Monday, January 15, 2018

Movie Monday: Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies
When opportunity arises, I feature Movie Monday. I recognize few people have the time or desire to read the amount I do. Luckily, Hollywood loves adapting a classic and I love a good story in any form.

Show Title: Big Little Lies

Book Title: Big Little Lies
Release Year: 2017

Summary: California mommy wars are real, women are complex, and a murder investigation is imminent.

What I Thought: I really loved this book, which I honestly picked up mostly because I wanted to read it before watching this star-studded adaptation. I loved the book for its drama and willingness to tackle tough issues with grace and nuance.

The show delivers on that same front. It did not keep me guessing as much, but I imagine that is because I already knew the twist. So, there was nothing to guess. Can't fault it for that! 

I think the show did an even better job in some ways of portraying these women as complex. The actresses involved did an amazing job presenting the public and private versions of their characters. This had to be especially hard because we don't get the inner monologue that Moriarty is able to give us. All that information had to be portrayed in facial expressions and body language. It's no surprise AT ALL that Nicole Kidman won a Golden Globe for her performance or that Laura Dern won one for hers. I imagine this show will clean up pretty well at the Emmys also. 

It's really just masterful television. Complex, gritty, intense. There are quite a few differences from the book, though I understand why those choices were likely made. Some I liked, some I didn't. Setting the show in Monterrey and with tech industry people felt right. It was a good switch for a largely American audience. I didn't love the changes with Madeline's story line, but Reese Witherspoon is so amazing I didn't care too much. I don't really like Shaliene Woodley all that much, but she did a really nice job in this. Of course, it would be hard to turn in a bad performance working opposite Kidman and Witherspoon. 

This is definitely HBO content. It's a heavy plot and I think they included some more graphic elements than they needed to (not of the domestic abuse, actually. I think this is one instance where we need to see the violence). I also would have liked this to be extended into a longer series so they could have fleshed out some of the character development a little more. Still, it's a great show and I recommend it. I'll be very interested to see what a second season looks like.

Rating: ★★★★☆
Will I Re-Watch: Yeah, maybe. Definitely if they make another season.

A Reduced Review: Slightly different from the book, but still so powerful as a statement on social issues and a vehicle to elevate and support complex women. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your review, I think the series did better in some aspects than the book portraying the women. This is one of the few times that I loved the book, and series, but I most of all LOVED the soundtrack. The music in the series emphasized so much. (true confession, I bought my 1st CD in many many years so I could play the Big Little Lies soundtrack in the car!) I can't wait for season 2!