As many of you know, I'm a big fan of HBO, which has aired some of the best original content seen on television (Deadwood and True Detective, for example). And because they bring the same excellent writing and quality production to their adaptations, I'm crazy excited about their upcoming (November 2 and 3) miniseries based on Elizabeth Stout's Olive Kitteridge, starring Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins.
The book Olive Kitteridge is a collection of linked stories that together make up a character study and examination of life in a small Maine town, often seen through the eyes of its eponymous character, a junior-high math teacher, known for her abrasiveness. Yet despite outward appearances, Olive is a complex, caring woman who fights bouts of depression, a disease that runs in her family.
The emotionally strong Pulitzer Prize–winning book, with its unforgettable characters, follows Kitteridge family drama over the course of a quarter century, beautifully exploring the full arc of what it means to be human.
The writers of the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge were faced with turning a short story collection into a single entity. Emmy® winner Jane Anderson rose to the occasion, crafting a teleplay that focuses on the title character but respects Stout's original format. The miniseries is presented in four parts (two on Sunday, November 2, and two on Monday, November 3), each of which carry the name of one the collection's stories. "Pharmacy" and "Incoming Tide" open the miniseries, followed by "A Different Road" and "Security" on the second night.
Despite concentrating on only a few of the stories, Anderson's script, combined with the truly outstanding cast, promises to capture the essence of both the Kitteridges and small-town life. Director Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) teams up with McDormand (an Academy Award® winner) and Jenkins (an Academy Award® nominee), who star as Olive and Henry Kitteridge. They are supported by a strong field of familiar actors, including Bill Murray, John Gallagher Jr., Rosemaire DeWitt, Jesse Plemons, and Ann Dowd. In addition, almost everyone on the crew, from the director of photography to the score's composer, is a major award winner or nominee.
Take a look at the trailer to get an overview of the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge. Then watch the short clip to take a peek at a Kitteridge family dinner.
Olive Kitteridge premieres on HBO on November 2 and 3. Check your local listings for air times in your area.
Thanks to HBO for providing the videos and stills. Photo credits: HBO/Jojo Whilden. (Click images to enlarge.)