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The Undoing: Nicole Kidman again on HBO in gripping new psychological thriller

Nicole Kidman in The Undoing.


I miss Big Little Lies, regardless that Meryl Streep becoming a member of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman‘s present about determined Monterey housewives could not make season 2 as robust or addictive as the primary. I’m nonetheless crossing my fingers season three will develop into extra than simply rumors

I approached The Undoing, the brand new HBO restricted sequence starring Kidman, hoping for a Big Little Lies repair, and David E. Kelley‘s psychological thriller did not let me down. Kelley was additionally in command of the BLL adaptation. Kidman repeats her function as govt producer right here. There’s a homicide to untangle. And like BLL, The Undoing relies on a novel, on this case, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s You Should Have Known.

In the six-episode present, which premiered Sunday, Kidman trades the coastal ruggedness of Northern California for New York’s unique Upper East Side. The Academy Award-winning actress performs Grace Fraser, a profitable therapist and quintessential Manhattanite who has a non-public Pilates teacher and likes to take lengthy meditative walks across the metropolis. She’s married to Jonathan (Hugh Grant), a youngsters’s oncologist. The couple has a teenage son, Henry (Noah Jupe from A Quiet Place and Honey Boy), and the type of impeccably adorned home within the metropolis solely two docs may afford.


Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman in The Undoing.


Part of what drew me to this story, apart from the murderous components, was attending to see the characters in a world earlier than COVID-19. They converse with associates and acquaintances with no masks or distance. Going to the health club is a stress-free exercise. Commuting to work continues to be a factor. 

There’s additionally the luxurious ingredient. Grace’s father (Donald Sutherland) has an condo on fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park. The Frasers get invited to lavish black-tie events. Kidman has a group of lengthy colourful coats even Scandal‘s Olivia Pope would envy. 

The couple’s phantasm of an ideal life will get shattered when the mom of considered one of Henry’s schoolmates reveals up murdered. This is a present the place the much less you recognize, the higher. Let’s simply say the plot will get peppered at each flip with thrilling twists: paternity assessments, treason, attractive police detectives, crafty attorneys, sociopaths, J. M. W. Turner’s work and even the trace of a haunted home. 

“You’re constantly second-guessing everybody, their behavior and what they’re saying,” Kidman stated throughout a digital press convention in regards to the present on Oct. 14. “No one’s really saying exactly what they mean. It’s meant to be that classic Hitchcockian thriller, where you’re not sure what the motives actually are.”

Director Susanne Bier performs on the Hitchcockian parts. The Danish filmmaker behind Bird Box and The Night Manager has a purposeful, and private, means of framing characters and occasions, with out getting in the best way. She leaves her distinct stamp all through the present, whether or not it is via portraying an entrance to a New York prison courtroom constructing from a fowl’s-eye view that recollects North by Northwest or a sure telephone name that appears virtually out of Rear Window.


Director Susanne Bier, Edgar Ramirez and Lily Rabe within the set of The Undoing.


Kidman is prepared for her many closeups on this present. She’s completely plausible as an upper-crust, advanced, unbiased, skilled girl battling the various feelings and unsavory information always thrown at her. 

“Everything that’s happened in 2020 has now sort of put a different lens on the series,” the actress and producer stated through the press convention. “Seeing these worlds come apart is what’s fascinating to people. And the idea of being able to buy your justice and having this privilege they shouldn’t have.” 

You is probably not ready to withstand the temptation to check how the Frasers stay within the Upper East Side to how one other household scrapes by in East Harlem. Or how the Frasers are in a position to afford the absolute best lawyer, the very resourceful Haley Fitzerald (Noma Dumezweni.) But even with the gaping class divide, you’ll be able to simply devour The Undoing as pure escapist TV.

This is one other a kind of mystery novels turned shows — reminiscent of BLL, Sharp Objects or Little Fires Everywhere — with the correct amount of bleakness and shock and a powerful clever feminine lead. It’s an adaptation that urges you to maintain binging episodes till you discover out the killer’s identification, a journey that comes with simply the proper dose of unpredictability.

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