Critical Condition: My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend | TVNZ OnDemand, from Monday

☆☆☆☆ “Admirers of Elena Ferrante’s novel My Brilliant Friend — the first in her smash series of four books about a pair of Neapolitan women moving through life — likely have two questions about the Italian-language TV adaptation. The first is how faithful it is to the source material, and the second is how well it matches the novel’s effortless ability to move within its protagonist’s mind, tracking subtleties of emotion. The answers are mainly good news … My Brilliant Friend is an impressive effort, a translation of novel to screen that preserves certain of its literary qualities while transmuting others into moving and effective TV.” — Variety.

☆☆☆☆My Brilliant Friend has elements in common with the iconic HBO dramas like The Sopranos, Deadwood and The Wire: organised crime, profane historical drama, a geographically small but narratively sprawling community. But it uses those elements — potently, at that — as the foundation for the much smaller subject Ferrante and her TV collaborators care about more: an inextricable female friendship, and the way it can feel like blessing and curse at once. This is a great show with a huge heart. Just be prepared for it to break yours every now and then.” — Rolling Stone.

☆☆☆☆My Brilliant Friend is blissfully neither rooted in a gauzy nostalgia nor mired in an affected documentary-style misery porn. It simply and cleanly embraces the details of everyday life, occasionally dirty or impoverished or ominous, spiked with moments of memory-infused whimsy. This is mirrored in the perfectly blended combination of Italian locations and a neighbourhood set apparently built from scratch …The series’ first two hours mark an extraordinarily promising beginning.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

☆☆☆☆ “The six episodes I’ve seen are a graceful adaptation of Ferrante’s first volume, brought to life by a talented young cast of mostly unknown performers. Director Saverio Costanzo films this coming-of-age story with admirable fluency. The show can’t compete with the book for sheer hallucinatory artistry. But by the third episode, you’re successful invested in a large cast, multiple local families all blessed with what you could call a classically Catholic amount of children.” — Entertainment Weekly.

☆☆☆☆ “The story of a febrile and rivalrous friendship between two girls in a working-class Italian neighbourhood in the 1950s, it is as intimate as Game of Thrones is sweeping. The first season is set largely in a single cluster of apartments. Its drama, though punctuated by violence, is interior and inwardly focused. It enfolds warring families and shifting alliances, but in a setting where everyone is packed close and prying eyes and whispers are inescapable.” — New York Times.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply