PERFECT CUTS

Sharp Objects is a masterfully told tale of murder and personal demons. By KEVIN MA

SilkRoad - - ENTERTAINMENT 娛樂 -

AT THE END of Sharp Objects’ fourth episode, a surprising revelation brings three characters (and three different pieces of music) clashing together in a rapid montage. It’s one of the most impressively edited sequences I’ve seen in a TV show, but it’s only one of the many signs of brillance sprinkled throughout HBO’s new one-season wonder.

Since the successful movie adaptation of her novel Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn has become one of the hottest screenwriters in Hollywood. Flynn’s first foray into TV is an adaptation of her first published novel, a dark tale of a journalist who’s forced to face her demons and her cold, controlling mother while investigating a series of murders in her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri.

The project has prestige written all over it: five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams leads the cast as journalist Camille Preaker; it’s co- produced by Jason Blum, whose Blumhouse Productions is behind successful genre films such as Get Out, Split and the new Halloween sequel; and all eight episodes are directed by JeanMarc Vallée, who won an Emmy for HBO’s Big Little Lies. Flynn wrote or co-wrote three of the episodes.

Despite reportedly butting heads with showrunner Marti Noxon for trying to cut dialogue in favour of visuals, Vallée brings the screenplay’s southern wit and psychological terror to life with a balance of grace and grit. Vallée doesn’t shy away from the darkest elements of the story – including the heroine’s habit of selfmutilation – but the series handles such issues sensitively. The director’s insistence on filming the entire series himself gives it a singular vision, paving the way for impressive sequences like the montage in episode four. Sharp Objects is a grim and unusual slow burn that requires patience, but it’s hard to shake it off once you’re hooked.

American gothic Patricia Clarkson (above) and Amy Adams (top) play a mother and daughter at odds in Sharp Objects 兩代恩怨劇中Patricia Clarkson(上圖)與Amy Adams(最上圖)飾演一對性格不合的母女

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