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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Lilies (review)

Ah, this is period drama like it’s supposed to be: not stuffy or stodgy but powerful, passionate, and alive with love and sex and tenderness. Three young women — sisters Iris (Catherine Tyldesley), May (Leanne Rowe: Oliver Twist), and Ruby (Kerrie Hayes) — struggle to find their paths in life in post-World War I Liverpool, where the war has changed everything, from the gentleness of their brother, returning veteran Billy (Daniel Rigby: Flyboys), to the opportunities open to women in a daring new age. It’s still a hard road, though, for working-class women. This eight-part miniseries — created and written by Heidi Thomas (I Capture the Castle), it aired on the BBC earlier this year — takes the sisters through unlikely romances that will change them forever, leads them to a new understanding of their tormented widowed father (Brian McCardie, The Ghost and the Darkness), and threatens to shred their close relationship. Grand and sweeping, beautifully performed and compulsively watchable, this is like a romantic novel you’ve never read. As a bonus, the boxed set includes a behind-the-scenes featurette. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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