AIRDATE: Sunday 18 October 2015 at 8.30pm on ABC.
Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is the greatest ever relationship drama. The Beautiful Lie is a new Australian reimagining of this story set in contemporary middle-class life, exploring the love lives of both ‘happy’ and ‘unhappy’ families in all their mess and grandeur. Long retired tennis champion, Anna Ivin (Sarah Snook), flies home from a family holiday to help save her brother Kingsley’s (Daniel Henshall) marriage. His wife Dolly (Celia Pacquola) has just found out he has been having an affair.
￼At the airport, Anna is introduced by chance to music producer, Skeet (Benedict Samuel). They fall into an instant and helpless attraction. The problem is that Skeet happens to be the fiancé of Dolly’s sister Kitty (Sophie Lowe) – who has arranged an engagement party and invited Anna. Socially awkward family-friend Peter (Alexander England) suffers from a case of very bad timing when he declares his love for Kitty… she turns him down and he is humiliated.
At the engagement party, Anna and Skeet can’t stay away from one another, leaving Kitty suspicious to the point of hysteria. This is the beginning of a passionate and complicated love affair that unravels not only Anna’s life and her seven year marriage but the lives of all those around her. Her husband (and sports-star celebrity) Xander (Rodger Corser) is shattered. When her beloved son Kasper (Lewis Fletcher) is so hurt he rejects her, Anna is devastated. Skeet never believed in marriage until he wrecked one. Then Anna falls pregnant.
Meanwhile, Dolly and Kingsley explore forgiveness and appreciate one another once again. Raw from her experience with Skeet, Kitty is finally able to see Peter for the good man he is and they fall into a more gentle kind of love. Xander falls in love with a new woman allowing him to rise above the ashes of his detonated marriage to Anna.
As time goes on and the love of the other couples deepens, the passion between Anna and Skeet begins to dissipate. Anna suffers fits of mania and jealousy until finally she spins out of control.
Endemol Australia Production in association with ABC TV, Film Victoria.
Written by Alice Bell and Jonathan Gavin. Directed by Glendyn Ivin and Peter Salmon.
Produced by John Edwards and Imogen Banks. Endemol Australia Executive Producer Janeen Faithfull.
ABC TV Executive Producer Carole Sklan.