“Olive Kitteridge”-- An HBO Special TV Mini-series- Starring Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins and Zoe Kazan –Should Be Recognized by the TV Academy! Outstanding Writing, Acting and Producing [Tom Hanks/Play Tone].
Usually, I have very low expectations for what I would call, “A Chick Flick”—those dealing with marriage; personal relationships; and family dynamics. Yet I was proven wrong by none other than the brilliant actress, Frances McDormand of “Fargo” fame and “Mississippi Burning”. She is one of our country’s greatest actresses; bar none. She made a very wry, sardonic Maine school teacher living with a boring pharmacist husband, Richard Jenkins an extremely compelling character to watch.
Without any chase or shooting scenes, the HBO special mini-series, “Olive Kitteridge” based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name by Elizabeth Strout, is one of the more interesting psychologically driven shows of this past year. In part, Ms Jane Anderson has done an exceptionally brilliant job of translating the book of short stories into a full length mini-series with enough compelling plot twists that allow the viewer hours of entertainment. The direction by Lisa Cholodenko allowed Olive to proceed without any visual hiccups.
This is a movie about ordinary women written by a woman and adapted by a woman produced by a woman [Frances McDormand] and directed by a woman. It has proven to me how insipid I had been regarding the ‘stereotype of a chick flick’.
If nothing else, I had wanted Olive Kitteridge to continue for another season. However the finale of the film was sufficient. I recommend this HBO series for as many awards that an adapted Screen Play can receive and then some.
For those of you who do not know anything about the matrons of the Northeast—New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts—I strongly recommend this film as an introduction to the world of the laconic, determined and forceful woman –whom we often refer to as the “Yankee Standard”. My only word of advice: don’t mess with them. Maybe one day we will have a leader who can represent all the honest and brutal qualities of these “Yankee Standards”.
Thank you Play Tone and HBO for an excellent miniseries. May all the deserved accolades come your way.
P.S. Frances, you might want to show your husband and brother-in-law, the Coen Brothers, how to write, direct and produce a movie that is truly interesting and dramatic without being heavy-handed; as well as, having to rely on Sophomoric Yiddish Humor. But that may be asking too much.