Runtime: 360 Mins
What To Expect: Class actors working from class writing
As mentioned in our recent editorial on the growing value of TV, if you’ve had enough of what modern cinema is turning into, TV seems to be an increasingly attractive retreat for something meatier to chew on. Just as there was life in the old TV after The Sopranos with Breaking Bad, it just goes to show that there’s life in the old TV after Breaking Bad too. True Detective has been, probably, the best TV show of 2014 (and that’s coming out ahead of a strong lineup in itself). It’s a return to the thoughtful character-driven yarn we’d probably almost forgotten was possible.
For those who have missed it, True Detective is and uses multiple timelines to trace two Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division homicide detectives’ (Woody Harrelson/Matthew McConaughey) hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years. Featured heavily is an occult slant with strong insinuations of institutionalized covering up.
Speaking of those two, being box office stars they are an attraction and fun to watch. But it’s also clear what has attracted them to this material. It’s an opportunity to revel in some art, this is the kind of thing you don’t see much of in Hollywood these days, especially when constricted to a two hour movie. Some will argue over who actually puts in the better performance. McConaughey’s big-city troubled Rusty with elevated talk or Harrelson’s simpler country boy, with contempt for the latter’s idioms. Matthew McConaughey gets the better role but I think Harrelson’s performance is slightly more grounded. Although McConaughey does nail it with his perfectly written final scenes.
It’s part Se7en (1995), it’s part The Wire, but it’s all quality with no drowsiness. Roll on season two…