Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
The last ten minutes blew me away! Now Gracepoint begins it's
divergence from Broadchurch and I'm loving it! Gracepoint delves
further into the characters, lending them more depth and making them
multifaceted, therefore more realistic.
When I first heard about Gracepoint my initial reaction was very negative because I'm such a fan of Broadchurch. Then I found out the original writer, Chris Chibnall as well as the original Director, James Strong was involved. Once I found out David Tennant was involved that was it. I am very familiar with Mr. Tennant. He is massively talented -- he didn't get that seat on the Board of Directors for the Royal Shakespeare Company on his looks--I knew in my gut to give Gracepoint a chance. Then I found out Anna Gunn was involved along with Nick Nolte, and that Euros Lyn and David Petrarca (Game of Thrones) was in directing as well. Producers Futterman and Goldwyn topped it off, and then I find out Grammy winning Marty Beller wrote the score.
Gracepoint has met and exceeded my expectations, remaining true to the source material while adding more depth to the characters as well as additional characters; one of them being quite a surprise to me though she has yet to make her appearance. Add to that different plot twists,a different killer/ending and an appropriately American feel and I am more than happy, but that still isn't enough praise: Tennant has given Carver a different feel as a character. His Hardy was more emo. Carver is more sharp, harder, more defensive and at times offensive, yet we still get glimpses of a broken and wounded soul. Tennant delivers a sterling performance and is one of the few actors I've seen who can emote with his eyes only, as though the viewer is reading his mind. He had the same voice coach as Meryl Streep, and his accent is quite good. He and Gunn are a fearsomely good duo, the screen interaction is quite sparky. In some ways Gracepoint has surpassed Broadchurch. The forensics are much more realistic: Broadchurch had the killer remove all evidence with a spritz bottle and household cleaner with a paper towel which would *never* remove that much evidence. Also Carver's treatment for his illness is much more realistic. Pills would never work quickly enough for someone in that much distress. This show is so good that I hope that it, like its source material will get a season 2. Tennant has said that should that be the case, Carver's story ends up in such a different place than Hardy's story that the show will truly become a different show. I'm praying to the TV gods that there will be a Gracepoint 2!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Only slightly spoiler-ish...
I went into this as a Broadchurch fan. In fact, a Broadchurch super-fan. I bought the DVDs and almost have them memorized. Gracepoint, however, was made for those who have never seen Broadchurch, which is most of America. That said, it has been made abundantly clear that after the second episode the stories diverge and we are assured that the ending winds up in a very different place. In fact, so much so that should there be a season 2, Carver's story will be radically different to that of his UK counterpart.Knowing this, I went into viewing Gracepoint on its own merits. I was not disappointed. Carver is a bit different, angrier, more cynical, still broken but more aggressive, almost like a wounded or cornered creature. I love the difference. Anna Gunn's Olivia is quite different as well. She is quicker to bite back and I like that, too. As to plot I've already spotted what is either a game changer or one hell of a red herring...cause of death in the child, Danny Solano. I also love the score. Written by Grammy Award winning drummer for They Might Be Giants, Marty Beller, it is as haunting as the score for Broadchurch but has an underlying feel of menace, eeriness and foreboding. Tennant's accent is fine. It's a non-specific east coast accent which is good. Especially given that there is no one true American accent. Here we are a fluid society, so movable that many of us have blended accents, so ignore any complaints you hear about it. I say well done, Mr. Tennant! The final scene...I won't spoil it...left me feeling chilled and filled with foreboding, this huge, mysterious thing, breaching, then sinking back into the dark depths. It felt like a simile for death. The acting by the platinum quality cast is solid, the production values are set high above that of any network show...this could have been a high-grade pay channel show...so yes, even as a Broadchurch super-fan I am well pleased with Gracepoint.
I can't say too much how much I enjoyed this series. Unlike most murder
dramas, this story isn't about autopsies and gunfights. It's about
human nature. It's about the tragedy of the murder of a child. It's
about the court of public opinion, the sinister nature of irresponsible
journalism, the failures, frailties and flaws of our fellow human
beings. This is 'Shakespeare writes a detective story'.
Chris Chibnall has now gone to the top of my list as a writer. It was beautifully done. In no way has he broken the cardinal rule of show, don't tell. Nor has he made the horrible mistake of creating any perfect character. All of them, from youngest to oldest, are wonderfully imperfect human beings, and with no character is this more obvious than our protagonist, DI Alec Hardy, masterfully played by David Tennant as the world-weary detective with secrets of his own and a shadowy past. He is so wonderfully written by Chibnall and executed by Tennant that we find ourselves won over by a character that on the surface is quite unlikable. Tennant's performance has, IMO, overshadowed his role in Doctor Who with this work. He has proved before that he's far more than the Tenth Doctor. With his Hardy, he made me forget about all other roles.
Olivia Colman, too, is wonderful. Her character enjoys a growth that's wonderful to behold. Colman is as good as any actress out there. I've seen her before, but with her Ellie Miller, she has captured me completely.
In fact not a single actor or actress was badly chosen. From eldest to youngest and male and female, all of them turned in sterling performances. Even the dog! I was especially pleased with Arthur Darvill. Young Adam Wilson, who played Tom Miller, was quite impressive as well.
This series is what TV should look like. This is what The Killing should have looked like. This is TV at it's finest. The story arc was magnificent, centered, not on procedurals and junk science-based CSI (actual CSI is nothing like what's shown on TV) but on the tragedy of it, and how that tragedy bled into the lives of the people of Broadchurch, itself, even the ones investigating it. The dialog was wonderful, especially the banter between Hardy and Miller, whose polar-opposite natures should have been cliché, yet were pulled off masterfully by Colman and Tennant. Hardy's subplot was simply divine. We find out why he is so world-weary, yet, in the end are still left with the mystery of him, and know he is Broadchurch's greatest mystery still. Little touches, like the 'love thy neighbor' signs add further richness and poignancy and lend the tale yet more humanity. Rich in character development, beautifully photographed, the series ended in a perfect denouement. And the best part is we are left wanting more, which is the mark of a truly great story.