Enslavement: The True Story Of Fanny Kemble

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography

Tired of touring the provinces, British stage legend Fanny Kemble (Jane Seymour) accepts the proposal of Pierce Butler (Keith Carradine), a dashing American plantation owner. Ingenuous Fanny doesn't mind abandoning her career but balks at betraying her principles. Unfortunately, gallant Pierce has lied about freeing his slaves. When they settle in Georgia...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Tired of touring the provinces, British stage legend Fanny Kemble (Jane Seymour) accepts the proposal of Pierce Butler (Keith Carradine), a dashing American plantation owner. Ingenuous Fanny doesn't mind abandoning her career but balks at betraying her principles. Unfortunately, gallant Pierce has lied about freeing his slaves. When they settle in Georgia in 1846, headstrong Fanny crosses Pierce by improving the servants' medical treatment. Although Pierce tries to keep her barefoot and pregnant, Fanny becomes a patron saint to his human "property." Not content to defy Pierce's stern overseer, she keeps company with a local abolitionist, Dr.Huston (James Keach), who introduces her to the Underground Railroad. When Pierce starts threatening to separate her from her children, Fanny uses her acting skills to play doting wife by day and activist by night, but how long can she abet the runaway slaves without being unmasked? Jane Seymour's prim, starchy nobility can be a bit of a pain. Tackling this title role, she lacks the emotional depth that might have transformed the fustian presentation of this material. Instead of giving a nuanced performance, Seymour seems content to impress viewers with her poised demeanor as she sullies her hoopskirts in the cause of freedom. And while the screenwriters deserve credit for shedding light on a remarkable crusader, it's too bad their version of events too often combines the worst traits of a Harlequin romance with a Sunday school lesson.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Tired of touring the provinces, British stage legend Fanny Kemble (Jane Seymour) accepts the proposal of Pierce Butler (Keith Carradine), a dashing American plantation owner. Ingenuous Fanny doesn't mind abandoning her career but balks at betraying her pri… (more)

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