title is based on the real life Grace Marks. Grace (Sarah Gadon), an Irish domestic servant working in Canada, was accused and convicted of murdering her employer and his housekeeper in 1843. She wasn’t the only one implicated, with stable hand James McDermott thought to take the lead in the double murder.
Atwood’s novel is based on actual events, but the acclaimed author adds a dash of fiction to help tell the story, manufacturing a doctor to interview Grace. Dr. Simon Jordan, played by Edward Holcroft, tries to figure out what happened. He debates if Grace is in fact a criminal, void of remorse, or instead suffering from hysteria.
We hear from Grace in the teaser trailer, not claiming either guilt or innocence:
In the above clip, Grace lists off what she’s read about herself since the murders, being called, “an inhuman female demon,” “an innocent victim of a blaggard, forced against my will and in danger of my own life,” “cunning and devious,” and “curious,” asking: “How can I be all these things different at once?”
She may never get an answer to the above, but even so, she holds strong in her convictions, preferring to be called a “murderess” over “murderer,” if she has a say on the matter.
That may be the only choice this trapped girl has.
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