16 February 2016 | statuskuo
A Life Lived
You could watch this series along with "Terms Of Endearment" and get a really good dose of dysfunctional family dynamics. And learn something about growing old. And that we're not all that different. You can learn a lot from tough ol' broads. Or you can resent them. The one thing we know is, they will outlive their supposed time on Earth.
The titular character is played pitch perfect by Frances McDormand. Already an old soul when we first seen her in the Coen Brothers movies, she is the epitome of hard as rock stubborn New Englander. Educated by life experiences, her harsh reality is that tragedy has shaped her into a flawed diamond. Indestructible in her set ways, she lives with regret and unknowing to her (but every clear to us) projects her resentment towards the people who actually love her. Unfortunately, in her path is her kind hearted husband Henry Kitteridge (Richard Jenkins), in a stunningly sympathetic and patient man who reaches out to help lost young girls, but does so with the distancing manner of a father. There appears a sexual predator is a foot, but that isn't Henry's nature. He is the town pharmacist who we can see may have had bigger dreams in life, but is content to fulfill his duties to the community. He's seen first as a step rug, then a sounding board, but finally
a man. All the parts of which make up a marriage in a small town community dynamic. We could've/would've/should've is pushed so far into the backburner as to cause conflict. And the developments of our youth are shaped by the overwhelming need of parents to control. You will reap what you sow. There wasn't a false moment in this mini-series. It's often painful, a lot of humor, bittersweet moments, tragedy and a lot of moments as I watched the outcome of their history turn to foreshadowed misery that I mutter "Damn
that sucks that happened." Not out of pity, but that it is a universal storyline that we all get sickened by.
There are a lot of moments of grimness. In particular, the ease of resolution and mental issues. Even as late as my own generation, mental illness was seen as an embarrassment. People were considered spazzes if they were hyperactive. Or if their parent had drug addiction or drinking problems, they'd be ignored. The kids tend to shrug that off. That's the issue though. Cause life will give us obstacles in the form of relatives or spawn. We are owed nothing, but seem to carry on this notion we're suppose to be living someone else's life. We suppress our needs, if we genuinely care about people. Lost are the times when we hold back, now is the time when people often give up too soon. Is Olive's decision to power through life unhappy the right course for you? Probably not. But it's something to be admired. This mini-series is amazing.