My TV schedule here is roughly one I hold for myself, so consequently, I don’t always get to the shows and movies I want to in a timely manner. Such is the case with HBO’s recent adaptation of author Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects. I thought the novel was fine while still clearly being a first novel, but the book version of Gone Girl is brilliant (I haven’t seen the movie yet because the book was so good, I more or less know what happens and that’s a factor for any thriller).
Put my favorite working actress in it, and why wouldn’t I want to see Sharp Objects? Well, I finally found the time in my schedule, so why not go for it now?
Amy Adams, who I think is a downright brilliant actress, stars as Camille Preaker, a journalist with a lot of issues working out of St. Louis. Her boss, thinking she needs to get a really juicy story to work on, sends her to her home town of Wind Gap, Missouri, a town Camille really doesn’t want to visit. At all. The opening episode only hints at the reasons. Camille does not have a good relationship with her mother Adora, and she has likewise never really met her younger half-sister Amma.
Like any good first episode, this one is all set-up. Two young girls have disappeared down there. One was murdered the year before. The other just vanished. It hasn’t gotten a lot of mainstream press, but surely Camille can find some things out? Sure, she can stay at her mother’s large house while she’s writing her story. But does Camille want to?
Camille, it should be noted, has a lot of problems. She doesn’t like people, and she’s clearly an alcoholic. Whether or not she qualifies as a “functional” alcoholic is up to debate. She also, as we see at the end of the episode when she takes a bath and finally takes off her nearly head to toe covers, carves words into her skin. It’s not random cutting. She cuts words.
Adams plays Camille as very quiet, and director of the entire mini-series Jean-Marc Vailee, the same man who helmed the first full season of HBO’s great Big Little Lies. is a reliable hand behind the camera. Camille flashes back to her childhood quite a bit, but in a way that shows the two Camilles almost interacting. The younger one is played by IT‘s Sophia Lillis, a young actress who looks a heck of a lot more like Amy Adams than she does Jessica Chastain. What exactly happened to young Camille is still a mystery, and what we see shows a mother more concerned with image in a small town where everyone talks about everything.
It helps that Adora is played by another great actress, Patricia Clarkson.
And then there’s Amma, a sweet girl at home, but someone who won’t introduce herself to the sister she recognizes but has never met when they meet for the first time outside their mother’s house.
With the missing girl found dead and Camille going on overnight benders, well, this won’t be pretty for a whole lot of people. I know how the story goes, so let’s see how it turns out in TV form.