HBO rolled out its seven-part limited series “Big Little Lies” on Sunday, which stars Oscar winners Nicole Kidman (“The Hours”) and Reese Witherspoon (“Walk the Line”) as suburban moms caught up in a murder mystery. The actresses paired up to produce this TV version of the 2014 bestselling novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty.
Witherspoon corralled Jean-Marc Vallee — who directed her and Laura Dern (who also appears) to Oscar nominations for “Wild” as well as wins for both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club” — to helm. And 10-time Emmy winner David E. Kelley (“L.A. Law,” “Picket Fences,” “The Practice”) did the adaptation.
“Who knows what lies out there beneath the surface,” says Witherspoon in character as Madeline Martha Mackenzie, mother of two and type A personality of the PTA, in the teaser trailer above. Kidman is her pal Celeste Wright, mother to twins and married to a younger man (Alexander Skarsgard).
In episode one, “Somebody’s Dead,” we see both women interrogated by the police after a murder at the school, but we don’t know the identity of the victim. Also under investigation is their new friend, recent returnee and single mother Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) whose son has already alienated social maven Renata Klein (Laura Dern). And we learn that Madeline is still trying to make peace with her ex-husband Nathan (James Tupper), who is newly married to yoga instructor Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz).