Wolf Hall Reviews & Ratings

60 minutes

Six-part adaption of two of Hilary Mantel's novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies
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10 reviews

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Mar 2, 2015 2:49PM EST
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It is an indictment of today's society that such an pivotal and tragic series of events in English history are referred to as boring and slow by other reviewers. Life was very different in the Tudor period. There wasn't the need for instant gratification that has been fostered by today's "throw away" society. Life was slower and more deliberate. This is what the BBC's dramatisation, Wolf Hall, skillfully portrays.

Life was luxurious, intrigue-filled and deadly for those of the noble class. Not only did they risk the hideous diseases of the day without any protection or understanding thereof, but they condemned themselves with every word or deed. No matter which persuasion a person was, whether Roman Catholic and loyal to the Pope, or a person interested in the "new learning". Or, perhaps a fully committed Lutheran, all were a moment away from the scaffold, depending on from where the accusations originated.

The BBC have produced a most masterful, understated and poignant tale of love, loss and betrayal. The repercussions of Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon and subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn are still felt in the world today. The scars on the landscape of England found in the ruins of the old monasteries. The prejudices and hatred between the two major denominations of Christianity still cause division in some communities to this very day.

The sets were beautifully presented and costumes historically accurate and strangely personal. Some characters were shown to be rather slovenly in their appearance, whereas others were pristine and particular. The performances by Mark Ryland, Claire Foy and Damian Lewis were understated, persuasive and masterful. No melodrama found it's way into this most tragic of stories. Micro-expressions spoke volumes where dialogue had no need. The viewer is drawn into the world of deceit by every movement, look and word.

I highly recommend this to anyone who has a genuine interest in English history. Although based on two novels, Wolf Hall is a good representation of the actual events of the early 16th Century, well as far as we can know them today. No one was the "good guy" or the "bad guy". People lived in the grey areas created by intrigue and deception, politics and religion. This is the strength of Wolf Hall. It doesn't apportion blame, it looks to the human aspect and illuminates it to show all the tragedy it can cause.

It is an indictment of today's society that such an pivotal and tragic series of events in English history are referred to as boring and slow by other reviewers. Life was very different in the Tudor period. There wasn't the need for instant gratification that has been fostered by today's "throw away" society. Life was slower and more deliberate. This is what the BBC's dramatisation, Wolf Hall, skillfully portrays.

Life was luxurious, intrigue-filled and deadly for those of the noble class. Not only did they risk the hideous diseases of the day without any protection or understanding thereof, but they condemned themselves with every word or deed. No matter which persuasion a person was, whether Roman Catholic and loyal to the Pope, or a person interested in the "new learning". Or, perhaps a fully committed Lutheran, all were a moment away from the scaffold, depending on from where the accusations originated.

The BBC have produced a most masterful, understated and poignant tale of love, loss and betrayal. The repercussions of Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon and subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn are still felt in the world today. The scars on the landscape of England found in the ruins of the old monasteries. The prejudices and hatred between the two major denominations of Christianity still cause division in some communities to this very day.

The sets were beautifully presented and costumes historically accurate and strangely personal. Some characters were shown to be rather slovenly in their appearance, whereas others were pristine and particular. The performances by Mark Ryland, Claire Foy and Damian Lewis were understated, persuasive and masterful. No melodrama found it's way into this most tragic of stories. Micro-expressions spoke volumes where dialogue had no need. The viewer is drawn into the world of deceit by every movement, look and word.

I highly recommend this to anyone who has a genuine interest in English history. Although based on two novels, Wolf Hall is a good representation of the actual events of the early 16th Century, well as far as we can know them today. No one was the "good guy" or the "bad guy". People lived in the grey areas created by intrigue and deception, politics and religion. This is the strength of Wolf Hall. It doesn't apportion blame, it looks to the human aspect and illuminates it to show all the tragedy it can cause.

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May 11, 2017 8:04AM EDT
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A wonderful slow burn of a miniseries. The acting is spectacular - especially Mark Rylance - and the production value like wise. Intense and methodical in its approach to the story in a way that lets you savour the rich and nuanced moments. As a lover of history it was also wonderful to see this period of time shown for more than just the story of Henry and Anne. Expanding out and showing the whole court and life in general really helped put the whole thing into context. So worth you time.

A wonderful slow burn of a miniseries. The acting is spectacular - especially Mark Rylance - and the production value like wise. Intense and methodical in its approach to the story in a way that lets you savour the rich and nuanced moments. As a lover of history it was also wonderful to see this period of time shown for more than just the story of Henry and Anne. Expanding out and showing the whole court and life in general really helped put the whole thing into context. So worth you time.

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Aug 16, 2017 7:19PM EDT
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I'm having a hard time reviewing this show. Please keep in mind that is based upon two HISTORICAL FICTION novels.
As a tv show is very well done, acted, cast is really good in their roles, aesthetically pleasing and good photography. That been said, It's hard to like a show where they paint a loyal and nice Thomas Cromwell. Man was a traitor to everything and everyone he ever came in contact with, this is the part that stops me from liking the show, how Cromwell is portrayed. He betrayed his faith, his wife, his cardinal and master, his ally Anne Boleyn, and ultimate his king. Man very well deserved the end he got.

