Amy Adams Is Riveting In The Dark Mini Series “Sharp Objects”

Amy Adams is already being surrounded by Oscar buzz after her phenomenal performance as emotionally tortured journalist Camille Preaker in the new HBO series “Sharp Objects”. The show is based on author Gillian Flynn’s first novel, who also brought us the compelling novel and feature film “Gone Girl”. This dark but seductive eight part miniseries also stars Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina and Australian actor Eliza Scanlen who shines as Camille Preaker’s younger sister Amma.

Adams character Camille Preaker, is a reporter sent by her editor to cover the story of two girls; Ann Nash who was murdered, and Natalie Keene who is missing; in her home town of Wind Gap, Missouri. It’s an assignment that will give her the chance to explore some childhood demons that continuously plague her. From the moment Camille arrives in town, the roots of her dysfunction are apparent. Her mother, Adora (played by Patricia Clarkson), is a housewife, who is dispassionately polite to Camille, and imply’s she’s more of a guest than a daughter at her home, all whilst trying to stop her from writing her article.

The bedroom of Camille’s sister, Marian, who died of an illness many years before, is frozen in time, with all the accessories of sickness and childhood still neatly arranged. Then there’s Camille’s teenage half-sister, Amma (played by Eliza Scanlen), who almost seems to have a split personality, from wearing dresses and bows in her hair to hanging out with drug dealers, and attends high school parties and shows a more provocative side.

Camille lives through all of this while she’s soaked in vodka, and at her most self-destructive self. It’s fitting that the series is titled “Sharp Objects” as it’s propelled by the underlining subject of cutting. Which you discover in more depth mid way through the mini series. The show effectively recalls the town of Wind Gap, a traditional southern town rampant on alcoholism and shattered ambitions.

While the show is driven by the murder of the girls, the momentum is motivated by discovering Camille’s past, which is slowly revealed through short flashbacks. The fine editing is presented in an elegant way through the entire miniseries, and transitions gracefully between Camille’s younger self and Camille in present time. It leaps from a girl who was not yet damaged to a woman who is unable to escape the things that happened to her.

It’s in the writing and strong female performances that “Sharp Objects” really excels. There tantalizing, confident and strong, making for captivating viewing. This psychological portrait comes like most well written scripts with a twist, one that will linger with you longer after the final credits run. “Sharp Objects” is executed at such a remarkable level that it’s as thrilling as it is tragic.

 

Written By: Neill Frazer

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