If last week was a showcase for Kidman’s damaged, conflicted Celeste, this week’s episode provides standout moments for Witherspoon’s Madeline. The actress helped get this project off the ground, and her passion for the story and character are absolutely clear in her performance. Like Kidman — like all of them really — Witherspoon’s public persona is closely tied with the characters she’s known for portraying: Reese’s spitfire hurricanes, Dern’s adorably brittle alien furies, Kidman’s tragic mystery who can’t possibly be as soft or as hard as she seems, and hot mess Shailene Woodley just trying to live her life.

Read more of my thoughts on Big Little Lies: Living the Dream

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