Top of the Lake [DVD]

A 12 year old girl, walks chest deep into the freezing waters of a South Island lake in New Zealand. She is five months pregnant and won’t say who the father is. Then she disappears. Robin Griffin is a gutsy but inexperienced detective called in to investigate. But as Robin becomes more and more obsessed with the search for Tui, she slowly begins to realise that finding Tui is tantamount to finding herself – a self she has kept well hidden.

Set against one of the most amazing and untouched landscapes left on the planet, Top of the Lake is a powerful and haunting story about our search for happiness where the dream of paradise attracts it dark twin, the fall. Starring: Elizabeth Moss, Holy Hunter and Peter Mullan Written and Directed by Jane Campion.

Top Of The Lake – Episode 3

BBC Two on 27 July at 9.10pm to 10.10pm

Elisabeth Moss (pic: BBC/See Saw Films/Parisa Taghizadeh)The case seems to be getting away from Robin. The girl is still missing and the community is beginning to buckle under the weight of suspicion.

Under pressure herself, Robin rekindles a relationship with an old flame, Johnno Mitcham, the older son of the Mitcham clan. But inviting her past back into her life may have been a mistake: old wounds are still raw and anger explodes into violence.

Robin Griffin is played by Elisabeth Moss, Al Parker by David Wenham, Matt Mitcham by Peter Mullan, GJ by Holly Hunter and Johnno by Thomas M Wright.

Top Of The Lake – Episode 1

Saturday 13 July | 9.10-10.10pm | BBC TWO
Tom Wright, Elisabeth Moss, David Wenham (credit BBC/See Saw Films/Parisa Taghizadeh)

The South Island, New Zealand: a twelve-year-old girl walks into the waters of an alpine lake. Saved before she freezes or drowns, she is found to be pregnant. The police are called. The girl disappears.


Detective Robin Griffin, a child-protection specialist, recently returned to the area to care for her sick mother, is pulled in by the local police force to help with the case. The whole community is under a cloud. Chief suspect is Matt Mitcham, the girl’s father, who is in dispute with a Women’s Camp over a piece of land called Paradise. Robin’s investigation will send shockwaves through the town and dig up a personal history she had hoped to keep buried.

Robin Griffin is played by Elisabeth Moss, Al Parker by David Wenham, Matt Mitcham by Peter Mullan, GJ by Holly Hunter and Johnno by Thomas M Wright.

Top of the Lake on BBC Two

Top Of The Lake

Starring SAG-winner and four-time Emmy nominated actress Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, On The Road), Holly Hunter, Best Actress Academy Award winner for her performance in Campion’s The Piano, BAFTA  nominee Peter Mullan (War Horse, Trainspotting), AFI Award winning actor David Wenham (The Lord Of The Rings, Australia) and Thomas M Wright (Balibo) the six-part drama series is Campion’s first television production in over 20 years and reunites Campion and Hunter in New Zealand for the first time since The Piano.

Genevieve Lemon (Sweetie), Robyn Nevin – doyenne of Australian Theatre, Robyn Malcolm (Outrageous Fortune, Rake), Jay Ryan (Offspring, Terra Nova) Kip Chapman (The Cult) and Madeleine Sami (Super City) are among a host of Australian and New Zealand talent to feature in the production.

Top Of The Lake is an original drama for BBC Two, made by See-Saw Films and co-produced with UKTV in New Zealand and Australia and Sundance Channel in the United States.

The series is Continue reading ‘Top of the Lake on BBC Two’ »

Jane Campion (writer and director) on Top Of The Lake

Thomas M Wright and Elisabeth Moss (pic: BBC/See Saw Films/Parisa Taghizadeh)

The soaring mountains, deep lakes and quiet mossy forests of the remote South Island of New Zealand are as much part of the story as any of the characters that populate Top Of The Lake. In this unique mystery, a modern detective story involving murder, drugs and sex plays out against the timeless beauty and stillness of one of the last true wildernesses left on earth.

Native New Zealander Jane Campion has been inspired by the incredible landscape near the Routeburn Track which she discovered 15 years ago, to make a richly textured crime drama that explores the complexities and mysteries of life.

“I discovered that there was a real place called Paradise at the top of Diamond Lake, extraordinarily lovely, and that the people that had settled there had been dreamers,” explains Campion.

“But it was also Continue reading ‘Jane Campion (writer and director) on Top Of The Lake’ »

Elisabeth Moss is Robin Griffin

Elisabeth Moss (pic: BBC/See Saw Films/Parisa Taghizadeh)

What is Top Of The Lake about?

Top Of The Lake is about a detective who returns to her home town and gets involved in the case of a 12-year-old girl who is pregnant and then goes missing. It’s about her search for the girl but she also dives into the world of this town and its secrets and starts unearthing the story of a bunch of characters. It becomes a search for herself as she’s also diving into her own past that she’s been running away from. It’s a detective story, it’s a mystery, it has all these elements about it that are sort of tried and true. But what makes it different is it’s got the Jane Campion touch. So everything is just a lot darker, a lot stranger, a lot more complicated than that.

The lakes and the water in New Zealand here have this quality of becoming like glass on the top – impenetrable, smooth and so beautiful. But you don’t know what’s underneath. This story is about unearthing deep dark secrets and truth and the way that people cover those up. Whether it’s in yourself or in a family or in a community. It’s about finding what’s underneath the top of the lake, what’s in the depths.

Why did you want the role? Continue reading ‘Elisabeth Moss is Robin Griffin’ »

Holly Hunter is GJ

Holly Hunter (pic: BBC/See Saw Films/Parisa Taghizadeh)

Who is GJ?

GJ is hard to describe, it’s questioned as to whether she is a man or a woman and that androgyny was very interesting to me. GJ is a person who people seek answers from. She attracts people who are in need or sick and they follow her, whether she likes it or not, asking for help. GJ ran into a woman, Bunny, she is a seeker and she attaches herself with great hope to GJ. Bunny can fund a kind of retreat for herself – and one or two other people she thinks – so she asks GJ to participate. GJ doesn’t really want to, but she put her finger on the map and it was Paradise. Bunny has the funds to make whimsical actions like that take place, and that’s how the women’s camp came about.

I think there is something ironic for GJ about being in a place called Paradise with people who feel troubled by their lives. GJ doesn’t believe in enlightenment. And she doesn’t really believe that anybody can actually be helped. It’s kind of an oblique outlook and at the same time there is something really reassuring about it because it’s so unbelievably real. There is a surety about GJ and a lack of confusion and there is something really attractive about being around that.

What does the women’s camp contribute to the story? Continue reading ‘Holly Hunter is GJ’ »