Saturday, January 6, 2018


PEAKY BLINDERS is an English TV show friends have been telling me for a while that I must see. So I binged the first season this week and can see why. Set in Birmingham, England, just after WWI ended, it tells the story of the Shelby family who run a gang called The Peaky Blinders. There was historically a gang called that but mostly before the war. This is a fictional story using some historical characters (like Winston Churchill) but mostly fictional ones to create a compelling mix of fantasy and reality all flavored with brutality.

It's as if Guy Ritchie had been hired to make BOARDWALK EMPIRE. Lots of contemporary music and authentic period other stuff, from costumes to stylized versions of the male haircuts of the time. The star is Cillian Murphy, an actor who never disappoints, and this may be his greatest performance yet. He's supported by spectacular performances by Paul Anderson as his older but less stable brother and Helen McCrory as his fearless clear-eyed (mostly) aunt.

If you don't mind graphic violence, it's an engaging if exaggerated bit of alternative early 20th century English (as seen mostly through the eyes of Irish, "Gypsies," and various other ethnicities) history.

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