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The Sins DVD

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The immensely versatile Pete Postlethwaite stars in The Sins, a seven-part serio-comic drama set amongst London's criminal fraternity, with each episode taking as its loose theme one of the seven deadly sins. Postlethwaite, who seems able to shine in anything from Hollywood blockbusters to low-budget Brit flicks, stars as Len Green, an ex-con getaway driver who shocks his friends and family when, on release from a four-year stretch, he denounces his former life of crime in favour of more cultured endeavours. Whilst this decision, and the effects it has on those close to him, forms the story arc, the real meat of the series is to be found in his relationships with his wife (played by the perennially excellent and hugely underrated Geraldine James), his daughters--Faith, Hope, Charity and Chastity--his surrogate son, Carl and, perhaps, most importantly, his uncle and mentor, Irwin (Frank Finlay). Each case of temptation and sin is examined in turn (all handled by different directors but remaining part of a cohesive whole), as Len's rose-tinted view of his family life is gradually shattered by a series of harsh home truths. There's plenty of comedy throughout, much of it stemming from Len's new career as an undertaker, but it takes actors of Postlethwaite, Finlay and James' stature to handle the often abrupt shifts from light to shade as the series progresses into a darker place. Perfectly rounded (no chance of a second series, given the nature of the denouement), the extended format enables Postlethwaite to develop and enhance his character in a way that no two-hour film could ever offer. The producers even had the good taste to include a Tindersticks song as the theme. --Phil Udell

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Bank robber Len Green (Pete Postlethwaite) has just finished a four-and-a-half year stretch in prison and he's now determined to go straight. However, with a wife (Geraldine James) and four grown daughters to take care of, it's not going to be easy. Uncle Irwin (Frank Finlay) helps out by offering Len a stake in his undertaking business, but the former criminal still has to deal with the temptations that come his way - each one a deadly sin.

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