In Review

The Dropout review: a Silicon Valley morality tale

Disney+ miniseries follows story of convicted fraudster Elizabeth Holmes

This Disney+ miniseries does something that feels positively radical these days, said Anita Singh in The Daily Telegraph: “It tells a story straightforwardly and in chronological order.” The subject is Elizabeth Holmes – once the US’s youngest self-made female billionaire, owing to the hype around her company’s blood-testing technology, now a convicted fraudster. The drama is slow to get going, but it becomes irresistible.

Amanda Seyfried plays Holmes, the college dropout turned Silicon Valley pin-up, with “saucer-eyed oddness”, while the excellent supporting cast includes Stephen Fry and William H. Macy. Seyfried somehow manages to keep our sympathy as this complex woman – “blunt but charming, hyper-focused but chaotic” – slips ever further into corruption and lies, said Lucy Mangan in The Guardian. It’s a “hugely skilful” performance in a show that is clunky at times, but compelling all the same.

Seyfried is brilliant, said Emily Baker in The i Paper, which is just as well, because the series is not. It’s interesting enough, but it is not nearly as fun as Netflix’s soapy drama Inventing Anna – about another real-life female fraudster – while suffering from the same kinds of flaws: The Dropout is far too admiring of its subject (portraying her as a lone female “business warrior”, battling against boardrooms full of grey men), and it fails sufficiently to interrogate the actions and motives of a woman who not only swindled investors, but duped doctors and endangered patients’ lives.

Recommended

Roti King Battersea: a masterful Malaysian eatery
The menu at Roti King in Battersea is ‘glorious’
In Review

Roti King Battersea: a masterful Malaysian eatery

Six of the best headphones
Man wearing headphones sitting on roof
The wish list

Six of the best headphones

Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel: an impressive country house
Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel in Gloucestershire
In Review

Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel: an impressive country house

A weekend in Dublin
The Ha’penny Bridge over the River Liffey at Temple Bar in Dublin
The big trip

A weekend in Dublin

Popular articles

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths
Vladimir Putin has previously deployed ‘extreme measures’ to crush opposition
Why we’re talking about . . .

The mysterious Russian oligarch deaths

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win?
Nato troops
In Depth

Nato vs. Russia: who would win?

The Week Footer Banner