Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The first British TV version of Nancy Mitford's autobiographical novel Love in a Cold Climate was telecast in seven hour-long installments in 1980. This 2001 version attempted to crystallize Mitford's long and labyrinthine narrative into a mere 150 minutes, and for the most part it succeeded. Set during the period from 1929 to 1940, the story (which also incorporates elements of another Mitford novel, The Pursuit of Love) largely takes place in an English country estate presided over by Matthew Radlett (Alan Bates), for whom the word "eccentric" must have been coined. When she isn't being "hunted" by her zany uncle for sport, Matthew's niece Fanny (Rosamund Pike), who serves as narrator, looks on compassionately while her cousin Linda (Elisabeth Dermot-Walsh) and her friend Polly (Megan Dodds) desperately seek out worthwhile and decent husbands, only to be thwarted at every turn by deceitful, duplicitous, dissolute, disagreeable, and otherwise unsuitable young swains. First telecast by the BBC on February 4, 2001, Love in a Cold Climate was shown in America as a two-part installment of PBS's Masterpiece Theatre on February 11 and 18, 2002.
British, eccentric, estate, suitor