Olive Kitteridge: Miniseries (2014)


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


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Air date: Nov 2, 2014
Air date: Nov 2, 2014
Air date: Nov 3, 2014
Air date: Nov 3, 2014

Olive Kitteridge: Miniseries Photos

Tv Season Info


Frances McDormand
as Olive Kitteridge
Richard Jenkins
as Henry Kitteridge
Bill Murray
as Jack Kennison
John Gallagher Jr.
as Christopher Kitteridge
Maryann Urbano
as Mrs. Kennison
Peter Mullan
as Jim O'Casey
Rosemarie DeWitt
as Rachel Coulson
Cory Michael Smith
as Kevin Coulson
Zoe Kazan
as Denise Thibodeau
Brady Corbet
as Henry Thibodeau
Jesse Plemons
as Jerry McCarthy
Ann Dowd
as Bonnie
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Olive Kitteridge: Miniseries

Critic Reviews for Olive Kitteridge Miniseries

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (39)

[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…
Top Critic

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…
Top Critic

It's the kind of cast and writing that makes you think at the start of every scene: Oh good! Them again. Over four hours, that's a lot of oh goods.

May 21, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Unhurried but amply rewarding, Olive Kitteridge is an all-around class act and a credit to everyone concerned.

May 21, 2018 | 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…

Ultimately, though, the dialogue is quick and snappy, the acting is on another level, and there are some strange, almost Lynchian moments that make Olive Kitteridge a fascinating, if not a particularly upbeat watch.

May 21, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Olive Kitteridge: Miniseries



Super Reviewer


Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins give their best as usual, but it can't be a good sign that the most (only) fascinating character in this uneven, confused miniseries (played by Cory Michael Smith) simply disappears without any explanation after serving no well-defined purpose.


Super Reviewer

Henry Kitteridge(Richard Jenkins) is a small town pharmcist in Maine where an opening for an assistant due to a sudden death has just occurred. He hires Denise(Zoe Kazan) who his wife Olive(Frances McDormand) takes an instant dislike to, even though Denise has some good ideas to bring in new business. Olive is a schoolteacher who accepts occasional rides to work from her friend and colleague Jim O'Casey(Peter Mullan). "Olive Kitteridge" may be about lives and dreams thwarted(sometimes involving mental illness) and isolation that creates over a period of decades but thankfully the miniseries never becomes a chore to sit through and is actually very engaging throughout. A lot of that has to do with Frances McDormand who is so good in the title role of a difficult if never totally unsympathetic character that it hardly seems like she is acting at times. And then there is Lisa Cholodenko's fluid direction and a running joke involving a lounge pianist. In any case, between this and Steven King novels, Maine does seem like rather a bleak place to live.


Super Reviewer

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