Friday, 29 January 2010


I know when a film or television programme has impressed me because the following morning I awake thinking about it. It's almost as if I have been playing it again whilst asleep. Believe me when I say that I am not conscious of having any choice in the matter.

This morning it was Unforgiven, written by Sally Wainwright. This was shown on ITV in early 2009 (and repeated in our living room yesterday evening) and is the story of a woman who has served 15 years in prison for killing two police officers. Set and filmed in and around Halifax, which isn't a million miles away from where I live, the script is remarkable for its mix of compelling characters, setups, conflict and a damned good story.

I'm not usually a fan of stuff "made somewhere up north" with the tendency to film amongst rows of terraced houses, council estates and other stereotypical images, but Unforgiven doesn't quite fit into that category and instead expertly mixes locations, images and social classes. It's not only the writing – it's the direction and the acting. Everyone's performance is faultless and I can only hope, if ever one of my screenplays gets the treatment, that it will be blessed with such outstanding performances.

It is amazing and – I know I've said this before and will keep on doing so – scriptwriters old and new can learn much from this excellent writing.

Sally Wainwright does not appear to have a personal website. Maybe she is too busy, which is understandable, but if you know any different please follow the link on the right to my website, choose "contact" and let me know.

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