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Thompson on Hollywood

'Top of the Lake' Finale Recap: State of Emergency

Certain episodes of television stand out not only within the course of a series, but within the course of a year. In 2012, it was the eleventh episode of “Mad Men,” titled “The Other Women” (incidentally also featuring a stunning performance from Elisabeth Moss). This year, the finale of “Top of the Lake” achieves that same skin-tingling, harshly heartbreaking, core-shaking status.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 16, 2013 2:27 PM
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  • 23 Comments

'Top of the Lake' Episode 5 Recap: The Body Knows What To Do

This week’s episode of “Top of the Lake” finds its characters combating feelings of helplessness -- from the past, from a seemingly impenetrable mystery, and from death.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 8, 2013 11:00 PM
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  • 14 Comments

Five Striking Similarities Between Elisabeth Moss' Roles on 'Mad Men' and 'Top of the Lake'

A joy of the current TV season is that one of the medium’s finest actresses, Elisabeth Moss, has key roles in two of the finest series in recent memory -- “Mad Men,” now in its sixth season, and Jane Campion’s “Top of the Lake.” While the athletic, hardened Kiwi detective Robin Griffin and sharp-as-a-tack ‘60s Mad Woman Peggy Olson are worlds, eras and professions away from one another, I’ve noticed some striking similarities between the two characters.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 8, 2013 3:44 PM
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  • 5 Comments

'Top of the Lake' Episode 4 Recap: A Devastating Revelation, and a Simple "Yes/No"

How do the characters in “Top of the Lake” communicate with each other, and how quickly do they choose to divulge information? This is a central question in this week’s episode, which finds significance in both a harrowing, complex monologue and the two most basic written responses in our language.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 1, 2013 11:00 PM
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  • 3 Comments

'Top of the Lake' Recap 2: Bringing Out the Dead and Missing

While last week's two-hour premiere of "Top of the Lake" dealt with the blunt one-two shock of a pregnant pre-teen girl and then her disappearance, this week's episode deals with the classic detective-story trope of obsession with a missing person. As is often the case, an obsession with the missing brings out an obsession with the dead.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 25, 2013 10:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Top of the Lake' Recap 1: A Brilliant Beginning to Jane Campion's Dark, Deep and Dreamlike Mystery

“Top of the Lake,” the new Sundance Channel miniseries created, written and directed in part by Jane Campion, is a masterfully twisty creation that floats just out of the reach of comfortable comprehension. Its characters, united in the search for a missing girl against an ominous backdrop of awesome scenery and local misogyny, move through scenes that are at once anchored in the real and yet have a dreamlike quality.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 18, 2013 11:41 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Jane Campion's Gorgeous, Twisty Mystery Series 'Top of the Lake,' Starring Elisabeth Moss

Check out the U.K. trailer for Jane Campion's brilliantly unsettling mystery mini-series "Top of the Lake," premiering March 18 on the Sundance Channel. Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men") toplines as a tough young Kiwi detective investigating the disappearance of a local pregnant pre-teen in backwoods New Zealand.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 25, 2013 1:09 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Campion Embraces TV Over Film with Moodily Misogynistic 'Top of the Lake,' Review Roundup

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Jane Campion marks yet another first-rate filmmaker ("The Piano") who when faced with an uphill climb to get such idiosyncratic smart-films as "Bright Star" financed and released, has transitioned to long-form television. It's a sheer delight to see her stretch out in a six-hour mini-series format with "Top of the Lake" (Sundance Channel, March 18), a gorgeous mystery thriller set in the New Zealand vacation country where Campion spent her summers growing up.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 1, 2013 4:28 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Elisabeth Moss Chats 'Mad Men' Season 6 with GQ: Peggy Stays in the Picture

"Mad Men" fans worried that Peggy Olson's exit from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce signaled her bow from the show can now rest relatively easy. (Though really, would "Mad Men" let go of its MVP? Probably not.)
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 25, 2012 2:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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