Invited to stay in his best friend’s home, Nick Guest (Dan Stevens), a newly-graduate Oxford student, comes into contact with the politically active Fedden family. Having been requested to look after the bipolar daughter Cat (Hayley Atwell) while the family is out on holiday in France, Nick becomes friends with the young girl in his effort to win the heart of a lower class elegant man known as Leo Charles (Don Gilet).
As the light-hearted bond between the two grows stronger, Nick’s brief lodge turns into a permanent stay and his influence and contribution to the Fedden family become indispensable. Deeply enmeshed in the family’s political and social affairs, the young man is introduced to the son of a wealthy Lebanese businessman, Wani Ouradi (Alex Wyndham), with whom he engages in a love affair. As the brutal AIDS epidemics emerges in London and diminishes the population, Nick is forced into a whirlwind of challenging events that threaten to demolish the life and status he has built for himself.
The three-part series is an ingeniously-woven adaptation of Hollinghurst’s novel that skillfully captures the bigotry, hedonism and self-indulgence of the Thatcher years. With political overtones and a realistic portrayal of the 1980s drug scene, The Line of Beauty tells a compelling story about sexuality, gluttony and secret affairs.
“Andrew Davies’ screenplay omits some of the book’s nuances but also gives Hollinghurst’s narrative a firmer shape by virtue of sheer compression.”
— Dennis Harvey, Variety
“Dibb’s artful three-ring morality play is a magnificent—if depressing in its believability—accomplishment.”
Did You Know?
The Line of Beauty is the screen debut for actors Dan Stevens and Alex Wyndham, who star as Nick and Wani. The sex scenes involving Nick, Leo and Wani were actually only alluded to in Allan Hollinghurst’s novel and were written in by director Saul Dibb in order to fully convey the nature of the characters’ sexual and emotional relationships. Review our Gay Themed Films Here