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Nicole Kidman, David E. Kelley Reunite for ‘The Undoing’ at HBO

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    wolfali
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    #1203884028

    No one:

    David E. Kelley:

    FYC OSCARS : PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN IN ALL CATEGORIES (ESP. ACTRESS – Carey Mulligan AND ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY — EMERALD FENNELL), VANESSA KIRBY FOR "PIECES OF A WOMAN", ESSIE DAVIS FOR "BABYTEETH"

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    Stranger Among Us
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    #1203884093

    I can’t tell if we watched a different episode but the finale was probably the worst episode of the show and it’s long runtime does not help it either. David E Kelley’s writing was imo borderline terrible and highly unrealistic. I’m just going to assume that no one involved had read all the scripts before agreeing to do this. Edgar Ramirez and Lily Rabe were completely wasted. Nicole Kidman was good initially but then it became more of the same every week. Susanne Bier is a capable director and tried to craft a decent thriller with the scripts she was given, but it fell short. Hugh Grant and Noma Dumezweni were the only good things about the finale. HBO money can’t really cover for shitty writing.

    Episode Grade: C-
    Show Grade: C+

    At this point, I’m only rooting for Grant to be nominated from the show and maybe Sutherland if that category is too empty. But between The Queen’s Gambit, I May Destroy You, Mare of Easttown (unless that too is a dud), Inventing Anna, and even The Haunting of Bly Manor, I don’t really see it going far, especially airing so early in the race with the lackluster reception.

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    JackO
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    #1203884109

    binged right through this. damn. Kinda disappointed that it was the obvious guy all along but hugh grant acted the crap outta this series.

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    distain
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    #1203884170

    I’d put decent money on Kidman winning SAG for limited series actress after this. Her courtroom testimony scene in the finale is the kind of thing actors drool over. Not to mention her performance throughout the rest of the series. And pretty much everyone in the industry seems to be watching and enjoying this. I feel like Kidman is probably the only person with the momentum and respect to challenge someone like Anya Taylor-Joy at the Globes (but Taylor-Joy probably wins there).

    Grant will be a threat everywhere. He really brought it home with his performance in the finale. I know Ethan Hawke had stronger reviews for The Good Lord Bird, but there doesn’t feel like anywhere as much hype or interest for his show. Which is positive for Grant.

    I think Noma Dumazweni is going to get some surprise supporting actress nominations. She really was the breakthrough performer in the second half of the season, and impressed by holding her own with Grant and Kidman. I think people will want to recognise this interesting newcomer.

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    JakeT
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    #1203884180

    Noma was the best thing about the show.

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    mafro987
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    #1203884194

    I think Noma Dumazweni is going to get some surprise supporting actress nominations. She really was the breakthrough performer in the second half of the season, and impressed by holding her own with Grant and Kidman.

    I haven’t seen the finale yet, but I would go further than ‘holding her own’ – she completely outacted both.

    For Your Consideration:

    Best International Feature: Instinct (The Netherlands)
    Best Actress: Carice van Houten (Instinct)

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    distain
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    #1203884200

    I haven’t seen the finale yet, but I would go further than ‘holding her own’ – she completely outacted both.

    That’ll be an emphatically strong no for me. Noma Dumazweni was good in a very straightforward role for 3 episodes that a lot of very good actors could have done just as well. The tough as nails, take no-nonsense lawyer. She didn’t need to act any extra layers to the role. It’s a generic part that she infused with charisma. The difficulty level of Kidman and Grant’s roles however (which require multiple layers), was on a completely different level to Dumazweni’s, and they both crush it. I like seeing new faces as much as the next person and I’m looking forward to seeing Dumazweni in other things, but I won’t overrate her contribution either. There is a reason actors like Kidman and Grant carry projects and are at the top of their profession. They deliver, and delivered here.

    The fact that right up until the very end, I didn’t know Grace might actually be guilty/inoccent or Jonathan might actually be guilty/innocent, show what a fantastic balancing act Kidman and Grant have done to keep the audience guessing and on the edge of their seats for 6 episodes. They had to be sympathetic and shifty at the same time. No one on this show came even close to what the lead pair did. The finale just emphasises that, imho.

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    mafro987
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    #1203884404

    That’ll be an emphatically strong no for me. Noma Dumazweni was good in a very straightforward role for 3 episodes that a lot of very good actors could have done just as well. The tough as nails, take no-nonsense lawyer. She didn’t need to act any extra layers to the role. It’s a generic part that she infused with charisma. The difficulty level of Kidman and Grant’s roles however (which require multiple layers), was on a completely different level to Dumazweni’s, and they both crush it. I like seeing new faces as much as the next person and I’m looking forward to seeing Dumazweni in other things, but I won’t overrate her contribution either. There is a reason actors like Kidman and Grant carry projects and are at the top of their profession. They deliver, and delivered here.

