director Jane Campion, co-writer Gerard Lee and co-director Garth Davis, this is an alternately troubling and annoying six hours that may not leave you fully satisfied but will hold your interest, if only because it is so damn bizarre, full of crazy characters/situations, and for the most part exceedingly well performed.
In the Cut), who seemingly moves from genre to genre, while actually putting her own special stamp on each and thus pulling that genre out from under itself. In Top of the Lake, which brings her back to the kind of TV mini-series she did more than two decades ago with An Angel at My Table, she again takes on the New Zealand "community" and its power structure. But while Angel showed us the evils of conventional society and mores, Lake hands us an utterly bizarre community cut off from normal civilization, inbred with evil and a power structure that seems to emanate from a single despotic family run by a supremely crazy man (one hell of a performance from Peter Mullan, below).
Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss, below, right, doing a fair NZ accent) returning to the town to visit her dying mother and becoming embroiled in the disappearance of a young girl (newcomer Jacqueline Joe, below, left) who appears to be trying to drown herself in that titular lake.
David Wenham, below) who seems to be almost too good to be true and who clearly likes our returning-home detective.
Thomas M. Wright) who now re-enters her life and complicates things in ways suspected and not.
Luke Buchanan, below) to become waiters, baristas and restaurateurs; and all sorts of other odd characters, such as a supposed child molester, who are incorporated into the tale.