The Line of Beauty Reviews
The first part of the movie focuses on Nicks' love for Leo, a black man. Leo will be the target of the first cracks in the perfect facade of the Feddens and their friends who are less shy about their racism and homophobia than the Feddens would admit. Leo and Nick's relationship abrupt end serves as an introduction to the looming AIDS crisis which becomes central to the progress of the story. As time goes by, other scandals come to the surface that endanger the political future of the head of household as well as the pretense of normalcy. Some involve a wealthy married lebanese heir, insider trading and sexual escapades. The press has a field day with all of that and Nick becomes a escape goat of sorts. The end is quite abrupt and leaves a lot of unanswered questions. That is the most unsatisfying part of this otherwise beautifully written drama. Without giving anything away, we do not know in the end if both Nick and the Faddens have learned their lessons or prefer to retreat into their cherished delusions. Another issue in this show is the wooden acting of the main character who rarely changes key in his performance even when every other actor is just phenomenal.
As the novel begins, Nick moves into the household of the Fedden family, comprising his friend, crush, and fellow Oxford graduate Toby; Toby's eccentric sister Catherine; their wealthy and aristocratic mother, Rachel; and their Thatcher-obsessed father, Gerald, a newly-elected MP for the Conservative Party. Nick remains a guest in the Fedden home until he is expelled at the end of the novel. Nick has his first romance with a black council worker, Leo, but a later relationship with Wani, the son of a rich Lebanese businessman, illuminates the ruthlessness of 1980s Thatcherite Britain.
The book explores the tension between Nick's intimate relationship with the Feddens, in whose parties and holidays he participates, and the realities of his sexuality and gay life, which the Feddens accept only to the extent of never mentioning it. It explores themes of hypocrisy, homosexuality, madness and wealth, with the emerging AIDS crisis forming a backdrop to the book's conclusion.