Many in Film & Television circles regard Film Noir as dangerous territory. As for television itself, I often hold an utter disdain for its‘ oftentimes over-theatricality and false amusement. And with that said, I am quite irreverent that The Hour was axed from production after 2 highly satisfying series.
Although the acting was at times below par; we are, of course, inclined to make certain concessions to the concerns of television series production. And with this in mind, I viewed The Hour as a triumph of a late modernist Film Noir-in-Technicolor as tragedy in both the climax of story and the decision to cease its‘ production.
Amongst the powerful characters lies our heroine, Bel (played by Romola Garai) and her ill-fated liasons with crusading newsman Lyon (Ben Whishaw). The storyline of captivating intrigue (arms race, smut, corruption) also frames failed personal sacrifice (in newsman Hector and his all-suffering wife Marnie) and the pursuit of rigour during the time of newsroom advent. Marnie‘s character is a subtle victory by Oona Chaplin, grand-daughter of the late Charlie Chaplin, as both the epitome of the declining role of housewife and, one might venture; the disparaging of perceived beauty. With great cinematography, set design, and costume I‘d only wish the series could only press on.