The Masterpiece drama series The Miniaturist premiered on CPTV in September 2018.
Golden Age Amsterdam comes alive in all its opulence and repressed sensuality in this adaptation of Jessie Burton’s bestselling novel of the same name, starring Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, The Witch), Romola Garai (Churchill’s Secret, The Hour), and Alex Hassell (Genius: Picasso, Suburbicon). The three-part series was gorgeously filmed on location in the Netherlands and the U.K.
Petronella Oortman (Taylor-Joy), called Nella, is a naïve 18-year-old from a bankrupt aristocratic family. She is wooed by Johannes Brandt (Hassell), a handsome merchant looking for a wife. The two wed, but he dispenses with nuptial intimacies to depart immediately on a business trip, arranging for her to join him at his mansion in Amsterdam a few weeks later.
When Nella arrives, Johannes is still away, leaving her in the care of his overbearing sister, Marin (Garai), and the household’s two controlling servants: the housekeeper Cornelia (Hayley Squires) and Otto (Paapa Essiedu), a former slave who was freed by Johannes.
After Johannes returns, he remains emotionally cool toward Nella. Nonetheless, he presents her with a singular wedding gift: an exquisitely crafted cutaway model of the very house where she is now living, and he instructs her to furnish it as she likes by calling on the services of one of the local makers of miniature objects—a miniaturist. With nothing else to do, Nella embraces this odd amusement.
The miniaturist that Nella selects communicates only by letter, and with the first order includes items that Nella didn’t request: a tiny cradle, a replica of Johannes’ dog and a miniature chair exactly like the one where Nella is sitting as she unwraps the package. Without direction, the miniaturist keeps sending new creations, including dolls replicating Johannes, Marin, Cornelia, Otto, and others, with details that hint at closely held secrets.
Amsterdam is a city full of secrets, which Nella proceeds to unlock thanks to clues from her unseen artisan. But in this community, secrecy can be a life-or-death matter!
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