Sarah Snook’s Romance Drama, ‘The Beautiful Lie’, Is The Tragic Love Story To Add To Your Must-Watch List

The six-part series is a contemporary retelling on Leo Tolstoy's classic, Anna Karenina.

Now that winter has officially set in the year’s cold snap, it means that time spent at home consists of nights curled up on the couch with a glass of red wine, and of course, the next great Netflix watch. From psychological thrillers, à la Amy Adams in Woman in the Window, to old favourites like Friendsthere’s plenty on offer to keep us entertained. 

As part of its June 2021 lineup, Netflix also announced it would be bringing back some of the great Australian classics, and the nostalgia hit is real. While teen drama Puberty Blues and Asher Keddie’s Offspring are already seeing viewers hooked, another Australian-made drama has gained a new legion of fans. 

The Beautiful Lie, which originally aired on the ABC in 2015, is a six-part series that takes on a contemporary reimagination of Leo Tolstoy’s classic 1877 novel, Anna Karenina.

the beautiful lie

The original story centres on the extramarital affair between Anna and the dashing cavalry officer, Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky, a relationship that scandalised the social circles of Saint Petersburg and forced the young lovers to flee to Italy, only to find upon their return to Russia their lives further unrivalled. 

Screenwriter Alice Bell, who was behind the project, turned its title characters, Anna and Xander, into sporting stars, a way to “heighten the transgressiveness of a wife leaving her husband.” The story mixes in themes of family and fidelity, as well as seduction and jealously, serving up a “love story that destroys.” 

Its official description reads: “When a happily married woman meets a man at an airport she feels a spark she hasn’t felt in years. After they witness a horrific accident together, an unbreakable bond is formed and she must now reevaluate her life choices, including her relationship with her husband.”

The series stars plenty of familiar faces, including Australian actress Sarah Snook as Anna Ivin and Rodger Corser as her husband, Xander Ivin. Other notable members of the cast include Sophie Lowe as Kitty Ballantyne; Celia Pacquola as Dolly Faraday; Daniel Henshall as Kingsley Faraday; Benedict Samuel as Skeet Du Pont; Catherine McClements as Tess Du Pont; and Alexander England as Peter Levin. 

Glendyn Ivin and Peter Salmon were the film’s directors, produced in partnership with John Edwards and Imogen Banks.

The Beautiful Lie is currently available to stream on Netflix Australia and has already landed itself in the Top 10 to watch. 

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