Uno scandalo molto inglese

Uno scandalo molto inglese
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Uno scandalo molto inglese

John Jeremy Thorpe è stato una delle personalità politiche più rilevanti nell’Inghilterra del secolo scorso. Membro della Camera dei Comuni dal 1959 al 1979 e Leader del Partito Liberale dal 1967 al 1976. La sua carriera politica è stata interrotta per una complicata storia di omosessualità negli anni in cui questa era illegale nel Regno Unito.
Il regista Stephen Frears, già autore di diversi film a tematica (My Beautiful Laundrette, Prick Up – L’importanza di essere Joe, Philomena) con lo sceneggiatire Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who), basandosi sull’omonimo bestseller di John Preston, ripercorre la travagliata storia di Thorpe (ricordato per essere stato il primo uomo politico inglese a venire accusato per incitamento all’omicidio, sebbene assolto), in una mini-serie prodotta dalla neonata Blueprint Television, sostenuta dalla Sony, insieme alla BBC. Gli interpreti sono Hugh Grant (attore lanciato nel 1987 dal film gay “Maurice”) nel ruolo di Thorpe, e Ben Whishaw (gay dichiarato e sposato con il compositore australiano Mark Bradshaw) nel ruolo del suo amante Norman Scott. Grant e Whishaw hanno già lavorato insieme nel film “Cloud Atlas”.
Lo sceneggiatore Russell T. Davies (“Queer As Folk” e creatore delle serie gay “Cucumber” e “Banana”), ha dichiarato: “Ho voluto scrivere questa storia per anni, da quando avevo 16 anni e l’ho vista svolgersi nei notiziari. È probabilmente la prima storia gay che abbia mai sentito. Il brillante libro di John Preston illumina un pezzo vitale e affascinante della storia britannica.”
Il regista Frears ha dichiarato: “Quando ho letto il libro l’ho trovato meraviglioso, conoscevo la storia ma non sapevo di molti dettagli, la sceneggiatura di Russell è veramente ottima, terrificante. Tradurla in immagini è stato un piacere, anche divertente. Ho dovuto miscelare comicità e dramma, credo di aver trovato il giusto equilibrio. Praticamente questa mini-serie in tre parti risulta alla fine come se fossero tre film. In passato hanno tentato di realizzare un film, ma sarebbe stato insufficiente. Penso che ora abbia trovato la sua giusta strada, quella della televisione. Hugh Grant nei panni di Jeremy Thorpe è perfetto, era l’attore giusto, quasi gli assomiglia, un po’ cadaverico e un po’ ridicolo, molto divertente”. Ben Whishaw spiega così il suo personaggio: “Norman è molto giovane quando lo incontriamo per la prima volta all’inizio della storia. Incontra Jeremy Thorpe, che è un deputato liberale, ed è piuttosto preso da lui. È rimasto molto colpito dal suo carisma e status. Norman è in una situazione terribile, non ha un posto dove stare e Thorpe lo accoglie. Sopravvive grazie alla sua arguzia ed immaginazione. E’ una persona davvero forte. Ho incontrato il vero Norman Scott poco prima di iniziare le riprese ed è stato molto interessante ascoltare la sua versione degli eventi. E’ una persona molto deliziosa, affascinante. Penso che la sua relazione con Thorpe fosse assai squilibrata, uno molto potente e l’altro praticamente un signor nessuno, ma ad un altro livello penso che fossero molto ben abbinati, entrambi acuti, intelligenti e divertenti. Io provo simpatia per entrambi i personaggi, anche per Jeremy, un uomo gay che non poteva vivere onestamente quella vita e che deve aver sofferto moltissimo… La mini-serie mi sembra veramente ottima, una specie di commedia dark, nera, che filtra però qualcosa di più triste e persino tragico.”
La mini-serie verrà trasmesso su BBC One in Inghilterra e sarà disponibile su Amazon Prime Video in America, nel 2018, a seguire in altri Paesi. Sull’ onda dello sceneggiato tv, i giornali hanno scoperto che Newton, il presunto killer, non è morto come si pensava, ma vive sotto falso nome nel Surrey. Dopo l’ iniziale eccitazione, la polizia ha però fatto sapere che l’ inchiesta non verrà riaperta. Meglio non rivangare.

synopsis

It is 1960s England, homosexuality is illegal and the politician Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant) begins a whirlwind affair with a young stable hand, Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw). But when the relationship turns sour and Jeremy’s career goes from strength to strength, Norman becomes a secret that Jeremy is desperate to hide.
In 1967, Jeremy becomes the leader of the Liberal Party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, but as long as his ex-lover Norman is around, his brilliant career is at risk. Behind the oak-panelled doors of Parliament, Jeremy turns to his friends for decisive action. He can see only one way to silence him for good.

