In 2006, author Gillian Flynn published her debut novel titled, “Sharp Objects.” It earned good reviews from critics and readers alike selling a bunch of copies nationwide. The book is about an alcoholic journalist named, Camille Parker who returns to her hometown to investigate a string of murders while confronting her mother and meeting her half-sister. 12 Years Later, HBO adapted the book into a mini-series starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson and one of my favorite actresses, Eliza Scanlen. Gillian herself served as an executive producer alongside Jason Blum. The late Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild, Big Little Lies) signed on to direct all episodes.
Sharp Objects aired on HBO in 2018. (same year Mac Miller’s album Swimming came out during his lifetime) It received positive reviews from critics and viewers alike. Sharp Objects became an eligible nominee at The Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild & Primetime Emmys. Patrcia Clarkson won a globe for “Best Supporting Actress In A Series, Mini-Series Or Television Film.”
Amy Adams will reprise her role as Giselle in the upcoming sequel to “Enchanted” known as “Disenchanted.” Eliza Scanlen will portray a young Eleanor Roosevelt on Showtime’s “The First Lady” with Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning (also one of my favorite actresses) & Lily Rabe. I wanted to share my thoughts on Sharp Objects to prepare for Amy & Eliza’s aforementioned projects and honor Jean-Marc’s memory.
Today’s review contains no SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the book or watched the mini-series, feel free to check out my non-spoiler article.
Positive & Negative Elements
Positive: Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Eliza Scanlen & Sophia Lillis all did a fantastic job for their respective performances. Amy also served as an executive producer.
Jean-Marc Vallée & Marti Noxon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Fright Night) both did a decent job mapping out all eight episodes. Making sure everything is according to plan. They both served as executive producers alongside Gillian Flynn & Jason Blum.
Gillian herself wrote some episodes.
Prosthetic Makeup was applied on Amy’s skin making it look like she carved her skin with words.
Primary Themes are Alcoholism, Favoritism, Abuse, Loss & Trauma. Each theme is handled maturely.
Flashbacks often show us Camille’s troubled past.
An episode’s title is named after a word carved on Camille’s skin.
Camille often listens to Led Zeppelin.
Amma’s name is an anagram for “Mama.”
A dollhouse plays an important part. Plus, a woman in white occasionally pops up.
Arc Words are “Don’t Tell Mama.”
If you’re a fan of “Euphoria” like me, Syndey Sweeney (Cassie Howard) plays Camille’s roommate at a rehabilitation clinic.
If you have own Sharp Objects on DVD/Blu-Ray or an HBO Max account, The Cast & Crew share their thoughts on the story.
Upon watching The Ending on my first viewing, I gasped. On my second viewing, I rewatched all episodes for subtle hints foreshadowing certain plot points.
Negative: Cinematography often suffers from Shaky Cam.
Product Placement (Pee Pee for short) featuring brands such as Apple, Butterfinger, Kit-Kat, Slim Jim, Budweiser, Pringles, Coca-Cola, Sprite, M&Ms, Powerade, Milky Way, Snickers & Almond Joy.
Episode 1 – Vanish
Invisible: First episode introduces us viewers to Camille.
Camille returns to her hometown. As she seeks answers, Camille reunites with her mother and meets her half-sister Amma.
Visible: Camera is occasionally shaky.
Episode 2 – Dirt
Clean: Camille looks for clues of the most recent victim while attending a funeral.
The Killer’s M.O. is brought up.
A woman in white pops up.
Filthy: Camera is often shaky.
Episode 3 – Fix
Repaired: Camille befriends a girl named, Alice.
Camille interviews local citizens.
A shocking moment happened. I can’t tell you about it
Damaged: Camera is shaky yet again.
Episode 4 – Ripe
Right: Amma revisits an abandoned location.
Amma and her friends rehearse for a play.
Wrong: Is it so hard to film with a camera? Who’s in charge of filming, Woody Woodpecker on Red Bull?
Episode 5 – Closer
True: Camille attends a Civil War themed party.
Amma and her friends performs a song at the party.
Camille is given a hurtful conservation from her mother.
False: Ugh! Shaky Cam!
Episode 6 – Cherry
Tasty: A piece of crucial evidence is found.
Camille & Amma spend time with each other.
Eliza Scanlen wears a bikini. I’m giving her an Extra Point for making me drool. Unlike Louis C.K. I always leave my damn pants on.
Disgusting: Once again Shaky Cam happened.
Episode 7 – Falling
Up: After a wild night, Amma feels sick.
Camille has a personal setback.
Down: More Shaky Cam? How many times do I have to bring up Shaky Cam?
Episode 8 – Milk
Success: Final episode ties up loose ends.
A big reveal changes everything. I won’t give away, you’re gonna have to see for yourself. If you already read the book or watched all episodes, you probably know why. To quote M. Night Shyamalan in “Robot Chicken,” “What A Twist!”
Somebody is apprehended.
A Mid-Credits Scene & Post-Credits Scene makes absolute sense.
Failure: That’s the last time I mentioned Shaky Cam!
The Final Verdict: B, FOR BRILLiANT!
Sharp Objects is a good mini-series that managed to keep me invested from start to finish. If you haven’t got a chance to caught up, go ahead and read the book or view all episodes.
R.I.P. Jean-Marc Vallée, your legacy will never be forgotten.