Olive Kitteridge: Miniseries (2014)

Olive Kitteridge

Critics Consensus

Olive Kitteridge's narrative slow burn enhances fascinating performances -- and a story worthy of its source material.



Critic Ratings: 63

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Air date: Nov 2, 2014

In the first of this four-part adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel spanning 25 years in a small Maine town, math teacher Olive Kitteridge helps Kevin, a smart but timid student whose mom is suffering from depression, a gesture that annoys her son, Christopher. Meanwhile, Henry goes on a hunting trip that ends in tragedy.

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Air date: Nov 2, 2014

Part 2 of 4. A twentysomething Kevin returns to Maine, and Olive ropes him into staying over and attending Christopher's wedding-rehearsal dinner. At the ceremony, Olive clashes with the bride's mother and scares the flower girl.

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Air date: Nov 3, 2014

Part 3 of 4. Christopher suggests counseling to Olive after she and Henry have a scary episode following dinner with friends. Later, Christopher confronts his mother about how she treated him as a child.

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Air date: Nov 3, 2014

Conclusion. Olive visits Christopher and his second wife in New York, but abruptly returns to Maine, where she gets some bad news about Henry, and ultimately befriends a lonely widower she meets while out for a walk.

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Critic Reviews for Olive Kitteridge Miniseries

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (50)

[Frances McDormand's] deft, marvelously matter-of-fact performance suggests she knew just what she was about.

May 21, 2018 | Full Review…

"I've always enjoyed your candor," a catty acquaintance tells Olive. So, likely, will anyone who watches "Olive Kitteridge," which seems sure to be a major player next TV awards season.

May 21, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

It's not the visceral whodunnit or controversial biopic that the words "HBO miniseries" might conjure, but "Olive Kitteridge" is an absorbing, deeply intelligent drama that absolutely earns every emotion it elicits.

May 21, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The problem with "Olive Kitteridge," in which we see the tragedies of village life through Olive's jaundiced perspective, is that it reduces these varieties of disenchantment to the main character's aphoristic "wisdom."

May 21, 2018 | Full Review…

But you don't have to like her (though I do, a lot) to get into this series. You just have to appreciate how rare it is that you're getting a glimpse into her world.

May 21, 2018 | Full Review…

[McDormand's] Olive Kitteridge, all flinty, sarcastic and sadly damaged, is something to behold.

Oct 29, 2014 | Full Review…

The slack pace and offbeat structure might try some people's patience, but the characters are intriguing and McDormand is superb.

Apr 25, 2017 | Full Review…

Olive's compassion can be as blunt-force as her truth-telling... and McDormand's sardonic yet noble performance is a tour de force, easily among her best.

May 21, 2018 | Full Review…

The production's extra length allows it to do justice to Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2008 novel.

May 21, 2018 | Full Review…

I wish this kind of elevated TV experience with its keen insights into American life could be seen by everyone next week instead of only subscribers to premium TV.

Oct 24, 2014 | Full Review…

McDormand is wondrous, matched by a splendid supporting cast.

Oct 31, 2014 | Full Review…

There's a relatability that starts to sink in as viewers come to recognize the damage one generation can inflict on the next.

Oct 31, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Olive Kitteridge: Miniseries

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