I want to talk about the finale of Big Little Lies along with the performance of Nicole Kidman. I had written a review of the premiere and was pretty cold on the show as a whole. Check out the review, to get an overall synopsis of the show and please do not read any further if you haven't watched the show. Check out the review, to get an overall synopsis of the show and please do not read any further if you haven't watched the show as I will be absolutely spoiling the ending of it. But before I go any further, I highly recommend watching this show. It really builds to something quite amazing and I do hope they don’t bring it back for another season.
I just want to say from the top that I’m glad I continued watching this show and that it was only 7 episodes long. I really did become invested in the characters especially that of Celeste, played by Nicole Kidman, and her therapist Dr. Amanda Reisman, played by Robin Weigert of Deadwood fame. I’m a Licensed Social Worker and nothing, absolutely nothing, irks me more than watching bad therapy portrayed on television, it really will take me right out of it. I can tell that the screenwriter didn’t actually speak to someone in the mental health profession and it frustrates me because many people who may be thinking of seeking professional help, might be turned off by what they see on television. Those scenes in couples’ therapy were so precise in what they said, how they acted, including Perry, played by Alexander Skarsgard, and what was conveyed that evening thinking about it now has sent chills up my arms. I’ve been in those sessions when a profound amount of discomfort, double-speak, and denial occurs and it’s intensely frustrating but that’s therapy. Dr. Reisman’s professional aloofness which she could turn on and off was exceptional and by the book therapy. Change has to be realized and reached by the individual, in this case Celeste, and Dr. Reisman pushed her in the moments when Celeste needed it, comforted her when she needed it, and backed off when she needed it. It was exemplary and I truly do hope that individuals who was in domestic violence situations see these scenes because they were therapy to a t.
Kidman’s portrayal of her relationship to the abuse was an art form as was Skarsgard’s. Her scenes were best in Dr. Reisman’s office, when she tried to deflect, tried to illustrate to Dr. Reisman that she needed to change, because there’s power in that. Her last scene in the office was incredible and both she and Weigert played their characters with such truth that it was amazing to witness. Celeste needed that final push because of what was going to happen later that night. Dr. Reisman and she knew that something was eventually coming but they just didn’t know when. Thank God they were prepared.
I want to jump forward to the scene where Celeste confronts her son, Max, played by Nicholas Crovetti, about what he had been doing to Annabella, played by Ivy George. There was no violence, there was no anger, only a release of tension from both of them. Now we the viewer don’t know if she had discussed this possibility with Dr. Reisman, but it seemed as if she had. She wasn’t disgusted with him, she seemed to understand in that moment why he had been doing what he had been doing and you could sense in that moment the shame that he felt of what he had been doing. It was an excellent scene that was conveyed with very little said. A hug and some crying was all it took.
Now the scene in the car between Perry and Celeste is also worth mentioning because it is truly a destruction of the façade that they had placed around themselves for others and for themselves. It was an understanding as to what their truth was, that Perry wasn’t going to change, that Celeste was going to leave him, and that their child needed help. You could see the arrogance and confidence that was within Perry breaking down as he stuttered his way through some rationalization. And you could see Celeste taking a stand, she realized it was now or never and when an opportunity presented it, she got the hell out of that car.
And finally, I want to talk about the fight that happened. It was so expertly done with the cut away to the aftermath right as it was about to begin. I also loved the final moment right before Perry strikes, when nobody says anything but they all realize something terrible is about to happen. They simply look at each other, Madeline, played by Reese Witherspoon, Jane, played by Shailene Woodley, and Renata, played by Laura Dern. They all realized in that moment that all the pettiness that had been between them before had been washed away. A line was drawn. The best part about this was the inclusion of Bonnie, played by Zoe Kravitz, who seemed to be the only one that noticed the abuse that Perry was directing towards Celeste and she followed him and did something about it. The final reveal was also expertly done as Jane just grips Madeline’s arm and they just look at each other and then Celeste, Madeline, and Jane lock eyes and they now know who Jane’s abuser was. It was an intense scene that was expertly done.
So did you watch all of Big Little Lies? If so what did you think of the finale?
Written by cwm on Apr 17, 2017