What to Watch: “Mare of Easttown” on HBO

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Kate Winslet Mare Of Easttown HBO

As you can see from the photo above, this isn’t a glamourous role for Kate Winslet. As she made clear in her interview with Maureen Dowd in the New York Times, Winslet was adamant about portraying the lead character is a real woman with all her flaws, including physical flaws. No airbrushing was allowed.

Winslet elaborates further in another interview with Leora Heilbronn at BriefTake:

We decided that this was absolutely a woman who has not coloured her hair since her son died, hence the four inches of regrowth that you see, and who doesn’t look in a mirror because, guess what, she doesn’t have time to look in a mirror. She’s busy taking care of everybody else. And that, to be honest, is like most people I know. She’s living with this crisis that she hasn’t processed or dealt with in any shape or form because the guilt that she feels is so enormous that if she does deal with it, it’ll consume her and she’ll crack, which is ultimately what happens. But look at her! She’s Mare Sheehan! There’s no one like her. I’d never read a character like this, never. I was very excited to be the person they asked to play her, very excited.

I had high hopes for “Mare of Easttown.” HBO rarely disappoints and Winslet leads a stellar cast. The miniseries did not disappoint as it even exceeded my high expectations. One can understand the enthusiasm from Winslet about the character and the story.

Winslet plays detective Mare Sheehan as she tries to solve cases involving the disappearance and murder of several young women while dealing with her own crippling personal struggles. From the Pennsylvania accent to the rough demeanor, Winslet brings to life a character that we’ll be talking about for years.

The story in the seven-part series recently completed on HBO grabs you in the first episode and doesn’t let go. The fictional town is filled with dysfunctional characters, many like Mare struggling with family issues. The central theme revolves around the parent/child relationship, often with heartbreaking results. Director Craig Sobel does an amazing job as he creates a fictional town that seems so real with a palpable sense of place. You feel the grief of the town as Mare struggles to make progress with the murder investigation.

The story sucks you in with the murder mystery, but the richness of the characters makes this one special. The awkward chemistry between Mare and Richard (Guy Pierce) adds depth to the story and Mare’s character. Also, Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart and John Douglas Thompson are brilliant in supporting roles. Angourie Rice delivers an excellent performance as Mare’s daughter, and Cailee Spaeny is haunting as Erin McMenamin, one of the victims. The entire miniseries was a showcase for excellent acting, and we can expect to see many of these young actresses and actors for years to come.

If you love great television, this is one of those series you have to watch, and that you can’t resist binging. Enjoy!

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