Anya-Taylor Joy plays Beth Harmon, an orphan who becomes a chess prodigy, and the show is uniquely hers. Yes, she has a great supporting cast, but her performance and character arc in this limited series is the ride you will want to take. Based on the novel by Walter Tevis, showrunners Allan Scott and Scott Frank clearly understand that to buy this story, you have to buy this world of 1960s America.

So, the production design, wardrobe, hair and make-up are simply stunning and time-period perfect and are clearly just as much the supporting characters as the wonderful Marielle Heller as Alma Wheatley, Beth’s mom turned manager. The story is the least interesting when it is not about chess, and during those moments, occasionally lapses into melodrama, but as in any good chess game, the longer you play – er – watch, the higher the stakes.

Available on NETFLIX, the world of THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT ensnares you with its performances and perfect art design.

David Freedman - Just Seen It

David Freedman is the producer of all four Critics Choice Awards, a founding member of Moviefone, and a Platform and Springboard Diver

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