    The fact that right up until the very end, I didn’t know Grace might actually be guilty/inoccent or Jonathan might actually be guilty/innocent, show what a fantastic balancing act Kidman and Grant have done to keep the audience guessing and on the edge of their seats for 6 episodes. They had to be sympathetic and shifty at the same time. No one on this show came even close to what the lead pair did. The finale just emphasises that, imho.

    Where our opinion differs mainly lies with Kidman and Grant rather than Noma. I think Noma elevated her role, though I agree that it wasn’t necessarily a difficult part to play and that plenty of other actors would also have done so. Kidman and Grant on the other hand consistently made poor choices throughout the show. It’s the worst I’ve seen Nicole for quite some time.

    For Your Consideration:

    Best International Feature: Instinct (The Netherlands)
    Best Actress: Carice van Houten (Instinct)

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    distain
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    #1203884490

    Where our opinion differs mainly lies with Kidman and Grant rather than Noma. I think Noma elevated her role, though I agree that it wasn’t necessarily a difficult part to play and that plenty of other actors would also have done so. Kidman and Grant on the other hand consistently made poor choices throughout the show. It’s the worst I’ve seen Nicole for quite some time.

    Fair enough. Agree to disagree then. I thought Kidman gave one of her best performances in this, and for me, as did Grant. Never found him this complex before (and again, they both do something special in the finale). I feel like the reason this show has been such a big hit is primarily because of their performances.

    But agreed that Noma is a find, and hope she gets recognised as well.

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    mf617
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    #1203884714

    I recently found out that the novel this series is based on was not the “whodunit” that the show became in its transition to TV, and out of curiosity last night, I looked up the novel plot summary. I would watch that show, one which explores the psychological trauma of a family that is dealing with their patriarch’s shocking crime and the aftermath and fallout of finding out who this man really is, rather than a murder mystery that really wasn’t a mystery. If you’re going to do a “whodunit,” the assumption is that the final twist and reveal of the killer makes the ride worth it. So when the finale unspools that the person who is set up to look most likely to do the crime actually does the crime, where is the dramatic heft in that reveal? It lies in confronting how his wife and son deal with that realization, and that does not happen to a satisfying degree in this finale. Grace, at some point, appears to come to a realization about her husband and we see it for the first time when she is on the stand, but that isn’t the actual moment of epiphany since her testimony, we are led to believe, was a set-up that she masterminded with her dad and best friend. Even those conversations are done in private, so we really aren’t privy to the moment when everything clicks for Grace and she makes her plan to confront the truth and bury her husband. After the first episode, when Grace can’t get in touch with Jonathan and she starts to realize she doesn’t know everything about her husband, I thought we were in for a promising portrayal of analyzing how we often don’t fully realize the ones we are closest to, but the show opted to take a more “basic” approach as a stereotypical courtroom thriller. The prosecution has to walk Grace and the audience to that theme in her cross examination, rather than letting actions speak for themselves. So all of this is to say that the show decided to deviate from the novel and sucked out what I imagine is all of the actually enticing character development in favor of a mystery that never really was one to begin with, which can only be a set up for disappointment. So in the end, this show was really just a vehicle for good acting moments for Kidman, Grant, Jupe and breakout Dumezweni, which is something, I suppose. The show kind of surprisingly became a hit because audiences were ready to be presented with a rollercoaster murder mystery and to end on this, no matter how dramatic and over-the-top the car and helicopter chase was, isn’t satisfying, at least not to me.

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    boss
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    #1203884794

    I genuinely enjoyed the show up until the final episode. The finale was truly terrible and was so opposite from what the show initially suggested. The first five episodes of it are what Defending Jacob strived to be, though that managed to have a better ending. Solid cast, but no one is win-worthy. Still, liked it more than Perry Mason, Lovecraft Country, The Third Day. I May Destroy You is by far HBO’s best offering this year.

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    puck05
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    #1203884903

    This was such a terrible finale and overall a disappointing series. The only thing good about the series was Noma Dumezweni’s performance. I agree to everyone saying this should have been a psychological study of a woman who was blinded by her husband’s secrets. Jonathan being the killer should have been revealed at the first episode and the show should have covered how Grace didn’t know who her husband really was all this time and how she processes the truth. There are already far more better contenders than this show.

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    Miles
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    #1203885008

    I will say, I was so impressed by Noah Jupe. I hope he has a bright future ahead of him.

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    TheCineMike
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    #1203885094

    Here’s my review of the finale: https://thecinemike.wordpress.com/2020/11/30/tv-review-the-undoing-episode-6-the-bloody-truth/

    https://thecinemike.wordpress.com/
    Twitter: @TheCineMike

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    Stranger Among Us
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    #1203885293

    I will say, I was so impressed by Noah Jupe. I hope he has a bright future ahead of him.

    He’s fantastic in Honey Boy too. If you haven’t watched it yet I suggest you check that out

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