PBS Masterpiece: “The Miniaturist”
In 2009, author Jessie Burton was on holiday in Amsterdam when she was captivated by a beautiful miniature that belonged to a young woman in Amsterdam in the 1600s. “It was absolutely stunning.” At the time, it was customary for wives of the wealthy to spend exorbitant amounts on furnishing miniature houses in almost exactly as an exact replica of one’s real home. Burton recalled, “She spent as much money on it as a real house.” Burton spun a tale about a young bride who finds herself receiving packages from a maker of miniature models to help fill her miniature house in a way that comments on her daily life and its restrictions because Burton thought “It was a time of great wealth but also great neuroses.”
The young woman, Petronella (Anya Taylor-Joy), is far from happy. The furnishing of the house “is a way for Petronella to express herself in ways that she can’t in her real life.” She has a mysterious husband and “an incredibly obstructionist sister-in-law. The question becomes “does she hold the keys to her own fate or does the miniaturist.”
Of her character, Taylor-Joy said, Petronella is “basically punched in the face by reality.” She is hopeful, but naive with a resilience underneath.
The three-episode miniseries, “The Miniaturist,” airs on Sundays, 9, 16 and 23 September.
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