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809 Ratings

Top of the Lake

Directed by Jane Campion, Garth Davis
New Zealand, Australia, 2013
Crime, Drama, Mystery


A 12-year-old girl stands chest deep in a frozen lake. She is five months pregnant, and won’t say who the father is. Then she disappears. So begins a haunting mystery that consumes a community.

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Top of the Lake Directed by Jane Campion, Garth Davis

Awards & Festivals

BAFTA Awards

2014 | 2 nominations including: Best Director Fiction (Television)

Screen Actors Guild Awards

2014 | 2 nominations including: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Golden Globes (USA)

2014 | Winner: Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

2014 | Nominee: Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

It’s not quite auteurist TV a la Twin Peaks, so it doesn’t fill that (rumbling) void — Campion directed most but not all of it. So we’ve just had two episodes directed by Garth Davis. It’s all beautifully photographed by Adam Arkapaw, reminding me of the first True Detective in its landscape work. But you do notice the difference when Campion’s not at the tiller. The shots cut together less fluidly, the changes in shot size are less intelligible.
September 27, 2017
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Mullan’s performance channels incredible sensitivity in this moment, letting the audience in to feel his sadness for his lost daughter, but not letting viewers deep enough to truly understand why. Images of his self-flagellation and brutal retaliation showcase his dangerous instability, and only Sam Peckinpah has ever come close to capturing the dangers and insecurities of masculinity as well as Campion on screen. Both position the force of masculinity as incredibly alluring but inherently toxic.
June 30, 2016
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Top of the Lake is far warier [than Happey Valley and The Fall] of the authority of institutions, suggesting that Griffin and Tui are best off depending on themselves. As a result, of the three shows it best reflects contemporary feminist critiques of the inherent paternalism of law enforcement and the deployment of the police against marginalized communities and those who resist the establishment.
April 20, 2015
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