SHARP OBJECTS REVIEW

Amy Adams, who audiences will know from American Hustle, Man of Steel and Enchanted, stars in HBO's new murder-mystery miniseries SHARP OBJECTS.

The series is based on the book by bestselling author Gillian Flynn, who brought audiences Gone Girl and Dark Places, both of which have been adapted to the big screen. This is the first of Flynn's novels to be transformed for the small screen.

SHARP OBJECTS SKY ATLANTIC

Sharp Objects is a gritty gothic murder-mystery that tells the story of Camille Preaker, portrayed by Adams. Camille is a reporter who is sent by her editor (Miguel Sandoval), to her eerie home town of Wind Gap (Missouri) to cover the story of two girls – one missing, one murdered. What follows is a brilliantly dark representation of family secrets, childhood trauma and murder.

Director Jean-Marc Vallée (the man who brought us Big Little Lies) lends his uniquely distorted filming techniques to showcase Camille's alcoholism and her fractured grip on reality. Her memories come and go, some of them being just a blip that can be missed with a blink. Before the episode even ends, the audience is left doubting the validity of Camille's point of view - creating an unreliable but captivating protagonist.

Camille is faced with her mother, Adora (Patricia Clarkson), upon her arrival, who is ashamed of her daughter's involvement in the investigating of the missing girl. This becomes even more apparent when the missing girl's body is found, turning the case into a potential serial killing.

Camille's younger sister, Amma (Eliza Scanlen) also appears to have a fractured identity. At home, she is the devoted daughter. Around town however, we see Amma roller-skating in revealing clothing and smoking with her friends. The family dynamic is just as disturbing as it is eccentric.

Sharp Objects gives Adams a chance to return to a similar tone of that of Nocturnal Animals, a stylish and dark thriller directed and written by Tom Ford in 2016. Adams thrives in this genre, getting to show off her acting chops and ability to draw in an audience, as shown in virtually every role she plays. We see flashbacks of Camille as a young girl throughout the episode.

Her younger self is cast perfectly in the form of young actress Sophia Lillis, who audiences may recognise from the IT remake of last year.

At the end of the episode, the audience gets a first glimpse into the dark psyche of Camille Preaker, as we see words carved onto her skin, her body covered in self-harm scars.

Camille's editor demands her at one point to "paint a goddamn picture" and it is safe to say that Adams and Vallée have succeeded in doing just that in this moody, dark murder-mystery.

- Watched on Sky Atlantic. 09/07/2018

Jess Armitage

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