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[Frances McDormand's] deft, marvelously matter-of-fact performance suggests she knew just what she was about.
"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.
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.
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."
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.
[McDormand's] Olive Kitteridge, all flinty, sarcastic and sadly damaged, is something to behold.
The slack pace and offbeat structure might try some people's patience, but the characters are intriguing and McDormand is superb.
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.
The production's extra length allows it to do justice to Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2008 novel.
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.
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