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[christmas jokes for kids]The Pursuit of Love: Missing Bridgerton? Then try this brilliant Amazon series

  The Pursuit of Love begins streaming on Amazon Prime Video on July 30.

  REVIEW: Those desperate to fill a Bridgerton-sized hole in their viewing schedule, or looking for the next Great corseted comedy, fear not, I’ve found your new favourite watch.

  The Pursuit of Love (which begins streaming on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, July 30) is, like Shonda Rhimes’ rule-breaking corset drama and Tony McNamara’s anarchic, anti-historical take on the rise to power of Catherine the Great, filled with memorable scenes, unforgettable characters and delicious dialogue.

  Based on author Nancy Mitford’s best-selling novel of the same name (you might be more familiar with its 1949 sequel Love in a Cold Climate), The Pursuit of Love is the story of cousins Fanny Logan (Emily Beecham) and Linda Radley (Lily James).

  Emily Beecham and Lily James star in The Pursuit of Love.SuppliedEmily Beecham and Lily James star in The Pursuit of Love.

  Growing up, the disparate pair spent every Christmas together at the latter’s country home. It was there that the traditionally schooled Fanny, raised by her aunt because of her mother’s propensity for short-lived affairs, was given a very different education by her more high-spirited, adventurous relation.


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  A “wild and nervous creature full of passion and longing” as Fanny colourfully describes her, like her sisters, Linda’s freedoms were curtailed by her domineering father “Uncle” Matthew (Dominic West).

  Hating foreigners and children in equal measure, he regularly beat and refused to educate his progeny, and was deeply suspicious of the influence Fanny might have on Linda.

  “Awful words like mantelpiece and notebook keep coming out of her mouth,” he grumbles during an evening meal, equally bridling at suggestions his own kids might benefit from time spent in more polite society.

  The Pursuit of Love is a well-paced, witty and sumptuous-looking triumph.SuppliedThe Pursuit of Love is a well-paced, witty and sumptuous-looking triumph.

  “They have everything they need here – church, stables and a tennis court.”

  However, with her older sister preparing to marry her “ancient” 45-year-old suitor (“If he was a dog, you’d have to put him down,” she jokes to her unimpressed sibling), Linda has decided that – at 17 – her life has to begin, especially now that the hedonistic Bohemian Lord Merlin (Fleabag’s Andrew Scott) has taken a shine to her.

  Best known for her performances in The Newsroom, Match Point and Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Mortimer’s first stint in the director’s chair is a well-paced, witty and sumptuous-looking triumph.

  From the visually arresting opening flash-forward set in war-ravaged London, through to its use of freeze-frames, introductory captioning and Sofia Coppola-esque infusion of 1970s and ‘80s British groups like New Order, Bryan Ferry, T. Rex and Marianne Faithfull into the soundtrack, The Pursuit of Love is full of delights from start to finish.

  In fact, the only disappointment is that there are only three episodes.

  The Pursuit of Love begins streaming on Amazon Prime Video on July 30.

  Cinderella, Rebecca and The Dig showcased just some of the many sides of Lily James.SuppliedCinderella, Rebecca and The Dig showcased just some of the many sides of Lily James.

  James’ Debora is the waitress of Ansel Egort’s eponymous getaway driver’s affections in Edgar Wright’s joyous, high-octane 2017 crime-comedy. She’s the inspiration for his decision to try and leave a life of crime behind, one that unfortunately he finds a little harder to escape than he thought.

  With a southern twang and a sassy twinkle in every line and movement, James here proved she could deliver just as memorably in a contemporary tale, as the corset dramas she had initially become famous for.

  James was luminous in powder blue in Kenneth Branagh’s lavish-looking, finely nuanced 2015 take on Charles Perrault’s fairytale.

  She shone as the eponymous ashen-faced, but open-hearted orphan, holding her own against a terrific tour de force from Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother.

  NETFLIXThe Dig is now available to stream on Netflix.

  Who knew that nearly two hours of watching soil being moved around could produce one of the most riveting dramas of recent years? Reminding one very much of the repressed romantic tales of the 1990s, this 2021 adaptation of John Preston’s 2007 novel, feels achingly intimate and hauntingly universal at the same time.

  While she’s only in the second half of the story, James, sporting some spectacular eyewear, is a scene-stealer as an aspiring archaeologist and frustrated new wife, desperate for respect and romance.

  Joining the hit British period drama in the middle of the third series, James quickly became a favourite, playing the sometimes self-centred and immature Lady Rose MacClare.

  After a series of escapades and scrapes, including one involving the Prince of Wales’ mistress, she eventually meets Atticus Aldridge, the Jewish son of Lord and Lady Sinderby.

  NETFLIXRebecca is now streaming on Netflix.

  In this most recent, 2020 adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s much loved novel, James is the unnamed young woman whose life is turned upside down while working as a lady’s companion to an American socialite in Monte Carlo. That’s where she meets the recently widowed Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer) and is instantly smitten.

  Very much a film of two halves, James is at her best in the sun-dappled opening, finding herself having to play second-fiddle to Kristin Scott Thomas’ mysterious and Machiavellian Mrs Danvers in the gloomier, spookier climes of Manderley – a property, like the film itself, haunted by the past.