With skepticism, I ventured viewing “The Undoing”, thinking it was a glorified “soap” for the Covidly bored spectator; gleefully, my cynicism was vanquished at the conclusion of the first episode and kept me on tenterhooks for its entirety; primarily, because of the unprecedented performance by Hugh Grant as “Dr. Jonathan Sachs”, wallowing in the role of an accused murderer, he stuns in every scene; equally dazzling is Nicole Kidman as “Dr. Grace Fraser”, Jonathan’s steadfast, psychiatrist, alluring wife; their yin and yang relationship was categorically brilliant under the direction of Suzanne Bier. Based on the 2014 novel “You Should Have Known” by Jean Hanff Korelitz (I had not read), its phenomenality lies in discerning one’s, regardless of intellectual adroitness, power to detect the “shadow” lurking deviously behind the “light”.
Despite the negativity swirling around this production of Ron Howard’s adaptation of J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” the film saturates viewers with the authenticity and legitimacy of the performances: Gabriel Basso’s sensitive, diplomatic depiction of J.D. captures the angst of a man who has outdistanced his family’s expectations and the depth of his loyalty; Amy Adams, the epitome of a method actor, is astounding as J. D.’s rattled, addictive, abusive mother, Bev; Glenn Close’s keen perspicacity is blinding as Mawmaw, J.D.’s source of accomplishment, a grandmother, not to be given short shrift, as do I, to critics defaming its apolitical infusion. Truth resonates profoundly around a realistic, heartfelt tale of a man, despite his environment and lineage, rises to the sublime.
THREE & ½ STARS!!!