The Reel Review

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Abandoned by her family as a young child, a young woman living alone in the 1960s North Carolina marshlands finds herself romantically drawn to two young men from the nearby town. When one is found dead, she becomes the prime suspect in this coming-of-age romantic drama and crime mystery starring Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People). Where the Crawdads Sing is based on author Delia Owens’ best-selling 2018 novel.

Taylor John Smith and Daisy Edgar-Jones in Where the Crawdads Sing.

Remaining largely faithful to the book and set to a sumptuous backdrop dripping with Spanish moss, cicadas and wildlife, director Olivia Newman (First Match) crafts a poetic tale that is poignant, heartbreaking and filled with intrigue – all while capturing a fascinating slice of 1960s Americana.

Daisy Edgar-Jones in Where the Crawdads Sing.

Edgar-Jones is exceptional as Kya, the reclusive survivalist whose beauty and brains attracts the two local men, played by an impressively well-cast Taylor John Smith (Shadow in the Cloud, Sharp Objects) and Harris Dickinson (The King’s Man, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil). Also excellent – Sterling Macer Jr and Michael Hyatt (Four Good Days) as Jumpin’ and Mabel, the Black couple that runs the local store and becomes Kya’s surrogate parents. David Strathairn channels Southern lawyer cliché as her attorney.

Daisy Edgar-Jones in Where The Crawdads Sing.

Imagine To Kill a Mockingbird, The Notebook and Prince of Tides all bound together with a kaleidoscope of natural beauty and a stirring theme song from Taylor Swift. Where the Crawdads Sing is THAT good. Bring tissues.

REEL FACTS

• While the 2018 fiction novel tells the story from a third person point of view, the film adaptation for Where the Crawdads Sing is told from its protagonist Kya’s point of view.

“Where The Crawdads Sing” author Delia Owens.

• Author and wildlife conservationist Delia Owens has a cameo in the film, sitting in the front row of the courtroom behind Kya and her attorney when Chase’s mother is testifying on the stand.

• Daisy Edgar-Jones was nominated for a British Academy Television Award and a Golden Globe Award for her role as Marianne in the miniseries Normal People. Her other acting credits include 2022’s Fresh, the crime miniseries Under the Banner of Heaven, and the 2019 sci-fi miniseries War of the Worlds.

 

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