The BBC's Wolf Hall


In the past few weeks, American friends have been asking me what I thought of the BBC's 6-part dramatization of Hilary Mantel's WOLF HALL and BRING UP THE BODIES, which aired in the UK back in February and started their run in the U.S. on April 5th. I've been such a fan of these books (and pretty much everything Hilary Mantel has ever published) that I couldn't help but worry. All readers have felt the keen disappointment when a film adaptation of a favorite book misses the mark. But I loved the BBC's version. Peter Straughan's script, which Hilary Mantel herself has described as a "miracle"; the riveting and subtle acting by some of England's best actors; the candle-lit sets and the costumes handmade with such minute attention to detail. I was completely swept up in this adaptation and looked forward to it every week. But what sticks with me a couple of months later, what has lodged in my mind and become the background of my days is the gorgeous and spare soundtrack written by Debbie Wiseman. I especially love track 12, The Unicorn's Horn. Listen and weep.

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