Hollywood, I Know This Much is True, and More!

I Know This Much is True

Caemeron: I Know This Much is True, the upcoming miniseries on HBO, is based on the book of the same name by Wally Lamb. I haven’t read that book. I was, however, fortunate enough to receive early access to the show, and I can hardly tell you how good I think it is.

Lamb has a writing credit, but this seems to be the baby of Derek Cianfrance, who is credited with writing and directing all six episodes. The main lead is Mark Ruffalo in two roles, as the twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey. And Ruffalo shines here. The two characters are so different I find myself at times forgetting it is the same actor playing both brothers. I truly believe these are two different people, even though they are being portrayed by the same man, and it’s not just that one of them has a beard.

The plot focuses Dominick as he struggles with having a schizophrenic twin brother and other aspects of his life. I’m not usually a huge fan of voice-over narration, but it works well in I Know This Much is True to give us a glimpse into Dominick’s inner life, and these monologues are well-written (as I’d expect they tend to be cribbed from the novel).

In a meaningful way, what makes I Know This Much is True great is not the plot, but the characters and the feel of the show. The acting is all top notch, as you’d expect from a glance at the cast: Kathryn Hahn, Juliette Lewis, Melissa Leo, Rosie O’Donnell, Archie Panjabi, Rob Huebel, Imogen Poots, John Procacchio…

Of course, the plot does matter, and the questions is raises around issues pertaining to mental illness, competence, autonomy, and the like are compelling and worth thinking about. I Know This Much is True forces us to think about some serious and difficult problems. It goes beyond the issues with Thomas as well, however, to provide a really rich presentation of what it is like to be Dominick.

I’m trying to avoid spoilers here, but I will be writing on each of episode of I Know This Much is True as the series progresses, so I encourage you to watch it each Sunday and check back for my analysis once you have.

I Know This Much is True premieres on Sunday May 10th on HBO at 9pm EDT.

Written by TV Obsessive

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