Final Act [2004]

Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) has dedicated her life to pursuing criminals and, as she nears retirement, the stresses of the job and of proving herself in the man's world of law enforcement have taken their toll: she has virtually no life of her own as well as a serious alcohol problem. Ever dedicated to her job, Tennison is determined to solve one final case, that of a 14-year old girl Sallie Sturdy (Maxine Barton) who's gone missing, before she retires. Even as Detective Superintendent Tennison's father takes seriously ill and alcohol-induced blackouts hinder her investigative capabilities, Tennison remains resolute in her determination to solve the case. As the investigation progresses, Tennison develops an unusually close relationship with the missing girl's young friend Penny Phillips (Laura Greenwood), seeing much of her younger self in the headstrong girl, and struggles to maintain her focus and use her crime-solving instincts and sharp eye for detail to bring Sallie's killer to justice. In the end, Tennison must also find a way to come to terms with her own alcoholism and impending retirement. Prime Suspect was a groundbreaking British television series because of its portrayal of a powerful woman who dared to aspire to a leadership role in the man's world of police detective work. In the 15 years the series ran (1991-2006), every season tackled politically volatile subject matter, from sexism to racism and homophobia, while maintaining an intense attention to detail and a steadfast commitment to the accurate portrayal of law enforcement's investigative process. It was, one could argue, the precursor to modern crime series like CSI and Law and Order. Fittingly, these final episodes in the Prime Suspect series deal head-on with the controversy of inappropriate relationships between minors and adults. Oscar-winner Helen Mirren gives an incredibly strong performance and is backed by the considerable talents of Laura Greenwood, Stephen Tompkinson (as Sean Phillips), and the rest of the cast. Bonus features include a 45-minute behind the scenes featurette about the entire series, photo gallery, and cast filmographies. --Tami Horiuchi Beyond Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act Essentials by Actress: Helen Mirren British Mystery Theater The Prime Suspect series Stills from Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act (click for larger image)

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