A Place To Call Home

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It’s been a long time since we’ve done it, but we just finished binge-watching a TV series. The last ones in memory are all British — “Foyle’s War,” “The House of Eliott,” and the original “House of Cards” (the Ian Richardson version, not the later Kevin Spacey one).

The 34-episode “A Place to Call Home” almost qualifies as British – it’s Australian, and they sort of talk alike. And it’s terrific. It’s only available on Acorn.tv, which you must subscribe to, and then stream to your TV set. But once you do that, you’re in for a treat.

Much of the story involves a family of wealth and privilege – sound familiar? – in post-WWII Australia. But “Downton Abbey” it’s not. Here, the characters and story ring true and the emotions real. True, it might be characterized as soap opera, but I’d say a really first-class version of one. As Dorothy Rabinowitz summed it up in her 2014 Wall Street Journal review, “a captivatingly filmed, deeply romantic drama of immense intelligence distinguished by a uniformly superb cast.”

And the ensemble is indeed uniformly excellent, but there is a standout — the lead, Marta Dusseldorp, an Australian actress who is I believe unknown to American audiences, but boy, she is one great talent.

So when the next 26-inch snowstorm hits, watch “A Place to Call Home” and the time will fly by.

 

Ben Rosen

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