The American province, closed in on itself, traditionalist, unable to understand the world and populated by disturbing characters, continues to arouse a lot of interest, including literature, cinema and television. In these dark places – dominated by gray and muddy colors that suggest cold temperatures for most of the year – family tragedies are consumed, discomfort between generations and the past often emerges cumbersome, if not tragic, in human affairs.
Although I am not among the most avid fans of Kent Haruf-esque novels and short stories set in the imaginary Holt – I still prefer an old European town with a square, a church, a government building, a theater – I sense the evocative power of this dramaturgy. . A call that not even Kate Winslet, powerful and charismatic actress, protagonist and producer of Murder in Easttown, the mini series in seven episodes now on Sky, could resist. More effective is the original Mare of Easttown, from the nickname of the woman, investigator of the local police who, finding herself investigating a murder case, discovers the evil connections in a place that really exists in the parts of Philadelphia (not exactly a nice spot) . Classic psychological suspense film, more dialogue than action, destined to grow from episode to episode even if at a slow pace, compared in some ways to Your Honor, but it seems that the ending is better.
Winslet’s performance has been stressed several times. The English actress, endowed with a flexible physicality as well as an uncommon talent, has chosen to appear older than her 45 years, overweight, poorly dressed, without makeup, dirty and messy hair, accentuating imperfections and signs of aging on the body . As if to say, I don’t want to be judged for beauty or attractiveness but for interpretative ability. From the Charlize Theron of Monster onwards (it was 2003) several actresses have chosen this path, modeling themselves on the example of Frances McDormand, very good yet a bit prisoner of her character, who in the end is always the same. Winslet, on the other hand, does exactly the opposite and makes us aware of his extraordinary eclecticism: he speaks with the accent of the place, he moves with awkwardness, he is perfectly credible in the part.
Murder in Easttown is based on the excellent interpretation, just as it happened to Judge Bryan Cranston of Young Honor, but around the writing does not come out of too schematic clichés. In particular, the transfer of the male model of the detective – bent by life, tormented by anxiety, devoured by unhappiness, unable to maintain romantic and family relationships – is not convincing – just as it is in the female protagonist. In short, rewriting a Mare Sheehan as one of the many stereotypical figures that populate the detective story with authorial claims weakens the performance, however of a great level. As in any thriller it will be important to develop the story and put all the elements back in place. At the moment, too much Kate, too little for the rest.