[LMB] OT: Film to avoid: Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears

alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca
Mon Jul 12 22:37:54 BST 2021

I know there are lots of Kerry Greenwood fans on this list, and I regret 
to tell you that the first Phryne Fisher movie is quite simply - dreadful.

It's made by the same creative group that produced the three seasons of 
the TV series (and the follow-on Ms. Fisher series set in the 1960s), and 
again stars Essie Davis as Phryne and Nathan Page as Jack Robinson. And 
Phryne's costumes are to die for (there is this black cocktail gown with 
bright multicoloured kick pleats that is gorgeous, among many others).

But the story and script by Deb Cox takes Phryne & Jack completely out of 
Australia and over to Palestine and England in order to help a young 
Bedouin girl whose entire family (except one rich uncle) has been killed 
in a mysterious massacre. Phryne gets her out of a Palestinian prison and 
jumping onto the roofs of trains and so on without in the least 
disarranging a flounce on her gowns. And it gets more unbelievable from 

The film's opening with Phryne running from the police in a Palestinian 
city in a peacock blue Islamic robe & face covering and then doffing it 
for a tulle-filled afternoon tea gown was simply ridiculous.

The plot had more holes than my colander - all the way through. The ending 
was a direct steal from Raiders of the Last Ark, and just as stupid.

Essie Davis was her usual effervescent self as Phryne and other actors 
were OK if a bit stiff, but they couldn't do anything with this script.
The best I can say about it was that it wasn't overtly racist, although it 
screamed Orientalism.

I gathered from what I watched of the extras that the creative team 
wanted something more "cinematic". I don't know why they chose stupid.

The film was supposed to get its American debut in March 2020 and was 
felled by the pandemic, which was probably not a bad thing.

Apparently there is a second series now out of the Ms. (Peregrine) Fisher 
TV series, which might be better -- I liked the first series, which was 
fun and action-filled.

The Guardian, BTW, reach a similar conclusion:



Alayne McGregor
alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca

What we need is a tough new kind of feminism with no illusions. ... We
need a kind of feminism that aims not just to assimilate into the
institutions that men have created over the centuries, but to infiltrate
and subvert them. -- Barbara Ehrenreich

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