Here’s What Critics Are Saying About the ‘Alias Grace’ Adaptation

Posted on November 2, 2017 by

Alias Grace reviews are out and the Netflix adaptation of Margaret Atwood‘s novel is receiving a lot of buzz! The book is based on the true story of Grace Marks, a 19th-century woman convicted of a shocking double murder that she cannot remember committing. While comparisons to the Hulu adaptation of the previously adapted The Handmaid’s Tale are inevitable, Alias Grace is being praised for its complex and layered storytelling. Take a look below to see what else the critics are saying about this intriguing adaptation.


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Variety: “[Sarah] Gadon, as Grace, is transporting: Her performance is the foundation on which Alias Grace is built. Her Grace seems to shapeshift in front of the screen, from a raging woman to a scared girl to a chapter-and-verse good Methodist.”

The New York Times: “Alias Grace is a story about storytelling… which makes Ms. Gadon essential to its success. She is mesmerizing.”

Sarah Gadon as Grace Marks in 'Alias Grace'

The Hollywood Reporter: “Female agency through storytelling… is the spine of Alias Grace, both narratively and behind-the-scenes.”

The Washington Post: “The story comes to the viewer in complex chunks and unsettling layers, as Grace reluctantly recounts her dirt-poor immigrant childhood and the circumstances that led to her fate. Innocent or guilty? There’s much more to it than that.”

Newsday: “Terrific. Immersive. Melancholy — of necessity.”

Los Angeles Times: “Alias Grace is not a light viewing experience. It brings to life a desperate world of servitude, where choices were so limited for women that often the only options were abuse or starvation.”

The Globe and Mail: “Alias Grace is tightly wound, stark, and knowing about its central female protagonist… At times the six-part series hits you like a headache, it is so charged and sententious.”

Boston Herald: “Chuck’s Zachary Levi pops up as a street peddler with a penchant for reading fortunes who delivers a startling warning to Grace. Gadon is superb as a woman whose meekness seems to contain rolling oceans of emotions. The deeper you get into the series, the more her performance seems almost hypnotic.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Where The Handmaid’s Tale… gave me nightmares, Alias Grace offered only a few chills.  The pace is occasionally glacial… Pay attention, though: There will be a payoff.”

NOW Toronto: “Alias Grace is about all the ways men look at a woman. But there’s something Hitchcockian in the way that Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) looks back.”

The A.V. Club: “Alias Grace is scarier than The Handmaid’s Tale, because it actually happened,” and later: “The creators of this remarkable series are also, notably, all women (Polley wrote the script based on Atwood’s book), which lends a never-preachy but realistic depiction of the thankless plight of these immigrant women.”

The National: “… the miniseries nicely ticks off a few boxes of what today’s viewers are most ­interested in: True crime, ­women’s rights, and the immigrant experience.”

Elite Daily: “With such perfect renditions of these characters, many of whom have speeches that jump directly off the page and onto the screen, fans of the book will be delighted by this adaptation. ”

Sarah Gadon in "Alias Grace"

Cinema Blend: “Alias Grace is not an ‘easy’ watch. The dense material, however, will generally reward captive and active viewers who are willing to engage with it and not consume it passively.”

Collider: “Alias Grace tells a complete and satisfying story that both calls attention to and satiates our desire for the gory details we crave from such a story.”

Tampa Bay Times: “Grace reels you into her story through its ambiguity and breadcrumb teases. The series takes a shot at understanding her, but by the end you’ll likely be left with more questions than answers.”

Alias Grace debuts on Netflix on Friday, November 3.

Do you plan to watch Alias Grace? Share in the comments!


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