‘Big Little Lies’ Review Roundup: Movie-Stars Deliver Great Performance
The new HBO miniseries, Big Little Lies, premieres on Sunday nigty.
The hype around this series concerns the fact that a number of A-list actors are appearing in the lead roles. Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern are the main characters, and actors like Alexander Skarsgård and Adam Scott also have roles.
Based on a bestselling novel by David E. Kelley set in Australia, the locale has been moved to Monterey, California. The series revolves around a group of upper-middle-class moms and the mystery surrounding a crime. The show has been said to have things in common with both Desperate Housewives and True Detective.
‘Big Little Lies’ Review Roundup
“The performances are mature and often downright mesmerizing, even when Kelley’s writing takes errant steps into cliché. Most crucially, perhaps, Big Little Lies never lets its glossiness stand in for quality, the way too many other prestige cable and Netflix series have. Big Little Lies is genuinely sharp and thoughtful.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
“Witherspoon and Kidman have clearly decided that Big Little Lies is not merely a chance to dabble in prestige TV. Even though they’re both playing to type (Kidman once again as an ethereally composed woman facing sexual and physical violence; Witherspoon as another self-absorbed busybody who hits a breaking point), they have each outdone themselves here, bringing to their roles a real sense for the contours of pain, as well as a mature, wry sense of humor.” – Hank Stuever, Washington Post
“Big Little Lies could have easily devolved into clichés, like the mean-girl moms in a sitcom. As constructed, though, the story advances at an almost lyrical pace, investing the air kisses and preoccupation with appearances with greater gravity and allowing the characters to gradually develop over the six previewed hours of this seven-episode run.” – Brian Lowry, CNN
“Superbly acted, Lies turns out to be less about catfighting wives than the bruising, even soul-killing sexual struggle between men and women. In spirit it’s not all that far off from Top of the Lake, director Jane Campion’s unsettling police mystery set in a small town in New Zealand. Only here the real estate is mint.” – Tom Gliatto, People