Season two meets Jane Campion wring cinematic charm from a sleazy Sydney cityscape, with Nicole Kidman assembling Mosss Detective Robin Griffin
An Asian pair finish their noodles, then take a big wheelie suitcase to the top of a cliff at night. The length of the case, its obvious load, and the graveyard( Waverley ?) they pass through leave you in little doubt about what is inside. That is before a split opens up in it, from the fall, and human mane, long and black, billows out in the underwater currents, as if it is alive again.
I to be concerned about the be removed from New Zealand to Sydney for Jane Campions Top of the Lake follow-up Top of the Lake: China Girl ( BBC2 ). The immense, lonely elegance of the South Island scenery played such a major part in the first sequence. But Campion wrings a different kind of beautiful, still cinematic though, from a sleazy Sydney cityscape.
Detective Robin Griffin( Elisabeth Moss, absolutely mesmerising again, and now briefly overlapping herself as the lead in the two most absorbing dramas currently on television ), has returned to Sydney to shed herself into work and to forget about everything that went down by the Kiwi lake. And too, perhaps, because she has a teenage daughter here, small children she gave up at delivery but whose note which came only a few years ago, attempting contact she carries around with her. Perhaps now is the time for that contact.
There is a lot of thoughtfulnes on what it means to be a mom, and specifically the mother-daughter affair, in ToTL 2.0. Motherhood that has hitherto been denied but that can maybe now be caught up on; motherhood that will never be, the madness and tendernes of missing out; non-biological motherhood, surrogate motherhood. Real-life motherhood, extremely: who plays Robins daughter, Mary, when they do( of course) become contact? Campions real-life daughter, Alice Englert.
Nicole Kidman, the big-name movie star, as Holly Hunter was in the first succession, is fabulous and so very real as Marys adoptive baby: academic, intensely ingenious, infuriating, especially to her( adopted) daughter. Any various kinds of mother-daughter tie-in, it seems, is not an easy one.
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