‘The Staircase‘ is an HBO Max eight-part miniseries created by Antonio Campos. The show is based on the case of Michael Peterson who was accused of killing his wife Kathleen by pushing her down the stairs in their Durham, Virginia home.
Author and newspaper columnist Michael Peterson (Colin Firth) makes a desperate emergency call where he claims to find his wife Kathleen (Toni Collette) at the bottom of the stairs of their home. DA Jim Hardin (Cullen Moss), the target of some of Peterson’s columns, believes it was murder. Peterson hires defense attorney David Rudolf (Michael Stuhlbarg) to defend him. His children Clayton (Dane DeHaan), Todd (Patrick Schwarzenegger), Margaret (Sophie Turner), and Martha (Odessa Young) stand by him, but Kathleen’s daughter Caitlin (Olivia DeJonge) turns on him. With DA Hardin and Assistant DA Freda Black (Parker Posey) targeting, Peterson gets an opportunity when a group of filmmakers suggests a documentary.
I have my own opinions on this case. I will keep them to myself and focus on the miniseries itself.
Colin Firth and Toni Collette are brilliant. Yes, the rest of the cast is good, but their performances were top-notch. Both of them were excellent and I enjoyed their performances as Michael and Kathleen respectively. They were brilliant and I applaud their skills in acting.
Originally, Harrison Ford was supposed to play Michael Peterson, but he had to pass on the role. As much as I admire Ford as an actor, I think Colin Firth was the better pick. He was perfect for the role and I think he nailed it.
As for the overall show, you are pulled in. Besides the death of Kathleen, you are pulled into the drama of the family before and after. Essentially, it follows three timelines. The first is the death and the fallout. The second is the events leading up to Kathleen’s death. Finally, the events leading up to Michael’s plea deal for his freedom. I will admit, at times, I got caught up in the weeds of each timeline, but I was still hooked.
With this in mind, it was well-developed. They tell the story of Michael’s trial while focusing on Kathleen as the victim. They managed to balance that act and I was here for it. It was very good and I think it will bring in some accolades, especially for the cast.
Check out the trailer below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language, Graphic violence, Sexual discussions including nudity
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