TV series produced by Reese Witherspoon.Genre: psychological thriller.Released: July 29, 2022.Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Sophie, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as James, Stephan James as Baden.Country: US.Australian viewers: Apple TV.Rotten Tomatoes: A 53% approval rating with an average rating of 6.3/10, based on 17 critic reviews. Critics Consensus: “Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s captivating performance gives Surface some depth, but this overheated potboiler only gets murkier the more it tries to spice up a derivative amnesia mystery.” A traumatic head injury leaves Sophie with extreme memory loss. In her quest to put the pieces of her life back together she begins to question the truth behind her picture-perfect life. Her attempted suicide is seemingly the cause of her amnesia, but the question is – if her life was so brilliant why did she try to end it? It is gripping and the production is very slick. However, while offering as a theme a critique of the rich and privileged, through Sophie’s disaffection with playing the role of a rich man’s wife, the series meanwhile revels stylistically… Read More »Surface
Three-part TV miniseries 2021.Psychological thriller.Director: Susan Tully.Australian viewers: SBS OnDemand.Cast: Emily Watson as Dr. Emma Robertson, Forensic psychiatrist assigned to the Mortensen case. Denise Gough as Connie Mortensen, Robertson’s patient, is labelled the ‘yummy mummy monster’ in the press. Thalissa Teixeira, Vanessa, ‘Ness’ Jones, Connie’s friend. Risteárd Cooper, Si Robertson, Emma’s husband and a barrister. Jamie Sives, Karl Mortensen, Connie’s husband. This chilling series is based on a novel of the same name by Clara Salaman under the pen name Natalie Daniels. It follows dedicated forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Emma Robertson as she assesses the sanity of ‘yummy mummy monster’ Connie Mortensen, who is accused of attempted murder. Connie drove her car into water off a pier with two children in the back seat. Connie is suffering from dissociative amnesia—or is she putting on an act? This is harrowing and extremely well-done. The question that haunts the viewer is: ‘How close do you get before it’s too late…?’ All three shows have aired in Australia, and the final episode is rivetting.… Read More »Too Close
TV series.Country: Lebanon.Released: 2021.Creator: Nadia Tabbara.Starring Patrick Chemali, Jacques Maroun and Marie-Lou Nahhas.Australian viewers: SBS on Demand.Note: Of the many productions called Awake, look out for the Arabic name Wa’eet. Awake is about a young woman, Dana who wakes up from a 12-year coma initially unable to speak or interact with others. Fortunately, Dana recovers quickly and soon is able to return to her work in advertising. Yet she still has many gaps in her past and has to learn about society’s changes over the last decade. Much of the series takes place in a Beirut advertising agency, which works as a compelling setting for this gentle enjoyable drama.
Six-part TV series.Genre: mix thriller drama/comedy.Released: Jan 2022.Starring: Jamie Dornan as The Man/Elliot Stanley, Danielle Macdonald as Probationary Constable Helen Chambers. Shalom Brune-Franklin as Luci Miller/Victoria, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Billy Nixon and Alex Dimitriades as Kosta Panigiris.Country: the UK, originally a BBC One series.For Australian viewers: HBO Max, Stan.Rotten Tomatoes: A 97% approval based on 31 reviews with an average rating of 7.60/10. Critics consensus: “Jamie Dornan makes for a compelling guide through The Tourist, a beguiling drama that deepens its mystery with solid shocks and welcome moments of levity.” This is a fabulous pacy thriller, undercut by enjoyably dry Australian humour. It’s about an Irishman (Jamie Dornan), who after a car accident wakes with retrograde amnesia in an Australian hospital. Wonderful international gangster types with homicidal intent toward our amnesiac hero appear. Actor Danielle Macdonald is wonderful as the traffic cop who wants to become a detective and whose moral code of conduct shows up the other characters. Filming, which began in March 2021 in South Australia, took… Read More »The Tourist
Feature film.Director: Christos Nikou.Screenplay: Nikou and Stavros Raptis.Starring: Aris Servetalis as Aris, Sofia Georgovasili, Anna Kalaitzidou, and Argiris Bakirtzis. Production: Cate Blanchett serves as an executive producer with her production company Dirty Films. Released: 2020.Australian streaming: SBS OnDemand, select cinemas.Rotten Tomatoes: A 98% approval rating is based on 53 reviews, with an average of 7.4/10. Critical consensus:“Apples explores human identity from a surreal and often humorous perspective, with peculiar yet ultimately thought-provoking results.” Amidst a worldwide pandemic that causes sudden amnesia, middle-aged Aris finds himself enrolled in a recovery programme designed to help unclaimed patients build new identities. This film has a brilliant surrealist quality that remains with you well after you’ve seen it. Soon to review