There’s a whole lot going on in “Landscapers,” which sets a actual-existence double-murder scenario in England versus a backdrop of whimsy and comedy equally mild and dim offset by fantasy sequences.
If that seems surreal, it is — but “Landscapers,” starring Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) and David Thewlis (“Fargo) pulls it off, and then some.
The four-part HBO sequence is dependent on partner-and-wife Susan and Chris Edwards (Colman and Thewlis) who, in 2014, ended up sentenced to 25 years in jail for killing Susan’s mom and dad in 1998 and burying them in their yard backyard garden in Nottingham. There is much additional to the tale, of system — including dim relatives secrets and shadows of question cast during — and writer Ed Sinclair and director Will Sharpe do an superb occupation telling the story through intelligent narrative elements, aided by the normally-trusted Colman and Thewlis.
The sequence opens in Paris in 2013, where Susan and Chris are now living and hoping to get by on much more than their love for every single other. It’s difficult Susan is emotionally fragile and is both equally an inveterate motion picture buff and enormous supporter of Gary Cooper (“High Noon” winds its way via the narrative in unique sorts) and Gerard Depardieu (it’s challenging). She speaks fluent French and her thoughts are often relayed to us as if they are scenes from a black-and-white movie.
Chris, in the meantime, has not learned French and is struggling to locate a career. When he phone calls his stepmother Tabitha back again in England to borrow some revenue, he spills a big “secret” and swears her to silence — but she notifies the Nottingham law enforcement, who unearth the bodies of Susan’s mother and father, William and Patricia Wycherley, buried at the rear of their house. A murder investigation is introduced and Susan and Chris return to the British isles after Chris writes two “polite” e-mails to the police to encounter the new music, repeating their mantra to just about every other: “Stick to the strategy.” They really do not and, eventually, awful household techniques emerge and the math just does not insert up as we discover a lot more about Susan’s romantic relationship with her moms and dads — and with Chris.
“Landscapers” has substantially to propose it, not only for its producing and directing but for the subtle shading Colman and Thewlis lend to Susan and Chris, who toggle between misguided romanticism, their loyalty to each other and their shared knowledge of what definitely transpired that working day in 1998, offset by, among the other narrative quirks, characters looking through e-mails specifically to the digital camera and scenes-within-scenes that ping-pong among “real” and “artificial” locales to underscore the series’ cinematic motif and Susan’s Hollywood obsession.
Test it out.