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Kate Winslet in “Mare of Easttown”

Maren Haffke in conversation with Max Oppel

Scene from
As if the Viennese-born Christoph Waltz was shooting for Siegerland Platt: The British Kate Winslet amazes with her language skills in “Mare of Easttown”. (HBO)

“Mare of Easttown” with Kate Winslet tells a conventional crime story and is still a great series, says critic Maren Haffke. If you look at the original material, you can hear the British woman imitating a complex US dialect.

In the series “Mare of Easttown”, Kate Winslet is a policewoman who is supposed to solve a murder case in Easttown, a small town in the US state of Pennsylvania: the body of a teenage girl is found in a river. The seven-part HBO production, which will air on Sky Atlantic HD from May 21, sounds like a pretty conventional crime series at first – if it weren’t for the glamor of Oscar winner Kate Winslet.

“Mare of Easttown is one of those atmospheric small-town crime series in which everything always looks foggy and damp,” says critic Maren Haffke. Nevertheless, the series is something special because she understood the familiar, the generic about it and knew how to use it to tell something very special.

It is clear to the audience that Easttown is not playing in foggy England or foggy Scandinavia, but in the foggy USA of the present: namely in a place where many people have no health insurance and where power outages and opioid addiction are known.

An Oscar winner among anorak wearers

The plot is set in the working-class milieu: “Everyone always wears flannel shirts and anoraks, the characters are tired and proud and generally unimpressed,” says Haffke: They are used to tragedies, their expectations from experience are low.

Mare, the investigator played by Kate Winslet, grew up in Easttown. The British woman is “really particularly good in this role: stoic, pragmatic, very strong, but clearly highly traumatized”. The depiction is unglamorous: “We see you smoking an e-cigarette in front of dilapidated houses with no make-up, with outgrown bleaching,” reports the critic.

Of course, you don’t forget for a second that it is the famous Oscar winner Kate Winslet. The fact that the actress is exceptionally well disguised is actually good for the series, says Haffke: Because she draws lightness and humor from it.

Well told, moving, exciting and also funny

The critic recommends watching the series in the original (with subtitles): As a British woman, Winslet was faced with the challenge of speaking in a very succinct US dialect that is considered extraordinarily difficult to imitate.

“From a German-speaking perspective, the equivalent would perhaps be if Christoph Waltz, two-time Oscar winner from Austria, announced that he would next like to shoot a dark crime series on Siegerland Platt.”

Critics from Philadelphia attested to Winslet that the imitation of local slang was at least a noble attempt. The actress was not embarrassed, says Haffke.

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In her opinion, “Mare of Easttown” is definitely worth seeing. The series is well told, moving, very funny in places and, above all, exciting.




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