Season two identifies Jane Campion wring cinematic glamour from a sleazy Sydney cityscape, with Nicole Kidman assembling Mosss Detective Robin Griffin
An Asian duet finish their noodles, then take a big wheelie suitcase to the top of a cliff at night. The sizing of the case, its obvious heavines, 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 tumble, and human whisker, long and pitch-black, billows out in the underwater currents, as if it is alive again.
I worried about the move from New Zealand to Sydney for Jane Campions Top of the Lake follow-up Top of the Lake: China Girl ( BBC2 ). The immense, lonely attractivenes of the South Island scenery played such a major part in the first sequence. But Campion wrings other kinds of glamour, still cinematic though, from a sleazy Sydney cityscape.
Detective Robin Griffin( Elisabeth Moss, absolutely mesmerising again, and now briefly overlapping herself as a leading role in the two most absorbing dramas currently on tv ), has returned to Sydney to throw herself into work and to forget about everything that went down by the Kiwi lake. And too, maybe, because she has a teenage daughter here, a child she gave up at delivery but whose character which came only a few years ago, searching contact she carries around with her. Perhaps the time has now come for that contact.
There is a lot of reflection on what it means to be a baby, and specifically the mother-daughter rapport, 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 sting of missing out; non-biological motherhood, surrogate motherhood. Real-life motherhood, extremely: who plays Robins daughter, Mary, when they do( of course) form contact? Campions real-life daughter, Alice Englert.
Nicole Kidman, the big-name movie star, as Holly Hunter was in the first serial, is fabulous and so very real as Marys adoptive father: academic, furiously ingenious, infuriating, especially to her( accepted) daughter. Any various kinds of mother-daughter rapport, it seems, is not an easy one.
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