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The Cazalets – #4/6 – Hugh Bonneville, Anna Chancellor,



The Cazalets is a 2001 six-episode television drama series (5 episodes when broadcast in the US) about the life of a large privileged family in the years 1937 to 1947. Most of the action takes place in London, and at the family’s large estate in Sussex.

The drama was based on the novels of Elizabeth Jane Howard,The Cazalet Chronicles, first published in the 1990s, and adapted by the screenwriter Douglas Livingstone and directed by Suri Krishnamma. The series was originally produced by Cinema Verity for BBC One and is available on DVD

Excellent cast

The Cazalets -The Complete Series

The lately deceased Elizabeth Jane Howard is one of England’s most popular contemporary writers. Oddly enough it was one of her last works, The Cazalet Chronicles, written between 1990 and 1995, that did very well. The story about the Cazalets immediately reminds you of Downtown Abbey, which is perhaps the main reason why the BBC wanted to adapt this book into a film version. And to make it even funnier, they choose Hugh Bonneville for the leading role, who is of course, apart from the grumbler who took care after Paddington, Robert Crawley from (yes) Downtown Abbey. Strangely enough this series was available in Belgium, but not in the UK. Second Sight Films now changed that.

In six episodes (more than 300 minutes in total), we follow the wealthy Cazalet family who lived between 1937 and 1947 on their majestic estate Homeplace in Sussex. The series begins in the summer of 1937. No one is aware that England is on the eve the Second World War. Three generations come together with their servants (we already said that this series has much in common with Downtown Abbey) on the mansion. Father William Cazalet (Frederick Treves) runs the fmily business with his sons, Hugh (Hugh Bonneville) and Edward (Stephen Dillan), and he thinks it is time that his other son Rupert (Paul Rhys) does that too. But the young guy refuses and evokes chagrin, especially from his wife Zoe (Joanna Page) who doesn’t understand why he prefers painting art above getting a fortune. However, the impending war changes everything…

One look at the cover says it all, more classic then The Cazalets a series can never be. Gracefully acted, but without many surprises. And that counts for the story too, as the script is surely entertaining enough , but you have seen it before. Anyway, avid fans of classic BBC series probably won’t shed a tear for that because it is just that what makes The Cazalets a series they want to add to their collection



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