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trailer: Uno scandalo molto inglese

Varie

Introduzione ai vari personaggi della serie:

Jeremy Thorpe

MP for North Devon and leader of the Liberal Party between 1967-1976. Thorpe was a highly-charismatic Etonian, known for his reforming principals and ebullient charm. In May 1979 he was tried at the Old Bailey on charges of conspiracy and incitement to murder, arising from an earlier clandestine relationship with Norman Scott, which Thorpe wished to keep secret. The case and media furore surrounding it effectively ended his political career.

Norman Scott

An accomplished horseman and one-time model, Scott had a clandestine relationship with MP Jeremy Thorpe in the early 60’s, at a time when homosexuality was illegal in Britain. It was during this time that Thorpe was said to have promised to help Scott get a new National Insurance Card, which was never forthcoming – a fact which was to plague both men for years to come.

Peter Bessell

A fellow Liberal MP and friend of Thorpe’s. After losing his seat for Bodmin in 1970 he moved into business, before retreating to a beach town in California in 1974 for a new life. His friendship with Thorpe returned to haunt him, and after Norman Scott made public his relationship with Thorpe in 1976, Bessell decided to come clean and tell his side of the story to police and journalists.

Caroline Thorpe

Thorpe married Caroline Allpass in 1968 and they had a son together. Caroline Thorpe was tragically killed in a car accident two years into their marriage.

Marion Thorpe

Thorpe married the Countess of Harewood, nee Marion Stein, in 1973. Formidable in front of the press, she defended Thorpe’s reputation throughout his trial and continued to do so for the rest of his life.

Reginald Maudling

Home Secretary for the Conservative Party 1970-1972

Lord Arran

8th Earl of Arran, known to friends as ‘Boofy’, Arran was a British politician and Conservative whip in the House of Lords. Arran sponsored Leo Abse’s private members bill to decriminalize homosexuality between consenting adult men; the bill eventually formed the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.

Countess of Arran

Fiona Gore was a Scottish champion powerboat racer and, like her husband, an animal rights activist. She went on to win the Seagrave Trophy in 1980 for being the first woman to achieve 102 miles per hour on water on Lake Windermere.

Leo Abse

Lawyer and Welsh Labour MP between 1958-87, he championed private members’ bills to decriminalise male homosexual relations and liberalise the divorce laws. During his parliamentary career, Abse introduced more private members’ bills than any other parliamentarian in the twentieth century.

David Holmes

A merchant banker and assistant treasurer of the Liberal Party, he was best man at Thorpe’s wedding to Caroline and loyal to a fault. In 1974 he was tasked with silencing Norman Scott and approached a business acquaintance, John Le Mesurier, who contacted a fruit machine salesman called George Deakin, who found Andrew Newton, Norman Scott’s alleged would-be assassin. Holmes only ever admitted hiring Newton to “frighten” Scott.

Holmes, Le Mesurier and Deakin were co-defendants with Thorpe at his trial in 1979, accused of conspiracy to murder Norman Scott. They were acquitted of all charges.

Edna Friendship

Pub landlady of the Market Inn in Devon, she employed Norman Scott in 1975 and became a close friend. She was said to be exactly as her surname suggested – a kind and loyal woman.

George Carman QC

Thorpe’s barrister at his trial, known for his colourful one-liners and ruthless cross-examination. Despite a reputation for self-destructive drinking and gambling, Carman was one of Britain’s top libel barristers in the 80s and 90s – successfully defending a number of high profile clients.

Emyln Hooson

Baron Hooson QC was a Welsh Liberal and later Liberal Democrat MP. In 1960 he became the youngest ever QC, aged just 35.

Andrew Newton

Chartered airline pilot, Andrew Newton, was asked to carry out the plot against Norman Scott. On Dartmoor in October 1975, he shot Scott’s dog, a Great Dane named Rinka, and was arrested shortly after. Newton received a two-year sentence for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. Despite claiming at his trial that Scott had been blackmailing him and he had shot the dog to frighten him, he later gave evidence for the prosecution at Thorpe’s Old Bailey trial that he had been hired by Thorpe’s middle-men to murder Scott.

Ursula Thorpe

Thorpe’s mother was a stalwart of the local Conservative Party, who wore a monocle and smoked cigars. She came from a long heritage of fearless women; her mother Lady Norton Griffiths had once ridden a mule across the Andes.

Gwen Parry Jones

A widow who became Scott’s lover after he moved into her property in a small Welsh village. She contacted Emlyn Hooson, a friend of her father’s, to discuss Scott’s claims about Thorpe and later accompanied him to the Houses of Parliament where he told his story to David Steel.

Sue Scott

Married to Scott in 1969, Sue and Norman Scott lived in a cottage in Dorset and had a son together, but separated a short while later.

Sir Joseph Cantley

The judge presiding over Thorpe’s trial, famous for giving what is considered by many commentators to be one of the most biased summing ups in British legal history.

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