Critic Consensus: Haunting and vivid, The Handmaid's Tale is an endlessly engrossing adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel that's anchored by a terrific central performance from Elisabeth Moss.
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Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized "return to traditional values." As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander's household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude… More
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Every scene is beautiful, composed in palettes of pastel drenched in blurred light. There may never have been a prettier TV show.
With her sardonic interior monologue, Moss as Offred has a hauntingly intense, forceful presence.
There are many decent actors in this series -- Joseph Fiennes, Max Minghella -- but all focus is on Elisabeth Moss as Offred, the handmaiden through whose eyes the story is seen. She is supremely well cast.
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