This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance: Regé-Jean Page

January 10-16
“An Affair of Honor” and “The Duke and I” / Bridgerton
Regé-Jean Page

NETFLIX © 2020

Slowly, but surely TV series are coming back to our screens and we’re here with more to talk about it. Now again, while Bridgerton technically didn’t air this week, we covered all three of the episodes listed above this week so we’ve decided we’re going to talk about Regé-Jean Page’s astounding performances as Simon too. There’s not a single episode where he doesn’t shine, and what a gift it is to have him bring this riveting, nuanced character to life.

An Affair of Honor

Page kicks off the extraordinary performances with this episode and it carries on all through. Knowing what we know about Simon, understanding as much as we do, and having seen the adoration that’s growing within him, Regé-Jean Page’s expressiveness was the harrowing exhibition of prodigious guilt and pain. What a cast. So much of this scene (the duel) was an excellent display of performances in a moment that was otherwise so ridiculous in the books. If it weren’t so daunting, I would’ve laughed at the idea of a duel, it’s easy to, but they set the scene for something that feels serious–something that’s real.

Page’s performance in this episode is topnotch. There are so few words to take his physicality apart and address the turmoil within that he’s clearly lacing Simon with. It’s the subtle way his jaw cleanses before and after Daphne’s fall, it’s the pain in his eyes as Daphne utters the words “I know you do not love me,” to which his expressiveness very clearly tells the audience that he already does. But it’s the lie that kills—it’s knowing fully, that it’s not that he cannot have children but that he refuses to. It’s knowing that he does indeed hold this woman in high regard, would do anything for, and yet his pride, his own darkness is standing in the way of his own happiness. And Page brings these emotions to light with little nuances, greatly revealing just how much he does love this woman—from the beginning of the episode to the end, it’s clear as day. His pain is tremendous, but his love for her is worth dying for.

The Duke and I

This entire episode is a fantastic showcase of vulnerability and Page’s organic display of sincerity. We all collectively fell in love when he gave his poetic declaration to the queen, and it’s the performance that said so much more than his words ever could. The man is poetry personified and we’re just supposed to be casual about this? We’re just supposed not fall in love and not demand that all men be this way? Page’s vulnerability leads the audience to believe and understand that every word Simon is speaking comes from a place of true sincerity. When love is real, laughing together is effortless, being together is calming, talking to one another is easy. That’s what it continues to come down to in romance and where they’ll find themselves a little later, but when they weren’t thinking, they were being. It was easy to fall in love with each other because it was easy to talk to each other. It was easy to fall in love with each other because it was easy to laugh together.

From the drunken haze to the wedding night pacing back and forth, Page was a remarkable scene partner to Phoebe Dynevor making each of the scenes they were in that much more beautiful.

Who was the most noteworthy performer you watched this week?

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