Landscaping, the latest British nugget with Olivia Colman

profession by Alexis LeBron June 13, 2022

Do you think British thrillers no longer surprise you because you know their recipe by heart? Think again: In Landscapers, two of His Majesty’s best actors have a great time playing a married couple responsible for a vile crime, in front of the camera of a daring young director who detonates the codes of the genre.

Mr. and Mrs. Everyone, really?

It is a criminal case that characterized the United Kingdom ten years ago. In 2012, British police received a disturbing report, when a woman informed them that two elderly people, who had been missing for fifteen years, had already been buried in the garden of a house in Mansfield, in the county of Nottinghamshire. As a bonus, this woman points out that she has this information from her stepson, Christopher Edwards, who has been exiled in France with his wife Suzanne precisely since her parents’ disappearance in 1998.

And for good reason: The two bodies that were discovered were actually those of Susan’s parents, William and Patricia Witcherley. The Edwards couple’s guilt isn’t in much doubt – they will both be sentenced to life in prison in 2014 – and that’s not really the point of Landscapingeven if the four episodes are still reshaping the police investigation, since the series began at the time of conviction in 2012 and ended at trial in 2014.

Everything is decorated with numerous flashbacks that multiply the time periods and allow in particular to return to the time of the facts and the trip of the spouses to France, who left after emptying their bank accounts and the accounts of their victims. . What interests Ed Sinclair the most, the author and screenwriter of the series, is first of all the life-and-death love affair between Christopher and Susan, two very nice people in appearance, no one suspects a premeditated double murder.

But we quickly realize that, it is also about a couple of misfits who have long lost touch with reality. Despite their financial hardships – it was the request for money from his stepmother that Christopher confesses the crime for the first time – they spend almost without relying on their passion: old memories of fictional Hollywood, and in particular the golden age of the West.

Between the Coen brothers and David Lynch

To personify these characters as strange as their hateful actions, actors were needed who could act and go from pathetic to sordid without forgetting emotion or absurdity, often all at the same time. In the face of this challenge, David Thewlis and Olivia Colman are simply exceptional. With his indescribable facial expressions and his signature storyline among thousands of people, the former reminds us of just how understated he is. And since his unforgettable performance as VM Varga, he was a sweetly big bad from Season 3 of Fargo (Netflix), we know he’s cut off from the troubling roles that the black comedy Coen Brothers deserve, who we often think of in front of the silly but oddly endearing plot and characters. Landscaping.

As for Olivia Colman, there’s almost no need to sing her praises, plenty of British Academy Award winner for yet another black comedy, Favorite (Yórgos Lánthimos, 2018) She is already considered one of the best working actresses. In addition to her world famous role Queen Elizabeth II in two seasons of the crown (Netflix)She has also played in the excellent series flowers (Netflix), made by the same person as Landscaping : Will Sharp. Having already proven his technical proficiency in his first feature filmAnd the The Extraordinary Life of Louis Wayne (CANAL+), with Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy, here he is bringing it back to a series.

It’s thanks to that too Landscaping is a UFO that stands out so much from all comers of British thrillers, because its presentation marries the muddled psychology of its characters to vary the colors, effects, image formats, inlays and hallucinogenic filters, that the series’ mystery sometimes turns mystical and can even morph into David Lynch’s masterpiece, Twin Peaks (channel +). If only it could last longer…

Landscaping Episodes 1-4, airing June 13th on CANAL+.

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