The mother from Kertváros wanted excitement, but not ax murder

Every now and then, a new work is done better and worse about a hellish interval against the backdrop of garden towns with picket fences and church-going families. The Love and Death A great one, for example, with an exaggerated, fantastically true story, but an unusually nuanced, casual portrayal. Series Review.

We can certainly find earlier examples, but both 2004 works entered mainstream pop culture and public discourse with it. The Stepford Wives And much more Desperate Housewives American Garden City nurtured the shadow side of family idols. Of course, the title should be based on a mysterious criminal case – which has been a constant element of these stories since then – but the real discourse is not about this, but about how this environment is without murders and dirty secrets. A very special place. Plantation towns, framed as one of the ultimate destinations of the American dream, became the false backdrop for a drama where domestic noir thrived on simultaneously suffering women, unhappy children, bad heads, exaggerated men, and fiction. The world that was loved so much till then turned almost completely opposite, garden city life became a curse word. Since then the topic has maintained its popularity, especially since it has received some real-life ammunition from time to time in the recent or at least the past.

One of the most famous such ammunitions was provided by a murder in Texas in the summer of 1980, of which we got two new adaptations within a year: 2022, made for Hulu. CandyD With Jessica Biel and his painful wig, as well as the recently concluded HBO Love and DeathD With Elizabeth Olson. Candy Montgomery’s story is probably familiar to all true crime fans, as her case has been told more than once about famous serial killers. If we’re short, here’s the story: Candy Montgomery She was a perfectly normal woman, a wife, mother of two, and a pillar member of the Methodist Church and church choir in Wylie, Texas. Then one day he appears in court as an ax murderer, and what’s more, he doesn’t deny what he did. A. How exactly did all this happen? Love and Death The series has been one of HBO’s biggest hits this year.


Candy Montgomery wasn’t the kind of troubled, dark character predestined for tragedy, her compulsion to conform was overwhelming to a certain degree at most. Other than that, her only character flaw may have been the restlessness that was working within her, but let the first person throw the first stone at her to sweep the entire bingo board of success imposed on women in the 70s. Husband, children, beautiful house – and the fatigue of the lifestyle can be a bit unsettling. Candy’s marriage is a bit flat, and her husband Pat’s temper is at its peak when Candy is surprised to hear at church one day when he’s having fun with some TV comedy, and what’s more, a member of their circle of friends, For Alan Gore. Alan is anything but a heartthrob, but he himself lives in an unhappy marriage to his neurotic, unstable wife Betty, so to Candy’s practical, straightforward question of whether Alan would be interested in a romantic relationship, he ultimately says yes.

But not anyway! There’s no question of some southern romance, a heartwarming romance between heroic lovers born to unfortunate constellations. That no one can hurt. In order to lose less time from the preacher’s lesson, Candy prepares a packed lunch for an arranged flight to a motel outside the city, where effective sex takes place, then a joint shower to wash away the smell of sex – for performance reasons – and finally she walks out and returns to her own life. The relationship is half-baked, but it begins, rises, brings joy, then sorrow, and finally ends – it hurts, it hurts, but everyone survives and life goes on. Suddenly someone can’t take it anymore. If the Hungarian audience doesn’t know the story from the outside, I won’t spoil who dies – aside from a few guesses, the series avoids revealing that in advance, even if the trailer says it right.


The Love and death Sticking well to the title, it focuses not only on the bloody crime at its center, but in this way it is a real three-in-one story: its seven episodes include a fraudulent love, a murder and a courtroom drama. . As the focus shifts, so do the personalities of the main characters, with Elizabeth Olson’s brilliant performance as the only consistent hero being Candy Montgomery. Melle plays boyfriend Alan Gore in the first third of the story Jesse Plemons Rows with similar finesse and then Betty Gore In his character Lily Rabe And as Candy’s husband Patrick Fugit Moving forward, primarily in the courtroom Tom Belfrey Get attention as Candy’s lawyer.

But no matter how good a supporting character is: the series belongs to Olsen. What she does is outrageous, she is at once innocent, a Stepford wife leaning towards mild sociopathy, a shy woman who hides her anguish deeply, a wounded beast, a child, a man torn to pieces, holding his pieces together beyond strength. We wouldn’t be surprised if Olsen’s performance earned her a standing ticket to every gala next awards season, with a minimal number of nominations, but even multiple awards wouldn’t be excessive.

Due to its relatively strict linearity and three stages, the series is structurally and atmospherically, and its effect extraordinary. In his style and representation, he avoids sensationalism and simplification. However, in the case of criminal cases, it is usually tempting to paint the five million shadowy reality in black and white. David E. Kelly On the other hand, he’s very much at home moving in the world of garden-town dramas like this one (a few years ago, memorably Big Little Lieskal said about the topic), he keeps his own and speaks briefly and minutely about specific events and the context in which they took place – be it church communities or family life in a garden city. This has a very startling effect on the viewer: we’re used to being clear about who’s good and who’s bad, who to root for and who to root against, and suddenly we can’t. Here everything is in its own quality, this is a terrible crime, in which the identity of the culprit is not a question, but it is not clear whether the culprit is guilty or not.


Plus, Kelly shows a quality of adult, mature, disillusioned love with a daring sensibility that you don’t see in a motion picture—indeed, the series is noticeably better than the part that deals with murder or investigation. : The depiction of the murder is naturalistic and stomach-turning, part of the court and the belfry American Psycho Although his charismatic butt head is reminiscent of his main character, Patrick Bateman, he doesn’t offer anything new, a role we’ve seen performed thousands of times by the American legal system. with that Love and Death Even if the series fails to give itself much time, it retains interest: it could have fit an episode or two less, and could not have been so much of a documentary, but the counter-finale is thrilling. It’s good that it turns out like this: a Love and DeathWe’ve got an example of how it’s possible to tell nuanced stories about gruesome criminal cases.

Watch Love and Death with seven episodes on HBO Max. 8/10

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