Top of the Lake: China Girl (2017)

Messier, darker, stranger than season one. Less concise and coherent but full of unforgettable images, askew characterisation and observations.

Campion really leans into her instincts as sardonic dreamweaver this time around. There are a bunch of grotesque leaps in narrative logic that nevertheless enhance the overall feeling of being constantly caught off guard. The attack in episode three is absurd, sure, but it doesn’t make it any less nightmarish and is emotionally in line with Robin’s psyche.

I totally get why many weren’t as on board with this but I thought it was a troubling and beautiful ode to motherhood in all its forms. This is also probably my favourite Elisabeth Moss performance. I love when Campion indulges in the more eccentric fringes of her imagination. Hopefully in time people will pull an In the Cut and come around on this maddening piece of femme cine-poetry. China Girl > Top of the Lake. SORRY.

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