Secret Life Reviews related to Matthew Macfadyen

From Living

Macfadyen, a million miles from Mr Darcy, gave a subtle portrayal of a man who was defensive, intelligent, sneaky, vulnerable. Most of it was in his craggy face, which can switch between shattered sadness to arrogant confidence in a twitch. The ominous music to tell us that Charlie was in danger of slipping wasn't really needed - Macfadyen's face did it all. In one scene even his back managed to show just how completely aware he was of a child standing behind him.


...Still, both for its attempt to represent such an important but complicated issue, and for Macfadyen's excellent performance, Secret Life was worthy viewing.

From Times

As Charlie, Matthew Macfadyen — the most recent screen Darcy in Pride and Prejudice — didn’t crave our sympathy or invite demonisation. Here was a man well aware of the battles within him.

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From The Guardian

So, a thought-provoking drama about an extremely difficult subject, with a fine central performance by Matthew Macfadyen

From The Telegraph

Macfadyen’s performance, reflecting every nuance of compulsion, self-loathing, fear, desire and, indeed, fear of desire in this deeply conflicted character, was remarkable to say the least. Here the paedophile was victim and victimiser, betrayer and betrayed, vulnerable and repellent all at the same time. In one extraordinary scene, we saw him slough off his skin of repression and blossom into a deeply disturbing (for us) kind of happy normality (for him) in the presence of a responsive little girl.

But one superb performance...

Thanks to 6point7 for finding all of these reviews!

One more from the Mirror

Last night’s effort - Secret Life - might just rank as the TV drama of the year, however.  Certainly so far, four months into the schedules, there’s been absolutely nothing that could touch it, and kudos to Kudos for what’s bound to get op-ed writers in a froth.


Secret Life offered no excuses.  No justification.  It just laid out a situation - how easy it is for paedophiles to re-offend - and showed a different angle to it.  It’s not going to have made comfortable viewing for anyone, and nor should it have.  This was television at its most powerful.