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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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I started watching 'Top of the Lake' because I am a fan of Elizabeth Moss. Her role in this film is terrific, in fact it s so good, she should be nominated for an Emmy. From the first confusing episode to the day, I was hooked! This is one of the better mini-series I have seen,

'Top of the Lake ' is a seven-hour miniseries from filmmaker Jane Campion. Elisabeth Moss is a troubled Sydney cop investigating the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old in her small New Zealand hometown. This is a crime series concerned with heartbreak. Moss's detective Robin Griffin is investigating the disappearance of Tui. Her father is Matt Mitcham, played by Peter Mullan, a Scotsman introduced as a villain. He is a drug taker, maker and rounder and owns the town.

There's a lake where the mountains should be, and green, green grass. Everything is topsy-turvy: An unborn baby is called a "time bomb," a gentle elder-care companion puts his fist through a wall. And around the investigation is a group of scarred women camped out on land called Paradise. Holly Hunter's GJ, gives advice, sips soup and drops truth bombs.

This is a police procedural like no other. The only ethical investigator, it seems is Elizabeth Moss's character. All is not what it seems, and the finale will leave you surprised.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 05-27-13
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on 2 May 2014
The setting is stunning, but behind the beauty of the scenery, dark things are going on. Very gripping right from the start and the female detective is great - one wonders what her interest in the missing young girl is all about, and as the story unfolds, the viewer is in for some shocks. Edge of your chair stuff, but in a quiet, subtle sort of way.
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on 17 August 2017
Tried the first episode of this based on reviews but won't be watching any more. None of the characters are believable let alone likeable and while I'm a fan of slow-paced drama, I do expect there to be something resembling a plot emerging by the end of the first episode even if it takes some twists and turns later. I won't watch any more despite it being on FTA TV here in the UK, I definitely wouldn't pay for it.
Photography was really good by the way, if that alone is enough for you.
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on 9 December 2013
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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on 5 December 2015
Reasonably good story, stretched out to include gratuitous sex scenes and the introduction of a group of people who seem to add absolutely nothing to the plot. Not worth buying, but if you have a chance to watch it, just watch the first and last show - most of the stuff in between is padding.
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on 2 April 2014
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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on 19 April 2014
Believable plot, with lots of twists and turns. Kept you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next twist.
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on 8 October 2013
New Zealand screenwriter, producer and director Jane Campion and Australian television and film director Garth Davis` television mini-series in six episodes which was written by Jane Campion and Australian screenwriter and director Gerard Lee, premiered in the Premieres section at the 29th Sundance Film Festival in 2013, was screened in the Berlinale Special section at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in 2013, was shot on location in New Zealand and is a UK-Australia-USA co-production which was produced by Australian producer Philippa Campbell. It tells the story about a 30-year-old detective from Australia, specialized in handling sexual assault cases, named Robin Griffin who shortly after having returned to her home place called Laketop in New Zealand to be with her mother named Jude whom is living with her boyfriend named Turangi, is contacted by child services regarding a local twelve-year-old girl named Tui Angel Mitcham.

Distinctly and subtly directed by New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion and Australian filmmaker Garth Davis, this finely paced fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from the main character`s point of view, draws a stately and memorable portrayal of a woman whom whilst considering whether or not she should marry her fiancée named Steve becomes personally involved in a criminal case regarding a child whom she empathizes with on a much deeper level than her collaborators, a woman named GJ who with a group of other women who are searching for love and enlightenment settles nearby a lake after having bought a piece of property called Paradise from a real estate agent named Bob Platt, a native and former friend of Robin named Johnno Mitcham, a silent student named Jaime who collects bones and lives with his mother named Simone, a talented guitarist named Melissa, a landowner and dog breeder named Matt Mitcham who lives with his two adult sons named Luke and Mark, a detective sergeant named Al Parker and a mythological place with many hidden secrets. While notable for its distinct, naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions, masterful cinematography by cinematographer Adam Arkapaw, reverent production design by production designer Fiona Crombie, costume design by New Zealand costume designer Emily Seresin and poignant choice of location and use of sound, colors and light, this character-driven and narrative-driven story depicts an in-depth and heartrending study of character and contains a great and timely score by Australian composer Mark Bradshaw.

This conversational, literary, at times humerous and romantic drama which is set in a town in New Zealand in the 21st century and where a daughter disappears from her home after learning from an ultrasound test that she is pregnant and the woman who thinks she is a victim of statutory rape only has the name "No one" to go after, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, subtle continuity, variegated characters, distinct atmosphere, use of music, interrelated stories, incisive examination of its central themes and the involving and commendable acting performances by American actress Elisabeth Moss, Australian actor David Wenham, Scottish actor Peter Mullan, American actress Holly Hunter, Australian actor Thomas M. Wright, New Zealand actress Robyn Malcolm, Australian actress Mirrah Foulkes and actress Jacqueline Joe in her debut feature film role. A gracefully humane, cinematographic and majestic mystery.
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on 26 August 2015
Not as good as I had hoped, but an interesting watch. Lots of fantastic scenery shots, I was drawn into the story-line of the missing child and was interested to see what happened to her. A few to many larger than life characters, but it is a TV drama, not a documentary. I liked that it was character driven rather than lots of chases and shootings. A good effort at what I call novelistic TV drama. Glad I watched it, and I enjoyed it,but wouldn't watch it again. One to pass onto friends or the charity shop after watching to put copies into circulation.
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on 1 August 2017
Excellent first series although a little difficult to follow in places. I missed this the first time round and as I wish to watch Seriese 2 on BBC I thought i had better "get up to speed". Wonderful scenery
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