Amsterdam, SEVENTEENTH century. The young Nella, orphan of father of father and beset by debt, agrees to marry Johannes Brandt, a reputed trader and move to the family mansion of the latter. The husband supplies his lack of affection with a mysterious gift: a house in miniature which gradually reveal hidden secrets of their family, and that will teach Nella (Anya Taylor-Joy) that nothing is what it seems in the residence of the Brandt.
The house of miniaturespopular novel of Jessie Burton, was adapted to television in 2017 by the Catalan director Guillem Morales (Los ojos de Julia) for the BBC. The mini-series, unanimously praised by the critics, consists of three chapters and the next Saturday 25 January at 15: 30 hours will be issued to the full in COSMO.
The series moves back to 1686 and the Netherlands are living their Golden Age. Trade, culture and science are at the height of other european powers, and Amsterdam shines with own light among the most important ports in the world.
Nella Oortman is a young man of 18 years educated to be a good wife and mother according to the canons of the time. Without a father and with their family burdened by debt, their only way out is to commit with a man of good social position, and with a lot of money.
The one chosen by his mother is Johannes Brandt, a rich merchant of Amsterdam. As the brand tradition, Nella will live in the family home of her husband. However, this influential business man has to start from trip to Venice and will not be able to receive it when it arrives, which from now on will be your new home.
In his absence, the young woman is received by the sister of Johannes, Marin, a woman from the first moment to do everything possible to not feel welcome. The accompanying Cornelia and Otto, two young men that seem more interested in control than in serving.
The house of miniatures plasma the contradictions of an exciting time. The Holland of the SEVENTEENTH century is also known as the Golden Age of Dutch by the boom that the country experienced due to the extension of trade. The bourgeoisie, represented by the family protagonist, is a social class in the ascent, although with positions that are very strict in matters of faith and morals.
The miniseries complaint, in a context of strict protestant religiosity of the time, the intolerance of a puritan society compared to behaviors such as homosexuality, certainly an argument that it is linked with some everyday situations that, unfortunately, is suffering today.
The locations are very important in this fiction: the house is practically a character. It is dark and full of secrets. The protagonist wants to escape from this environment seemingly oppressive. However, the puritan society of the SEVENTEENTH century, Amsterdam is still worse, so that the home of the Brandt becomes a refuge in which, apparently, the protagonist, and in fact all its inhabitants enjoy greater freedom compared to the strict society calvinist that surrounds them.
800 artisans. To write this story, which reflects the elegance of a historical time very concrete, Jessie Burton, author of the novel, was inspired by the real doll’s house of Petronella Oortman, a jewel of the miniaturismo, which required 800 craftsmen to reproduce with accuracy all the details, and that the writer saw exhibited during a vacation in the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam.
The costumes, from the demure dresses of the women and the hats that are reminiscent of Rembrandt, were the result of a detailed research on the commerce, religion, and society of the netherlands, as shown in the paintings of masters of painting of the Golden Age, contemporaneous documents and other resources from the files of the museums.
This production shows the viewer how the dramas of that time are recently adopting tones that are very feminist, being Harlots: Courtesans, also issued by COSMO, another good example. The female characters like the one of Nella in the case of The house of the thumbnails show us women with a great determination, that support each other and they want to decide their own destiny. The miniseries sets up a portrait of female empowerment in a time where women were mere accessories of their husbands.