First thing to say about this show is that the performances are terrific. I’ve been a bit unkind to Lily James in the past; saying she was too pretty to be believed as an archaeologist in ‘The Dig’ (2021) and too nice to be believed as Rebecca in Ben Wheatley’s Du Maurier adaptation from last year. She’s a delight here - she really captures Linda’s sexiness and youthful energy (such as in the multiple nude scenes), but also her fragility and vulnerability. I found it particularly moving when she was kicked by West’s Matthew while under the table.
I laughed, I cried and teared up at the final wedding scene. Lily and Emily are such treats to watch and Dominic West made me hate him rotten. I’ll surely be tuning in next week although the BBC have made the whole series available on iPlayer. This might be my new binge-watching obsession. It’s surely one of the best literary adaptations of the year.
This is a very Scandi-style mystery. It has a stoic female detective and a murder case - in this case a murdered teenage girl - that rips a hole in the community. Pundits have compared it to ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘The Killing’ (‘Forbrydelsen’), but I see more elements of ‘Twin Peaks’ (minus the surrealism) - especially in the teenage high school drama that’s going on at the heart of the drama involving Kate Winslet’s rebellious emo daughter.
I’ve always thought Kate Winlet is probably our best actress working. She’s certainly very good here - maybe too good. It’s a role that doesn’t do her much justice as it involves her having to switch between matted brown hair and bleach blonde hair depending on the mood. It’s also rather hackneyed and cheesy that they’ve given her a love interest in the form of Guy Pearce to complete her. Don’t the writers know that the best Bechdel test-beating heroines don’t need men or sex to define them?
I’m enjoying the mystery element involving the whodunnit of “who killed Erin McMenamin?”, but still have no idea who might have done it. She’s also got a father who rages when he finds out she’s dead - a distinct echo of Theis Birk-Larsen in ‘The Killing’. The scene where he is first told his daughter is dead was this week’s episode highlight and most moving scene.
‘Mare of Easttown’ is on Now TV now.
Freelance film critic, journalist and writer based in Nottingham, UK. Specialises in cinema.
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