The empire of the series. Checkmate for “Le Jeu de la Dame”

Anya Taylor-Joy est Beth Harmon. (PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX / QG_106_PB_08795)

In 1967, a beautiful, red-haired, ill-awakened woman emerges from her Parisian hotel room, quickly adjusts her dress before being bombarded with flashes from photographers. It is his life that the series tells The Queen’s Gambit, (The Queen’s Gambit). A rebellious, fierce, individualistic life, made up of taking drugs and alcohol. A strong and intelligent woman who wants to become a world chess champion

In seven rhythmic episodes, the series The Lady’s Game plunges with glamor, and in the style of the series Mad Men, in the male world of chess, but also in the retro period and the Cold War. The young woman dreams of dethroning the Russian champion.

It’s daring on paper to sign a series on such a static game. Successful challenge: over the episodes, we follow the heroine’s childhood in an orphanage, her early discovery of the game at 9, her imaginary games, lying on her bed, the championships that follow one another. The bright young girl sees the game of chess as a means of escape.

Anya Taylor-Joy, who was discovered to be a charming woman in Peaky Blinders, is impressive in the role of the heroine, in turn, the beautiful big eyes plunged in the chessboard or in the medicine bottle.

A heroine imagined by the novelist Walter Davis in the 80s, who began as a teenager at the game of chess, and was treated by sedatives in his youth. He was also inspired by a child, chess genius, Bobby Fischer, American champion at 15, and the world at 29, before sinking into dementia. A novel written, says its author, to tell the difficulty of being a “brilliant” woman at this time.

We go from wallpapers loaded with a Kentucky pavilion to vast modern hotels in Las Vegas and bourgeois Parisians. A series carried out with rhythm. The realistic chess games are always filmed in a different way. This series revived sales of chess games. In the end, a magnificent portrait of a woman, and a series which speaks of escape by the spirit and the cerebral power, which could not come better, in these days of confinement.

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