Sundance's Elisabeth Moss Detective Miniseries TOP OF THE LAKE Reunites THE PIANO’s Jane Campion And Holly Hunter!! Everybody But The NYTimes Critic Seems To Like It!!
A seven-hour crime drama about a New Zealand detective searching for a missing pregnant preteen, the miniseries “Top of the Lake” reunites the 1993 “The Piano” team of actress Holly Hunter and writer-director Jane Campion.
It stars Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olson on “Mad Men”) as the detective, who finds herself ignoring her fiancé to solve a vexing mystery. Lots of critics are comparing it, favorably, to AMC’s “The Killing.”
... the pilot of the U.S. version of "The Killing" did a fine job of establishing a melancholy tone, an intriguing mystery and pleasingly ambiguous characters. The show ran off the rails soon after that, but "Top of the Lake," which has a similarly moody start, only becomes more fascinating over time. … It's rare for a television show to let the consequences of violence and assault play out in complex, nuanced ways for both male and female characters. Despite its relatively short running time, "Top of the Lake" does that. In fact, examining the effects of brutality on those who employ it and those who experience it appears to be one of the reasons for the miniseries' existence. …
... the character work is rich and devastating, the atmosphere hypnotic, and the overall storytelling so good that even if the mysteries hadn't been resolved, I wouldn't have felt like my time was wasted. …
... Her visual flair and sympathy for her themes, no matter how dopily and solemnly they’re presented, probably explain why so many viewers and critics are ready to accord her work masterpiece status (which was affirmed when “Top of the Lake” was shown at the Sundance Film Festival). But in this case, at least, the empress, like a lot of her characters, has no clothes.
... By rooting "Top of the Lake" in the real, Campion gives her more fanciful inspirations legs, and the mystery — which is, needless to say, not merely or even mostly the mystery of a missing girl — room to breathe. I have no idea where any of it's headed. But I am going along. …
... may bear a momentary resemblance to "The Killing" and "Twin Peaks," but it's in a league of its own, so much so that in the future, other new shows may be compared to it. If so, most will be found wanting. … "Top of the Lake" is Jane Campion and her cast at the top of their game.
... Compelling though it may be, I’m not convinced that the central mystery (where is Tui?), is what most merits our admiration. “Top of the Lake” is worth watching because it is yet one more example of the way TV continues to morph into something that surpasses movies, in both innovation and format. …
... makes for a compelling mix of moody, character-driven drama. …
... I’m extremely glad that I stayed with “Top of the Lake,” which, after the forced setup, evolves into a rich portrait of hard lives and the possibility of healing. …
... The narrative is so intense and the details are so rich that you can forget to breathe. Writer and director Jane Campion made that happen in "The Piano," too, but on the big canvas of TV she is newly powerful. …
... rivetingly odd, almost oppressively atmospheric and thoroughly entrancing. … There's also a standout, far-from-Mad-Men star turn by Elisabeth Moss, who is so good as the quietly damaged detective at the center of this story that she alone would be worth the time investment this short-run, seven-part mystery requires. … Clearly, as those rehabbing women have discovered, that does not mean it's wise to live in Paradise. But for seven weeks, it's going to be a fabulous place to visit. …
... an edgy, disturbing and altogether first-rate crime drama …
... absorbing and richly atmospheric …
9 p.m. Monday. Sundance.
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