I recently finished watching an amazing series called Top of the Lake (thanks for the recommendation Terence and Jelena). Here is a brief description of the seven-part miniseries:
“12 years old and 5 months pregnant, Tui Mitcham walks into a freezing lake … then disappears. Robin Griffin is a gutsy but inexperienced detective called in to investigate. As Robin becomes more and more obsessed with the search for Tui, she slowly begins to realize that finding Tui is tantamount to finding herself – a self she has kept well hidden.”
The series was written and directed by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee. Elisabeth Moss (otherwise known as the character of Peggy from Mad Men) plays the troubled detective Robin – the central character of the narrative.
Most of the performances are really strong, giving a nuanced portrait of each character. Holly Hunter plays an eccentric “soothsaying bullshitter” who leads a group of troubled woman on an untouched piece of land ironically called Paradise.
The drama unfolds against the backdrop of rural New Zealand, replete with its epic mountains, large lakes and misty forests. These landscapes become a character in the story telling – captured through shots where characters are dwarfed by their surrroundings. When I watched it, I got the sense that each shot was carefully considered and plotted, the cinematography and art direction is exceptional. It’s interesting, sad, unexpected and I highly recommend you give it a watch.