I'm having a hard time reviewing this show. Please keep in mind that is based upon two HISTORICAL FICTION novels.
As a tv show is very well done, acted, cast is really good in their roles, aesthetically pleasing and good photography. That been said, It's hard to like a show where they paint a loyal and nice Thomas Cromwell. Man was a traitor to everything and everyone he ever came in contact with, this is the part that stops me from liking the show, how Cromwell is portrayed. He betrayed his faith, his wife, his cardinal and master, his ally Anne Boleyn, and ultimate his king. Man very well deserved the end he got.

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Sep 9, 2016 12:23PM EDT
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I did really enjoy this adaptation of Henry VIII's first annulment and the (sadly) beheading of his second wife... if only we could all be flies on the wall to see what did actually transpire at that time and thank goodness we have all moved on (most of us) from those terrible and dark times where it was OK to behead your wife just to be rid of her so you could marry again.. Cromwell's role in all of that was if by all accounts true then, masterly played by Mark Rylance who kept me riveted by his seeming compassion and his dogged determination to do what was considered correct by the King. Damian Lewis was a much handsomer King than the original and he played quite well the nervous lover, dominate King who brooked no denial of his desires... Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn was wonderfully believable and at the end I found myself hoping that somehow the ending had changed but alas it had not... Really well played by all and definitely worth a second or third viewing.

I did really enjoy this adaptation of Henry VIII's first annulment and the (sadly) beheading of his second wife... if only we could all be flies on the wall to see what did actually transpire at that time and thank goodness we have all moved on (most of us) from those terrible and dark times where it was OK to behead your wife just to be rid of her so you could marry again.. Cromwell's role in all of that was if by all accounts true then, masterly played by Mark Rylance who kept me riveted by his seeming compassion and his dogged determination to do what was considered correct by the King. Damian Lewis was a much handsomer King than the original and he played quite well the nervous lover, dominate King who brooked no denial of his desires... Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn was wonderfully believable and at the end I found myself hoping that somehow the ending had changed but alas it had not... Really well played by all and definitely worth a second or third viewing.

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Jan 27, 2016 5:11PM EST
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I thought the portrayal of poetry would have been done a bit better and be a little more interesting than it was... too slow for me.

I thought the portrayal of poetry would have been done a bit better and be a little more interesting than it was... too slow for me.

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Jan 4, 2016 9:25PM EST
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The most boringest show in the world, unless you like melancholy medieval people staring out of melancholy windows melancholically.

The most boringest show in the world, unless you like melancholy medieval people staring out of melancholy windows melancholically.

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by cLoUless
Jun 19, 2015 2:30PM EDT
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The approach to the historical character of Thomas Cromwell was really interesting. This is no swashbuckler film. This show portays the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell under Henry VIII.
If there is the slightest interest in you for historicly (for the most part) correct TV shows, then watch this one.
Henry VIII. reign was a most interesting one and it had its implications all over europe. And as I read way more then I watch, I have to say that I was impressed to see Thomas Cromwell's story unfold. The actors brought back to life this era in an intriguing show and I simply had to have it. No Hollywood-special-effect-over-saturated flic, but actors who make you believe in them - and I do not only have Mark Rylance in mind, but basically the whole cast. Well done!

The approach to the historical character of Thomas Cromwell was really interesting. This is no swashbuckler film. This show portays the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell under Henry VIII.
If there is the slightest interest in you for historicly (for the most part) correct TV shows, then watch this one.
Henry VIII. reign was a most interesting one and it had its implications all over europe. And as I read way more then I watch, I have to say that I was impressed to see Thomas Cromwell's story unfold. The actors brought back to life this era in an intriguing show and I simply had to have it. No Hollywood-special-effect-over-saturated flic, but actors who make you believe in them - and I do not only have Mark Rylance in mind, but basically the whole cast. Well done!

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by Yzol01
May 18, 2015 4:01PM EDT
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This is a really good adaptation of the books! It stays true to the original and the historical context!

This is a really good adaptation of the books! It stays true to the original and the historical context!

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by vronmo
Mar 1, 2015 11:12AM EST
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This was not a show for me.. I didn't have any expectations to this one, but was still disappointed. Usually BBC is so good at making these shows, but this one? Not impressed and I confess I gave up on this show

This was not a show for me.. I didn't have any expectations to this one, but was still disappointed. Usually BBC is so good at making these shows, but this one? Not impressed and I confess I gave up on this show

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Feb 25, 2015 10:42PM EST
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This show is terrible compared to other of it's kind, it can not hold your attention the story line is slow and boring to say the least. Very disappointed

This show is terrible compared to other of it's kind, it can not hold your attention the story line is slow and boring to say the least. Very disappointed