‘Top of the Lake: China Girl’ reviews: Elisabeth Moss & Nicole Kidman should get ready for another round of awards

Elisabeth Moss is the frontrunner to win Best Drama Actress at this year’s Emmy Awards for her performance in the Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but before that race is even decided, she’s setting the table for another awards run in the coming year. She’s getting rave reviews for her performance in the limited series sequel “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” which premieres on SundanceTV on September 10.

As of this writing, “China Girl” gets a MetaCritic score of 75, and 77% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a sequel to the 2013 miniseries co-written and co-directed by Oscar winning filmmaker Jane Campion (“The Piano”) that followed Moss as detective Robin Griffin, who investigated a disappearance in New Zealand. It earned eight Emmy nominations, including one for Moss as Best Movie/Mini Actress, though its only victory was for its cinematography.

Now Griffin is back in Sydney, Australia, joined by a new partner (“Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie) and investigating a new mystery: a body found in a suitcase on Bondi Beach. Joining them this season is another 2017 Emmy nominee, “Big Little Lies” contender Nicole Kidman, who previously worked with Campion in 1996’s “The Portrait of a Lady.”

The revisited “Top of the Lake” is being called “primal, taut and engrossing.” It “often exceeds the excellence of its predecessor.” It’s also “richer,” “wilder,” and “darker” than the original, with a “monumental latticework of emotional threads.” And lead actress Moss has an “immersive and moving emotional arc” — it’s a “knockout performance.”

Are you looking forward to the new season of “Top of the Lake”? Check out some of the reviews below, and join the discussion on this and more with your fellow TV fans in our forums.

Maureen Ryan (Variety): “With another exceptional director, Jane Campion, Moss has found an even rarer alchemy. In ‘Top of the Lake: China Girl,’ her immersive and moving emotional arc — which also deals with fertility, loss and constricting gender roles — is woven into a crime thriller, a format Campion uses to explore a series of pointed questions … with cool intelligence and finely wrought sensitivity.”

Kelly Lawler (USA Today): “A bold new installment that often exceeds the excellence of its predecessor, with an even more primal, taut and engrossing story that reveals new depths in its protagonist, Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss). The three-part season looks and feels like little else on TV, and is intense and deeply rewarding.”

Dave Nemetz (TVLine): “Elisabeth Moss will be a top contender at this year’s Emmys, and deservedly so, for her work in Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ And she might as well make plans for a return trip next year, too, based on her knockout performance in Sundance’s gritty, mesmerizing crime drama Top of the Lake: China Girl.”

David Ehrlich (IndieWire): “It’s richer. Wider. Darker. Campion, along with co-director Ariel Kleiman and co-writer Gerard Lee, has crafted a monumental latticework of emotional threads, seamlessly weaving together dozens of different characters into an intimate epic that … touches upon everything from sex work and surrogacy to patriarchy in the digital age and the instinctive push towards parenthood.”

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on September 17. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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