Since acclaimed novel A Gentleman In Moscow hit the shelves in 2016, it’s sold over two million copies worldwide. So it was only a matter of time before it was adapted for screen. From March 29 the eight-part miniseries will be streaming on Paramount+, and fans of the book and newcomers alike will see the lavish and compelling adaptation of the story.

Everyone has a long watchlist of shows to get through these days. Here’s why A Gentleman In Moscow should go straight to the top.

It turns the ‘rags-to-riches’ format on its head

Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, Count Alexander Rostov, played by a chameleonic Ewan McGregor, returns to Moscow from Paris, only to be arrested and charged as a “social parasite” by the Bolsheviks. Rostov escapes the death penalty but is sentenced to house arrest in the attic of the grand Metropol Hotel in Moscow for the rest of his life. It’s a subversion of the classic hero’s journey – where the protagonist rises up from nothing – and instead asks, what is there to gain when you’ve lost everything?

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It stars Ewan McGregor

It’s Ewan McGregor. Whether you’re a Trainspotting fan or you just love Star Wars and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Scottish actor rightfully has legions of fans from his 20-plus-year career. His performance as Count Rostov is up there with his very finest – a nuanced portrayal, spanning decades, of a man who’s forced to rebuild his life in unusual circumstances. Despite leading a talented ensemble that includes Alexa Goodall, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Fehinti Balogun and Johnny Harris, McGregor carries this series. Any fan of his will find plenty to like about A Gentleman In Moscow.

Who doesn’t love a period piece?

The grand old buildings and style of the time ¬– especially at Moscow’s Hotel Metropol – are exactly the kind of Old World, Gilded Age-esque vibe to get lost in. There’s nothing quite like going back in time for escapism.

It’s art imitating life

If you notice a lot of chemistry between Count Rostov and Anna Urbanova, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, that’s no coincidence. In real life, McGregor and Winstead have been married since 2022. Presumably, it made their scenes together that much easier to act – and on-screen it means the central bond between Rostov and Urbanova, a glamorous film actress (more art imitating life), is completely electric.

It’s about relationships and growth

Considering its setting and the circumstances behind the Count’s house arrest, you’d think the series was a socio-political commentary – and in some respects it is. But it’s also an engrossing examination of human relationships. Stripped of his status and material wealth, the Count instead discovers a new, far more meaningful emotional world as he forges connections with the hotel’s guests and staff. And while the show follows the Count’s journey, it also reveals a bit about ourselves and how we make and maintain relationships, too.

This article was produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Paramount+. A Gentleman In Moscow is streaming March 29 – watch the trailer.