A dramatization of true crime that is so inventive that its inventiveness becomes key, perhaps at the expense of real history. Olivia Colman and David Thewlis star in this HBO story about devotion, murdered parents and expensive autographs. Olivia Coleman can sit in a chair and talk and I watched him. I think he's brilliant at just about anything.
And surprisingly fun in comedies, too. The difference, unfortunately, for Landscapers viewers, is that the emotion gap between what is in her head and what is in front of her eyes is the same for us as it is for her. The only real problem I have with “Landscapers” is a common one from the Prestige television era, it would have been an incredible dramatic feature. As good as it is sometimes, premiering during the awards and holiday season on Monday nights, it's hard to believe that this won't be demolished as the most prestigious shows dominate the television scene.
A previous version referred to landscape painters as an HBO drama, when it is a Sky-HBO co-production, broadcast in the UK on Sky Atlantic; in addition, the series has four episodes, not three. Landscape designers do well to illustrate the value that even the most desperate of us can find in stories and movies, even if only sometimes I manage to find beauty lurking in this bleak tale. At another time, Lancing takes them outside the interrogation room to another part of the Landscapers studio, passing through several crew members wearing masks and other Covid protective equipment where their parents' house has been recreated. The script does much better for Chris, however, and “Landscapers is a showcase for Thewlis, with its angular frame and distinctive style of imposing clumsiness.
Landscapers is a meditation on how many versions of reality can there be within a chain of events, on the impossibility of objectivity. Because there are few twists and turns, and because the crime itself is relatively modest and sad, the experience of watching four hours of Landscapers can sometimes be as suffocating and mundane as the lives that Susan and Chris lived both before and after she killed her parents. Writer Ed Sinclair and director Will Sharpe (“The Electric Life of Louis Wain) bring together “Landscapers” as almost a series of fit experiments with regard to motive and research. Now, in the HBO limited series “Paisajistas”, director Will Sharpe gives Colman a stage as big as his dramatic imagination.
Now comes Landscapers, another HBO limited series built around a couple of incredible artists in the story of a marriage built on shaky ground. However, within those different lights, Sharpe's direction is smart and strong and the performances of the protagonists are well designed; “Landscapers are worth trying. If “Landscapers”, in the end, does not fully fulfill the promise of Sharpe's visual magic, it's due to the script of Sinclair, who is also Colman's husband and producer partner.