CAUSEWAY (Apple TV)
Jennifer Lawrence is certifiably a grand actor; her skill reverberates and defines to perfection her every characterization: “Ree Dolly” (“Winter’s Bone”), “Katniss Everdeen” (“The Hunger Games”, Trilogy), “Tiffany” (“Silver Linings Playbook”), the list exponentially expands as she advances to her pinnacle. In tandem with director Lila Neugebauer, Lawrence imbues recovering soldier “Lindsay” (wounded in an explosion in Afghanistan) with soulful integrity; glamourless, traumatized; striving for normalcy at her home in New Orleans, she meets and befriends “James” (grippingly terrific Brian Tyree Henry) an auto mechanic, a solitary man in need of companionship; their relationship and its development constitutes the spine of “Causeway”. Lacking electricity, hiding beneath its banality is a profound insight into PTSD and its coping strategies.
THE CALLING (PEACOCK)
Rarely, perhaps never, will you meet a more unconventional protagonist; “Avraham Avraham”, “Avi” an Orthodox Jewish New York City detective; recites the traditional Kaddish over dead victims; intuitively he woos suspects to confess; Jeff Wilbusch is messianic in the role, with a voice tempered with intimacy, hypnotic in tone, capable of luring the ugliest secrets from unsuspecting perpetrators; his genuine spirituality is tempered with redolent reality.
Created by David E. Kelly (“The Lincoln Lawyer”, “Big Little Lies”, “Boston Lawyer”) based the series on author D. A. Mishani’s book “The Missing File”; the first three episodes are pungently powerful, but its ebullience wanes as the scenario progresses, but not enough to cauterize its appeal.
THREE & ½ STARS!!!