Some would say that with such a prestigious generic, The Undoing left with a head start. Perhaps. But it’s also a double-edged sword. Because big sizes mean high expectations and high risks of disappointment. Fortunately, this new offering from HBO fulfills its promises.
On paper, The Undoing (First impressions, in French version) has everything to make viewers salivate. We can start by mentioning its author and producer, David E. Kelley, the man behind an incredible number of successful series, including Big Little Lies. We can also name its director, the Danish Susanne Bier, architect of the feature films After the wedding and revenge, Oscar for best foreign film in 2011.
But above all, we must invoke its main star, Nicole Kidman, who elevates each of the productions in which she appears, especially in recent years, with Bombshell, Boy Erased and Lion.
A sordid crime
The Australian actress delivers another high-caliber performance in The Undoing, an event miniseries expected on Super Ecran and Crave starting October 25. She plays Grace Fraser, a New York therapist, wife and mother who leads a life of opulence, consisting of chic fundraising nights, pleasure walks in Central Park and supervised gym workouts, up to that a murder as savage as it is mysterious turns his world upside down.
Add to the mix a spouse (played by Hugh Grant) who suddenly disappears, and you have the basics of a thriller panting in six parts.
Each episode of the luxury soap opera is built in crescendo, so as to make us want to move on to the next one as soon as the closing credits arrive.
The proof ? To write this review, HBO provided us with the first five hours. But from what we understand, the broadcaster will send us the grand finale in just a month. It’s cruel. Especially after the final twist of the penultimate episode, which almost kept us awake.
Inspired by a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz released in 2014 entitled You Should Have Known, The Undoing does not revolutionize anything. Its shape is rather classic. Its realization, conventional.
Fortunately, none of this prevents it from being devilishly effective.
Those who like to play sleuths will certainly have a good time trying to find the murderer. The task is difficult, however. Rich people hide a lot of things, apparently.
The series also allows us to rediscover Donald Sutherland, who embodies with panache Grace’s father, a charismatic and fiercely protective man. Filmed in a super close-up shot, his long tirade in the fourth episode will certainly earn him several Golden Globe, Emmy and company nominations.
Finally, let us point out the accuracy of the play of young Noah Jupe in the role of Henry, Grace’s son, who also suffers the repercussions of the tragedy which breaks out.
Series The Undoing (First impressions) will be available on Super Ecran and Crave starting Sunday, October 25 at 9 p.m. with French subtitles. The French version will be available as of Thursday, October 29 at 9 p.m.