Movie Review – Kate Winslet triumphs in a moreish murder mystery, “Mare of Easttown”

 

Mare of Easttown (Sky Atlantic) is a millefeuille of misery, as exquisitely layered and as moreish as the real thing. In rural Pennsylvania, we meet a small-town cop, Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet). World-weariness, the weight of professional responsibility and – we discover later, although the clues are there – family tragedy show in every line of her body, every heavy step she takes. She rarely smiles. She is not surly or grumpy – she just doesn’t have the energy for anything else, after doing her job and taking care of her family.

Life takes out of Mare more than it puts in – especially since 19-year-old Katy Bailey, the drug-addicted daughter of Mare’s high-school friend Dawn, disappeared a year ago. If you can have a defining performance this late in a career, this is surely Winslet’s. She is absolutely wonderful – and ably supported by the rest of the cast.

This is a defiantly unglossy US. Easttown is a bleak, impoverished place, full of overlapping sadnesses. As the tiny, tight community’s police detective, Mare sees and deals with most of them. Drug and alcohol addiction is rife. One of the earliest scenes shows Mare attending the scene of a burglary – another burglary, we understand – at the house of a woman called Beth Hanlon (Chinasa Ogbuagu, in a small but heartbreaking role; she is due to return in later episodes). It is her brother, Freddie (Dominique Johnson), on the hunt again for things to sell for his next fix.

When Mare tracks him down, Beth punches him publicly, cries to Mare privately (“God forgive me, but sometimes I wish he would just fucking die and get this over with”) and declines to press charges. Mare tells a junior officer to phone the company that has illegally cut off his heating to get it restored and – limping on the ankle she sprained chasing him down – gets on with her day. It is an interlude that does little to further the plot, but is the essence of the series in microcosm:fully realised characters with deep, conflicting emotions, united in the face of encroaching forces greater than themselves.

The main arc weaves through this perfectly conjured study of a community and how it endures. Neither seems secondary to the other. Mare of Easttown is as much about the psychology of terrible events and how they are absorbed by – and affect – those around them as it is about solving the crime at its heart.

Erin (Cailee Spaeny), a single teenage mother (although, again, nothing like the TV drama stereotype) is found dead after the town’s young people congregated for a party in the woods. Erin had left early, having been beaten up by Brianna (Mackenzie Lansing, the vicious girlfriend of her baby’s father, Dylan) and stumbled away to her unwitting doom.

The town, now with one missing and one murdered girl, is deeply disturbed. A new investigation into the former is ordered alongside the new murder case and a county detective, Colin Zabel (Evan Peters, in an impressive change of pace since he was seen as Pietro in WandaVision), brought in to assist Mare. Through him, we see the limitation and the flaws in the policing and practices in a small town, as well as the benefits. It is another layer of complicating interest in a show that has already generously provided.

Add a love interest for Mare, in the form of the writer and guest lecturer Richard Ryan (Guy Pearce, playing him with just the right amount of easy, intelligent charm); Mare’s daughter, Siobhan, keeping her sexuality a secret from her overstretched mother; and Mare’s ex-husband, Frank, getting engaged to his girlfriend and there is almost too much to enjoy.

As the twists and turns of the cases are revealed, it becomes a show greater than the sum of its already considerable parts. By the time you get to the revelation at the end of the second episode, you become less stunned by the news itself than you are by the computation of what it will mean for all involved. Everything and everyone is real and you care about every tiny part. Wonderful.

Source: Mare of Easttown review – Kate Winslet triumphs in a moreish murder mystery

Helen McCrory: Life and Career of the Famous British Actress

by Akarsh Shekha

Helen McCrory is a famous British actress who has also been honoured with the Order of the British Empire (OBE). She has played some very famous roles such as Cherie Blair in The Queen (2006) and The Special Relationship (2010). Helen McCrory also played the role of Françoise in the film Charlotte Gray (2001). But she is definitely most famous for her role of Narcissa Malfoy in three Harry Potter movies. Aside from being a part of the global blockbuster franchise, Helen McCrory also played the role of Mama Jeanne in Martin Scorsese’s family film Hugo (2011). She has also made an appearance in a Bond film, playing the role of Clair Dowar Skyfall (2012). The prolific Helen McCrory also appeared as Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders (2013–present), Emma Banville in Fearless (2017) and Kathryn Villiers in MotherFatherSon (2019). She also played the role of Madame Kali/Evelyn Poole in Showtime’s supernatural drama, Penny Dreadful. Let’s find out more about this incredible actress

When was Helen McCrory born?
Helen McCrory was born on August 17th, 1968 in Paddington in England, UK. She was born to Welsh mother Ann Morgans and Scottish father Iain McCrory. The couple married in 1974 and had three children, with Helen McCrory being the eldest.

