Olive Kitteridge

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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:22 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Olive Kitteridge

#1 Post by AMalickLensFlare » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:37 pm

I was waiting for someone to start a new thread for this, as I'm mostly just a lurker and enjoy reading you smart people's takes on film and TV, without feeling like I can add much to the discussion. Anyway, I strongly recommend watching this. Here is the synopsis, from HBO's page:
OLIVE KITTERIDGE tells the poignantly sweet, acerbically funny and devastatingly tragic story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, told through the lens of Olive (Frances McDormand), whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart and staunch moral center. Richard Jenkins portrays Olive’s husband, Henry.

The story, which spans 25 years, focuses on her relationships with her husband, Henry, the good-hearted and kindly town pharmacist; their son, Christopher, who resents his mother’s approach to parenting; and other members of their community.

The supporting cast features Golden Globe winner Bill Murray (“Lost in Translation”) as Jack Kennison, a widower befriended by Olive; John Gallagher, Jr. (HBO’s “The Newsroom”) as Christopher, Olive and Henry’s son; Emmy® nominee Peter Mullan (“Top of the Lake”) as Jim O’Casey, a fellow teacher at Olive’s school; Rosemarie DeWitt (“Mad Men”) as Rachel Coulson, a shut-in who is one of Henry’s customers at the pharmacy; and Zoe Kazan (“Ruby Sparks”) as Denise Thibodeau, who works at the pharmacy.
It's also worth noting it's based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which has been described in some of the reviews I've read for the show as being "unfilmable," due to its 13-short-stories structure. It feels better to call this a four-part film than a miniseries, but whatever one wants to call it, it's easily one of the best things I've seen all year in TV and film. It's rare to see marriage depicted the way it is here (i.e. mature, complicated, sometimes difficult, and not rife with cliches). The performances are top-notch, too, with McDormand and Jenkins, especially, giving the performances of their careers (I generally hate that description, but for once I think it's fitting). McDormand will almost certainly be winning some awards.

Has anyone else watched it? If so, what did you think?

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Roger Ryan
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city

Re: Olive Kitteridge

#2 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:34 pm

I thought it was excellent. The compression of the stories perhaps put too much emphasis on the frequency of tragic mishaps within the four-hour running time, but the grim humor and the good performances all around made for very rewarding viewing. Some superb make-up as well: I was completely convinced that 38-year-old Martha Wainwright was a good twenty years older as the omnipresent cocktail pianist.

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domino harvey
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Re: Olive Kitteridge

#3 Post by domino harvey » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:25 pm

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Lost Highway
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:41 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Olive Kitteridge

#4 Post by Lost Highway » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:44 am

Had this been counted as a film, it would have been my favourite American film of 2014.

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Bringing Out El Duende
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 6:53 pm
Location: New York City

Re: Olive Kitteridget

#5 Post by ando » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:49 pm

Well, it's the last place I'd have expected to hear Olivia Newton-John's Magic. Xanadu, this ain't. But there is more emotional nuance in a single scene of this strange mini-series than in all of the aforementioned rollerskate romp. That said, the score is overbearing. If they did the reverse - turn up the aching strains when there's no drama unfolding before us and remain deadly silent at each car wreck - it might have been more effective. Of course, it's all muted; the NPR Kitteridge - fascinating and easy to turn off. But don't do it before Bill Murray makes an entrance - and since it happens in part 4 you may as well rent (or borrow) the darned thing.

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