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Accused reviews

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Accused Reviewed: Sean Bean Stole The Show

--- Quote ---Bean’s performance throughout was nothing short of extraordinary: both roles, Simon and Tracy, were the same person, but they lay fathoms apart from one another. Bean oozed a tense, pessimistic vulnerability in both guises, yet the bolshy defence mechanisms Tracy had devised to disguise hers couldn’t have sat further at odds with Simon’s restrained faux-masculinity and quietly emotive outbursts. With every bite of the lip or coquettish smile, Tracie came completely to life; we shared her pain, fleeting joy and crushing disappointment – all mannerisms which were visibly suppressed by Simon’s stifling, distracted self-control. Bean was a revelation
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--- Quote ---As good a sword-wielding hard man as Bean is, his role as a transvestite English teacher in the courtroom drama was captivating, human, and - if you’ll forgive the vulgarity - showed more balls than any of his chainmail and tunic incarnations. The initial disconnect between the Sean Bean of the audience’s mind (longsword; death) and the character who tottered into a Manchester taxi (Dolly wig; bosom) melted within minutes as Bean did what actors do best and disappeared into someone else’s life....
Bean's character may have survived this one, but his type-cast reputation as ye olde tough guy is now surely a goner.
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--- Quote ---SEAN Bean; not just a pretty face. The Sheffield actor, famed for his tough guy roles in Sharp, Lord Of The Rings and Bond movie Goldeneye, had me at his first ’ello.
For most women - with the exception of his four wives - who harbour fantasies of rugged hunks, I’d say.
But we’ll never see him in the same light again after Tuesday. He stripped off his macho image and donned wig, lippie and heels to gave a performance of his life in BBC drama series Accused.
That famous craggy face, masked with foundation; that gritty Handsworth accent, blanket-stitched with effeminacy; Sean was teacher Simon and his racy, impulsive alter-ego, transvestite Tracie.
Sean in drag? In theory it sounded so wrong; but it turned out so right. This sad and moving tale of the consequences of living a lie was done with huge sensitivity; Bean dug deep.
Wise casting - and a wise move for Sean. It was surely the role that will change the course of his acting career.
Plus I hear he kept the stilettos.

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Sable you are so right about his subtle performance.  Another actor might have played Tracie a little too outrageous and in your face but Sean's adaption of her made her a lovely, lonely, caring woman.  His performance blew me away.


--- Quote ---You simply can't hide Bean's distinctively masculine face with a bit of makeup and false hair. It would be like trying to conceal the identity of Abraham Lincoln's Mount Rushmore sculpture by spraying rouge on its cheeks
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--- Quote ---Apparently, writer Jimmy McGovern wanted “the last actor in the world you’d ever imagine in high heels and knickers” – Bean certainly fits the bill.

--- End quote ---!/2012/08/accused-series-2-episode-1.html

Saturday Times Review of Tracie's Story by Caitlin Moran.

Thankd to /

If you were still yearning after all the other stuff
from the Olympics - not the patriotism but the gasping, tension, heartbreak, crying and human excellence - then the return of Accused worked by way of an air-punching, hour-long substitute.
 Jimmy McGovern doesn't really write scripts, or "some telly". When Cracker, The Street and Hillsborough were at their best, you weren't watching from the sofa. You were somewhere inside the television, instead - so close to the action you worried you could get hurt if it all went wrong.
 In Tuesday's opening episode of Accused: Tracie's Story I spent the last ten minutes with my hand over my mouth, shallow-breathing; wincing over things that were said and done as if I feared that the people I was watching might brush past me or suddenly snap "What you looking at?" It was physically affecting - that brilliant, drug-like transcendence where you're floating inside a story, being pulled along by its downhill current. That it was so fully immersive is all the more amazing when you consider that the one-line pitch for the story was "Get this: Sean Bean plays a transvestite!" Possibly the only "Bean" lower on most casting directors' lists to play a transvestite would be "Mr Bean". Or maybe "some Baked Beans". Let's face it - Sean Bean has spent the past twenty years playing gruff alpha-cocks: Sharpe in Sharpe, Boromir in The Lord of the Rings, and Lord "Ned" Stark in Game of Thrones. As Bean put it in an interview with The Times last week, discussing scripts his agent gets sent: "All the usual stuff, `And then Sean Bean comes in and chops his head off with a sword'."
 But here, as "good time girl" Tracie - all blue shimmery eyeshadow, clattering heels and fun-fur shrug - Bean was so believable that the casting-dissonance lasted fewer than three seconds. An Olympics counter on the screen, keeping track of viewers' reactions, would have registered:
00:00:01: "OMG it's Boromir in knock-off Karen Millen!"
 00:00:03: "Don't take that shit from that cab driver, Tracie! How rude! Stick it to him! Go on, girl!"
 And that was it. For the next 59 minutes and 57 seconds, we were watching Tracie Tremarco - or, sometimes, her alter ego: bored English teacher Simon - getting sucked into a love affair that inexorably edged towards the dock.
 Two minutes in, you realised what an idiot you were to ever think that casting Sean Bean was odd. When Tracie walks into a bar (bartender: "Jesus!", Tracie: "Tracie, actually."), and sits on a stool, sipping her cocktail, it's with the same kind of lone-warrior bravery as Boromir, or Ned Stark, going into a losing battle - but, this time, backwards, and in heels.
 At the same time, she was immensely, heart-breakingly vulnerable, too. Man, you wanted it to all work out for her. I can't remember the last time I was so on the side of someone in a script.
 Tracie goes for a make-over, and the make-up artist coos over her. "Look at those cheekbones!" she says, brushing highlighter over them; all giggly girlconfidences. Tracie beams. Later that day, Tracie hears what the make-up artist was really thinking, from the man she loves, Tony (Stephen Graham), who has gone feral, and wants to wound her.
 "She said, `He wanted to look like Cheryl Cole. I think I managed Myra Hindley'."
 Bean's face just empties out - you can feel the blood draining from his skin and whirlpooling in his guts, where it meets an opposing tide of adrenalin. Could men ever know what it's really
like for a woman to be called "ugly"? How that feels as if it's the end of everything - your heart burnt right out, your price reduced to zero? Sean Bean's Tracie knows. And he shows she knows without saying a word.
 I was full of tears - so sad for this girl who doesn't exist, played by a boy who doesn't exist, played by Boromir. So it's not just global sporting events that can provide drama. Turns out, drama can, too."

Wow, that last review is so good I was all misty-eyed. This has been such a triumph for Sean!
It's really getting nerve-racking that I can't see the episode yet (being in the U.S.). I sure hope it pops up somewhere soon.

It's so nice to read all these good reviews!


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