Season two envisions Jane Campion wring cinematic knockout from a seedy Sydney cityscape, with Nicole Kidman meeting Mosss Detective Robin Griffin
An Asian couple finish their noodles, then take a big wheelie suitcase to the top of a cliff at night. The length of the case, its obvious heavines, and the cemetery( 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 hair, long and black, billows out in the underwater currents, as if it is alive again.
I to be concerned 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 beauty of the South Island scenery played such a major part in the first line. But Campion wrings other kinds of elegance, still cinematic though, from a sleazy Sydney cityscape.
Detective Robin Griffin( Elisabeth Moss, altogether mesmerising again, and now briefly overlapping herself as a leading role in the two most sucking 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 likewise, maybe, because she has a teenage daughter here, a child she gave up at birth but whose note which came a few years ago, attempting contact she carries around with her. Perhaps the time has now come for that contact.
There is a lot of thinking on what it means to be a mother, and specifically the mother-daughter relation, 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 hurting of missing out; non-biological motherhood, surrogate motherhood. Real-life motherhood, more: 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 line, is fabulous and so very real as Marys adoptive mom: academic, furiously ingenious, infuriating, especially to her( chosen) daughter. Any various kinds of mother-daughter affair, it seems, is not just a easy one.
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