‘Olive Kitteridge’ is curtly perfect

Miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories is wonderfully cast 

If you've had the pleasure of reading Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories, Olive Kitteridge, you're well acquainted with the bated-breath experience of patiently waiting for the unforgettable, almost-insufferable title character to reappear on the pages. HBO fans recently got to experience that same small-town wonder with a remarkable four-part miniseries by the same name now streaming on HBO Go.

Starring Frances McDormand and directed by Lisa Cholodenko (who memorably worked together on 2002's Laurel Canyon), it's wonderfully cast – particularly actress Zoe Kazan's subtly spectacular embodiment of the mousey simpleton Denise Thibodeau. All of Olive's love interests attempt to steal scenes – formidably endearing oddballs, the lot of them, with Richard Jenkins as Olive's twitchy husband, Peter Mullan as the bedraggled work friend Jim O'Casey, and Bill Murray as the opposites-attract widower Jack Kennison. The deep exploration of these characters forms the backbone of the story – which spans an awkward wedding, confronts averted suicide and remains suspended in the cosmic fear of heartbreaking eventualities – but this is McDormand's show, and as the sharp-tongued, honest, ever-braced Olive, she's curtly perfect.

About The Author

Ashley Belanger

Associate editor, music nerd, NBA junkie, Florida explorer and obsessive pet owner.
Scroll to read more Streaming articles
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.