Top of the Lake 2013

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Jane Campion's darkly gritty six-part crime series follows a police detective as she investigates the disappearance of a young girl in the remote New Zealand township of Lakeside, where she used to live. When 12-year-old Tui (Jacqueline Joe), the daughter of vicious local drug lord Matt Mitcham (Peter Mullan), is found to be pregnant, her unwillingness to name the father is followed by her sudden disappearance. Whilst visiting her dying mother (Robyn Nevin), Sydney-based detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) finds herself drawn into the case, but as her investigations reveal more about the dysfunctional community she once fled, she uncovers a simmering, underlying brutality, with the menacing presence of Mitcham at its core.

Starring:
Holly Hunter, Benjamin Farry
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Top of the Lake - Season 1

Product Details

Discs
  • Top of the Lake - Disc 1 ages_15_and_over
  • Top of the Lake - Disc 2 ages_15_and_over
Runtime 5 hours 42 minutes
Starring Holly Hunter, Benjamin Farry, Matt Whelan, Jay Ryan, Sarah Valentine, Robyn Nevin, Michelle Ang, Cohen Holloway, Jacqueline Joe, Elisabeth Moss, Peter Mullan, Mirrah Foulkes, Thomas M. Wright
Director Jane Campion
Genres Drama
Studio 2 ENTERTAIN
Rental release 19 August 2013
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 5 hours 42 minutes
Starring Holly Hunter, Benjamin Farry, Matt Whelan, Jay Ryan, Sarah Valentine, Robyn Nevin, Michelle Ang, Cohen Holloway, Jacqueline Joe, Elisabeth Moss, Peter Mullan, Mirrah Foulkes, Thomas M. Wright
Director Jane Campion
Genres Drama
Studio 2 ENTERTAIN
Rental release 19 August 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Denise Kong on 11 Aug 2013
Format: DVD
This series showcases some superb writing and acting. There isn't much on TV that is as well thought out and subtle as this. It's not only a personal drama, or a police story, or a mystery, or a thriller, but it contains strong elements of all of these. For me this is a bonus but if you are only looking for one of these maybe this is not the box set for you.

There are three main strands of plot: the mystery involving the disappearance of pregnant 12 year old Tui, the personal life of detective Robin Griffin (Elizabeth Moss), and the social "shape" and history of the small town in New Zealand, which includes some very insular, inward looking locals and a community of self-healing women, led by "guru" GJ (Holly Hunter).

I like the way almost all the main characters have ambiguity to them. Lead police office Al colludes with the locals, but has his own beliefs in justice. Robin's childhood sweetheart Johnno struggles with what he sees as his own weaknesses, even as he is blind to the incredible escape he has made from the forces that have dragged down the rest of his family. Even the "good" heroine Robin succumbs unwisely to anger, but this is done in such a way that you totally understand the way her frustrations have got the better of her.

If you let it, the interaction between the characters will really move you. There are uplifting moments where characters realise things about themselves and act on these revelations. There are tension moments full of threat. And although there are occasional "thrill" moments, involving chases, if that's all you are looking for, well, it's not just about that. It's the combination of these things together that makes this so special.

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By stoveboy78 on 19 Aug 2013
Format: DVD
This is a fantastic program that is both believable and very frightening. The cast all play well and I think the Elizabeth Moss from mad men has done well to break away from any kind of type casting and gone for a completely different and complicated character role. She is clearly a tremendous actress and Im sure we will she much much more of her. It is hard to write about this without spoiling it. it is not an easy ride by any stretch. But makes for great viewing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Bengtsson on 9 Dec 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I gave it top rating based on my personal taste for this unusual and exotic crime drama. Not just the exotic and revealing look at the Southern Lakes District of New Zealand, but to get this unusual take on life. For those who live a sheltered life, I doubt this series is for you. On the other hand, the drama is for those with open minds and a desire for the out of the ordinary. Top of The Lake is best watched with subtitles on. Not just because of the NZ accent, which I can clearly understand, but the sound track does seem a bit weak and at times hard to follow. That is the only negative I found in the series.
The drama unfolds on many layers, and many minor mysteries that are exposed do not get resolved, you are always left wondering what some relationships really are. This series is also very centered on women's experience of the backwoods isolated man's world of rural South Island New Zealand. The struggle of the locals to make a living drives much of the underlying crime. The ability of isolated police districts to become corrupt and to run to their own tune is also exposed.
Not to give anything away, just accept that people are a bit rough on the edges in this series, and let the mysteries unfold while much social commentary is worked into the episodes.
If you have an open mind and enjoy seeing life from different and rare angles, this series meets that standard to perfection. Best to watch it twice and absorb ALL the little sub plots.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By wolfers TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Aug 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A very tense thriller with interlinking backstories set in the gorgeous and beautifully shot New Zealand landscape, which is a character in itself.Robin is a detective who is trying to find a pregnant young girl(Tui), and in the process finding her past( I won't reveal it) interlinked with current events.This small, isolated community is ruled and governed by Peter Mullen(always good to watch),and the hidden but all knowing shenanigans reveal a deeply disturbing insular community, seemingly powerless to do anything.
This series is a slow burner that draws you in to the characters, from the almost enigmatic G.J(Holly Hunter-a hippy like mystic), to Robins disturbing past, to the dangerous and frightening events in the life of the innocent Tui, and indeed the children of the community caught up in a circle of abuse.
You guess after about 3 episodes who the real mover and shaker is but this does not stop you watching this compulsive noir ish police procedural drama.Well written, acted and gorgeously filmed show really delivers.
A good 50 min bonus Doc on the writing and development of the show as well as a couple of mini interviews make this a really nice package, and certainly does not warrant the negative reviews some seem to be giving it.
Some disturbing scenes and nudity feature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cobus Tolken on 2 April 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a really original story with amazing acting and beautiful cinematography, by the director of "The Piano". I would strongly recommend it to anybody that enjoys good acting and non-stereotype characters. Elisabeth Moss from "Mad Men" surpasses herself. I was really very impressed and glad that I took a chance on this series! Don't hesitate...
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