Elena Richardson (Reese Witherspoon) sits wrapped in a blanket in the car, her eyes staring into space. The magnificent villa, in which the blonde journalist lives with her husband and four children, burns in the background. She had just been told it was arson. “Little Fires Everywhere”, so there were small fires everywhere. Who set fire to their house?
“Little Fires Everywhere” auf Amazon Prime
The eight-part series begins with this question and is exciting from the first minute. But the novel adaptation is much more than just a classic “whodunit”, a search for a perpetrator. “Little Fires Everywhere” was set in the idyllic suburb of Shaker Heights in the US state of Ohio in the 1990s. The small place seems perfect, far too perfect. Its inhabitants are also believed to be infallible.
Like the Richardsons, a prototype American flagship family. Tough Elena writes for the local newspaper, her husband Bill is a partner in a law firm. Her son Trip is a football player and daughter Lexy is a model student with the goal of getting to the Yale elite university. Son Moody is sensitive and calm. The only one who dances out of line is the rebellious and usually bad-tempered Izzy.
Reese Witherspoon plays the role perfectly
Richardson’s life changed suddenly when the family rented their second home to artist Mia and her daughter Pearl (Lexi Underwood). Mia (played by Kerry Washington) is very different from the other mothers in the suburbs, especially Elena. And so it doesn’t take long for the polite facade to crumble between the two. Elena doesn’t trust the newest Shaker Heights resident, wants to find out the dark secret of her past by all means. Mia, on the other hand, wants one thing above all: to be left alone by stubborn Elena and to keep her secret.
Driven by racist prejudice and resentment, the conflict between the two begins to smolder – until it escalates completely at some point.
The book of the same name was written by Celeste Ng. Just like Ng’s other novel, “Big Little Lies”, “Little Fires Everywhere” not only captivates with an exciting story, but above all with enormously complex characters. The topics of racism, class differences and teenage dramas are told in such a complex and nuanced way as rarely. The role of the seemingly perfect power mother, who wants to have everything under control, is tailor-made for Reese Witherspoon. The Oscar winner already demonstrated in “Big Little Lies” how well she can embody the role.
Designed by women
One may stamp the two heroines early: one is the infallible model mom who finished the break sandwiches at seven in the morning and packed them, the other the wild artist, single parent, not following any rule. But there is more behind Elena and Mia. They are the complex characters you want in Hollywood in the 21st century. The storytelling was also made possible by Reese Witherspoon’s production company “Hello Sunshine”, which is committed to putting women and their work in the spotlight.
At the end of the eight episodes “Little Fires Everywhere”, the only question that remains is who started all the little fires. And so much can be said: Nobody expects the answer in the beginning.