Where did Helen McCrory study?
Helen McCrory studied at Queenswood School near Hatfield, Hertfordshire. After that, she took a gap year and lived in Italy. Once she came back to Britain, she started her acting course at London’s Drama Centre.

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Helen McCrory: Peaky Blinders actress dies aged 52, husband Damian Lewis says

The star, who has died of cancer, was a “beautiful and mighty woman”, her husband Damian Lewis said.

Actress Helen McCrory, known for her roles in Peaky Blinders and three Harry Potter films, has died of cancer at the age of 52, her husband, the actor Damian Lewis, announced.

He said he was “heartbroken”, and that she was a “beautiful and mighty woman”.

He wrote“She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”

Harry Potter author JK Rowling led the tributes, writing that it was “simply heartbreaking news”.

McCrory was also known for her long and acclaimed career on stage, and the National Theatre’s artistic director Rufus Norris said she was “unquestionably one of the great actors of her generation”. [ . . . ]

Continue at BBC: Helen McCrory: Peaky Blinders actress dies aged 52, husband Damian Lewis says

NPR Review: ‘Promising Young Woman’

In the dark comedy Promising Young Woman, Cassie (Carey Mulligan) works at a coffee shop by day and hunts sexual predators by night. She goes to bars, pretends to be falling down drunk — and then confronts the men who try to take advantage of her.

“When I was growing up — and I think still probably it’s the case now — in movies, getting women drunk to sleep with them, filling up their drink more than you’d fill your own, waiting at the end of the night to see who’s drunk at the club, girls waking up not knowing who’s in bed next to them — it was just comedy fodder,” Fennell says. “We live in a culture where this sort of stuff is normalized.”

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My Glasgow: Clare Grogan

Clare Grogan was a waitress at the Spaghetti Factory in the West End – where Stravaigan is now – in 1980 when she was discovered by director Bill Forsyth, who cast her alongside members of the Glasgow Youth Theatre in Gregory’s Girl. Shortly afterwards, her band, Altered Images, signed a record deal for their debut LP, Happy Birthday.

Altered Images went on to tour and release music until 1984 when Clare went solo. She has continued her acting and performing career, adding television presenting and writing a children’s novel, Tallulah and the Teenstars, about a girl who forms a pop band.

Clare remembers some of her favourite Glasgow people and places, a feature from The Best of Glasgow City Guide and Cookbook.

Glasgow Life/Damian Shields

My Glasgow

I have travelled the world and although I’m biased, I think Glasgow has an amazing amount to offer. The buildings are spectacular, the arts, music and culture scene is incredibly diverse and inclusive. And the curries are the best. 

My daughter Elle asked me when she was little if everyone in Glasgow knew each other – I explained that people in Glasgow are the friendliest people I’ve ever come across.  We try to keep that flag waving in London where we live.

My earliest memories here are of growing up in Hill Street and being afraid of the Art School building around the corner. I remember my great aunt Winnie playing the organ at St Aloysius Church and watching films sitting on my mum’s knee at the ABC cinema on Sauchiehall Street.

Our neighbours, the Capaldis, gave me and my sisters Margaret and Kathleen chewing gum – which we were not allowed. I also remember my Dad’s spag bols. And new shoes from Clarks at the start of every school term.

Kelvingrove Park

I had my first cappuccino in Cafe Gandolfi – still one of my favourite places to meet and eat.

I also love the Kelvingrove Gallery – my parents took us when we were little and I go every year. It’s particularly amazing if someone is playing the organ.

I love the Centre for Contemporary Arts and I love the Citizens Theatre – where I saw my first naked man!

I can’t leave out the No 59 bus…don’t know if it’s still a thing, but it took me everywhere I needed to go and I had the best laughs at the back of the bus on it.

When I think of Glasgow I think of crossing the Kingston Bridge and looking both ways down the Clyde.

It’s still one of my favourite places to shop and I still love running occasionally to all the corners of Bellahouston Park where I used to run when we moved to the Southside.

I love Glasgow every which way – it’s in every bit of me.

Source: My Glasgow: Clare Grogan – Glasgowist