7.4/10
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21 user 8 critic

The Line of Beauty 

A young man becomes attached to a family that's not his own, and casts himself into the life of plentiful riches and gay love affairs for which he seems destined.
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1  
2006  
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Dan Stevens ...  Nick Guest 3 episodes, 2006
Tim McInnerny ...  Gerald Fedden 3 episodes, 2006
Hayley Atwell ...  Cat Fedden / ... 3 episodes, 2006
Alice Krige ...  Rachel Fedden 3 episodes, 2006
Carmen Du Sautoy ...  Elena 3 episodes, 2006
Alex Wyndham ...  Wani Ouradi 3 episodes, 2006
James Bradshaw ...  Polly Tompkins 3 episodes, 2006
Oliver Coleman Oliver Coleman ...  Toby Fedden 3 episodes, 2006
Lydia Leonard ...  Penny Kent 3 episodes, 2006
Don Gilet ...  Leo Charles 3 episodes, 2006
Christopher Fairbank ...  Barry Groom 3 episodes, 2006
Oscar James Oscar James ...  Brentford 2 episodes, 2006
John Warnaby John Warnaby ...  Badger 2 episodes, 2006
John Standing ...  Lord Kessler 2 episodes, 2006
Siri Svegler ...  Martine 2 episodes, 2006
Nikki Amuka-Bird ...  Rosemary Charles 2 episodes, 2006
Justin Salinger ...  Russel / ... 2 episodes, 2006
Caroline Blakiston ...  Lady Partridge 2 episodes, 2006
Julia St John Julia St John ...  Greta Timms 2 episodes, 2006
David Yelland ...  John Timms 2 episodes, 2006
John Quayle ...  Geoffrey Titchfield 2 episodes, 2006
Bruno Lastra ...  Tristao 2 episodes, 2006
Tom Knight ...  Norman Kent 2 episodes, 2006
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Storyline

Nick Guest (Dan Stevens) comes to London to live with his college friend's family, the Feddens. A short stay becomes permanent, and Nick positions himself in the family's plentiful lives of parties and politics during the Thatcher years. Over the course of three episodes spanning four years in the mid eighties, we follow Nick's two homosexual love affairs in a time of promiscuity and carelessness, until the A.I.D.S. crisis, and a bout of scandal, threaten life as he has come to know it. Written by Peter Brandt Nielsen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Line of Beauty See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(3 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the pub scene for Nick (Dan Stevens) and Leo's (Don Gilet's) first meeting, "time" is called at the end of the evening by the real landlord of that pub, the Windsor Castle pub. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nick Guest: Wow. Is this really where you live?
Toby Fedden: Yep, well, you know, where my parents live. What's the matter, something wrong with it?
Nick Guest: No, it's... it's lovely.
Toby Fedden: Come on, then.
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User Reviews

 
All the makings of a classic
11 April 2006 | by marcelproustSee all my reviews

Okay, so it may seem unfair to review The Line of Beauty after having only seen Episode One, but the sneaky peek on show last night at the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival gave every indication that this adaptation of Alan Hollinghurst's Booker Prize-winning novel is a classic in the making.

Everyone who has read the novel will have his or her own impression of the characters and locales. (I lived in Notting Hill for more than a decade, so my mental picture of the story was probably more vivid than most.) But within minutes of the bravura opening sequence (grafted onto the novel by canny adapter Andrew Davies), director Saul Dibb makes Nick Guest's world his own.

What I found so extraordinary about this adaptation (or at least the first episode) is how cleverly Davies has mined the novel for humour, social commentary and romance. On- screen representations of the upper-middle-classes tend to show us the wholly implausible world of PG Wodehouse, but without Wodehouse's wit, or stick the knife in with bitter class hatred. The Line of Beauty does neither; showing us the Fedden family warts and all. Gerald Fedden MP (in a stunningly good characterisation by Tim McInnerney) is quite the pompous paterfamilias, but is also generous, funny and kind.

As our "eyes and ears" through the story, newcomer Dan Stevens is pitch-perfect; his clear, blue eyes miss nothing as his life becomes more and more entwined with the Feddens and their glittering world.

The clips shown of the following two episodes promise no decline in quality, so if The Line of Beauty does not come quite as close to perfection as Brideshead Revisited - which remains the high watermark of British television drama - it is still shaping up to be landmark adaptation, and not to be missed when it premieres on BBC2 later in May.


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