Scoop review – self-admiring replay of Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview | Film

Here is a laboriously acted and distinctly self-admiring, self-mythologising drama concerning the media, the royals and the media royals. It’s all about Emily Maitlis’s 2019 BBC Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew, difficult him about being associates with intercourse trafficker and abuser Jeffrey Epstein. The prince’s efficiency was so grotesquely embarrassing that he needed to forgo his royal titles and “step again” from public duties, an achievement a lot emphasised over the closing credit, however about which audiences might now have combined emotions, given that he’s nonetheless, in any case, generally known as Prince Andrew and nonetheless unrepentantly outstanding on royal events.

Rufus Sewell in heavy prosthetic make-up performs the pompous HRH, a puffy-faced babyish poltroon whose smug smile is that of somebody accustomed to having his each lame or boorish joke greeted with gales of laughter, and each boneheaded remark rewarded with a solemn courtier’s nod. However that usually estimable performer Gillian Anderson goes right into a peculiar Maggie Thatcher-lite mode to play Maitlis – all gimlet-eyed forensic alertness and unrelaxed eccentricity as she brings her canine into the workplace.

Gillian Anderson as Emily Maitlis in Scoop. {Photograph}: Peter Mountain/Netflix/PA

Within the supporting roles, Billie Piper performs powerful producer Sam McAlister who landed the interview, trusting her fierce journalistic instincts within the face of her colleagues’ prissy squeamishness and highmindedness, and Keeley Hawes performs Andrew’s long-serving, discreet and dependable personal secretary Amanda Thirsk who’s sufficiently amiable and unstuffy with Sam to have a non-public drink along with her in a lodge bar with no different flunkies current, and entertain Sam’s notion of a candid TV interview. One thing within the film’s physique language appears to recommend an vital type of feminine solidarity right here, and but, no matter she thought in personal, Thirsk isn’t proven caring or commenting about Epstein’s victims, and she or he seems to imagine in Andrew’s innocence. There’s a male media adviser who’s proven as very uptight and disapproving about this entire interview concept – and he, on the essential stage of PR, is after all proved proper. And but his exclusion from the dialogue course of sheds no gentle on what Palace officers believed about Andrew’s behaviour.

The massive second occurs – curiously – off digital camera, when Andrew asks “mummy” if he ought to do the interview, and returns with the information that Her Majesty “trusts his judgment” – the Queen evidently becoming a member of Amanda Thirsk among the many indulgent girls in Andrew’s life who made that calamitous mistake. The ensuing interview itself is outwardly thought of vital sufficient to have a second feature-drama remedy about it in growth known as A Very Royal Scandal. Even Frost/Nixon solely bought one movie and the Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales solely merited a single episode on The Crown.

And regardless of the title … properly, was it a scoop, precisely? It was definitely a terrific coup and an unmissable little bit of limo-crash tv. However a “scoop”? All of the factual components had been established by different folks, considerably by photographer Jae Donnelly (performed in a prologue sequence by Connor Swindells) who took the well-known image of Andrew in New York’s Central Park with Epstein. The interview itself, although vividly and valuably displaying us the mindset of a member of the ruling class, and displaying us how outrageously silly and entitled Andrew is (which we knew already), didn’t get Andrew to concede something explicitly.

There may be one spark: when Prince Andrew is proven humiliating a feminine underling for mishandling his assortment of sentimental toys. It’s a flash of black-comic horror and Sewell has one thing to get his enamel into as an actor. In any other case, the drama is smothered by its personal overwhelming sense of significance.

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Scoop is on the market on Netflix from 5 April

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