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Sharp Objects starring Amy Adams Debuts Tonight: Is it your new binge or is it wait and see? #book2movie

Image from Sharp Objects featuring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson & Eliza Scanlen in the HBO series based on the book by Gillian Flynn

Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson & Eliza Scanlen in Sharp Objects

I’m writing this post about an hour before Sharp Objects debuts here on the West Coast. To be honest, I’m excited. The HBO series based on Gillian Flynn’s novel stars Amy Adams plus we have the director of Big Little Lies—Jean-Marc Vallée—helming the 8-episode production.

I hadn’t read any reviews but I couldn’t escape seeing a couple of headlines:

From CNN ... “Amy Adams can't hone dull edges of HBO's 'Sharp Objects'’’

OW! That hurts. Not as much as the razors Amy’s character Camille uses to self-harm herself, mind you.

But VOX was more promising ... “What makes HBO’s Sharp Objects so good is hiding in plain sight’’

So naturally, that’s the one I read. I prefer to hear the positive aspects of a production before I get weighed down by the negative. According to VOX’s Todd VanDerWerff, there are many reasons to recommend the show, including Amy Adams ‘ferocious’ performance, the directing by Vallée, the script by Marti Noxon and Flynn, herself. VanDerWerff (say that three times, fast) likes the show so much, he'd love to see Camille’s character come back in full on series mode, much as Helen Mirren’s detective did in Prime Suspect.

Production photo of Amy Adams as Camille and Chris Messina as Detective Richard Willis in HBO's Sharp Objects based on the book by Gillian Flynn

Amy Adams as Camille with Chris Messina as Detective Richard Willis 

 But what the journalist really felt made the show work was the editing. He claims “Sharp Objects jumbles up the past with the present, in a way that’s intoxicating’’
The fine editing is present in the elegant way the entire miniseries opens, with a bike ride that takes Camille from the 1990s past to the 2010s present, transitioning gracefully between her younger self (played by It’s Sophia Lillis, a dead ringer for a young Adams) and Camille as she is right now. It leaps from a girl who was not yet damaged to a woman who is unable to escape the things that happened to her. But then it asks if there was any way for that girl to avoid becoming that woman, when the fruit of her family tree was so poisonous. 
And it’s indicative of the Sharp Objects approach to telling stories about those traumas. The past juts up against the present in the series, with memory literally writing itself over what’s actually happening. Camille might open a door and look into a room to see how it appeared 20 years ago — or view the specter of someone long dead who continues to haunt her. 
This is, to be sure, central to the show’s scripts, since it’s so keyed into deeper themes of Sharp Objects: confronting the parts of your past that you haven’t dared think about and realizing the frailties of your parents and yourself. But I was taken by the way the show presents this visually, through its images and by the way the editing (also by Vallée) juxtaposes the images.
On the other hand, VanDerWerff notes the series gets off to a slow start, noting that the audience is being taught how to watch the show. I’m not sure about that, one would hope that if we need to learn how to watch a show, we would all appreciate a fast-track approach! 

Here’s the trailer one more time, come back and tell me what you thought of the show.

Sharp Objects stars Amy Adams as Camille Preaker, Patricia Clarkson as her toxic mother, Eliza Scanlen as her half-sister and Chris Messina as the detective assigned to the case Camille returns to her hometown to investigate. I hope I love it! I hope you do too.