Sharp Objects (2018– )
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The lady is damaged, drinking, cutting herself, smart I guess, rude - snappy comments / sarcastic remarks do not alone an interesting character make, especially when drunk and not caring for anything. If she doesn't care why should I? So it seems on top of her sister dying there was a girlfriend that killed herself? (just my take of the flashback in St. Louis and the second, broken cellphone) For some inexplicable reason she stays in her childhood home and its hostile, dysfunctional, crazy, unhealthy atmosphere. Surely her newspaper can afford a motel room? Then she sneaks out and falls asleep drunk in her car... yawn Her teenage half-sister is not a real teenager, I hate when they do this, yeah yeah she outsmarts the crazy mother and is all cool and snappy.... Didn't like her, not interested in her. The mother has some real aspects in her nastiness, but the dress and high heels just make her look all crazy, cartoonish, it takes away from the character. The only sane people so far are her boss and the detective. The pictures are nice, the acting is okay with what they have to work with. But it is Dull, she is depressed, we follow her everywhere, and it is nowhere, because she would rather be dead. Great job if that was the aim.
Too much not explained, gritty surroundings that want to show gritty realism but for me the show just brought across the TRY of doing a kind of True Detective with a very broken female lead. Would have been more interesting with a male (not to slag Amy, I like Amy), it reeked a bit of stereotype, despite the blues music, and the smoking, and all that massive drinking.... Or maybe because of it.
Depressing, disappointing, dysfunctional in a repulsive way. Not recommended.
The story itself, sick and morbid as it is, seems to be going nowhere and the overacting is tiresome. Many characters seem schizophrenic as their personalities keep changing.
I've always liked Adams but she's trying too hard to be cool and mysterious in this one and it comes off as confusing yet boring at the same time.
She has to return to her home town to cover a murder for her newspaper. In doing so, she must confront her own past, which is full of abuse, neglect, addiction, murder....
Camille has never properly confronted her past. She has drowned it through work, alcohol, and sexual obsession. Adam's performance is so nuanced, so perfect. She conveys with a glance what most actors cannot with a soliloquy.
The production is spot-on - especially the editing. Camille's past and present collide in quite breathtaking turns - moments sometimes so brief as to seem fleeting.
You'll want to give this multiple viewings... it will take you time to decipher the story, but you will love every minute of it.
Now on to the show. Based solely off the pilot episode it appears to be a very close adaptation, and, as I said, I think it will be the rare exception to the rule where the film/show surpasses it's source material. The novel itself isn't very long. A seven part mini-series almost by necessity will have to expand on the story and flesh out more of the characters. That looks to be exactly what they've done but with the added benefit of superb directorial style and unique music and sound design that really lend a feeling of vitality and unease to the experience.
Jean-Marc Vallee skillfully blends the flashbacks into the story in a super creative and compelling way, adding to the mystery with transitions that put you in a trance and create a constant dreamlike feeling. This technique is particularly good for immersion, as it helps the audience relate to Camille. It evokes the feeling that these memories are flooding back to her as she is forced to return to her hometown and uncover past demons, the likes of which appear destined to further haunt her. In the first episode it seems they are barely scratching the surface of the mystery, and the impression is given that much more startling revelations await just around the corner. The pacing is remarkably restrained and does a terrific job keeping you intrigued despite not being in a hurry to provide answers. The masterful direction gives it exactly what it needs to really resonate in a truly haunting way. To top it all off Amy Adams' performance is phenomenal and I'd consider it easily on par with her best work.
I'm glad to say that Sharp Objects does a great job continuing the recent tradition of excellent mini-series from HBO a la The Night Of, Big Little Lies, etc, and I can even see this reaching the level of True Detective's stellar first season if it continues the same vain as this terrific premiere. Go and watch it if you haven't and ignore all the complainers saying it's too slow. It is slow but in the best kind of way.