Olive Kitteridge (miniseries)

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Olive Kitteridge
Olive Kitteridge poster.jpg
Based onOlive Kitteridge
by Elizabeth Strout
Screenplay byJane Anderson
Directed byLisa Cholodenko
Theme music composerCarter Burwell
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes4
CinematographyFrederick Elmes
EditorJeffrey M. Werner
Running time233 minutes
Production companiesHBO Miniseries
As Is
Original networkHBO

Olive Kitteridge is an American television miniseries based on Elizabeth Strout's 2008 novel Olive Kitteridge. Set in Maine,[1] the HBO miniseries features Frances McDormand as the title character, Richard Jenkins as Olive's loving husband Henry Kitteridge, Zoe Kazan as Denise Thibodeau, and Bill Murray as Jack Kennison.[2] The show is divided into four parts, each depicting a certain point of time in the novel.[1]

The miniseries debuted in the United States on November 2, 2014, on the American premium TV network HBO, which aired the show's first two episodes back-to-back that evening; the third and fourth episodes aired back-to-back the following evening. It was shown in a similar format in the United Kingdom on Sky Atlantic, on December 14 and December 15, 2014.[3] It premiered in Australia on showcase from 13 January 2015.[4] At the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, the miniseries won eight awards including Outstanding Limited Series.


Olive Kitteridge is a misanthropic and strict, but well-meaning, retired schoolteacher who lives in the fictional seaside town of Crosby, Maine. She is married to Henry Kitteridge, a kind, considerate man who runs a pharmacy downtown, and has a troubled son named Christopher, who grows up to be a podiatrist. For 25 years, Olive has experienced problems of depression, bereavement, jealousy, and friction with family members and friends.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Pharmacy"Lisa CholodenkoJane Anderson2 November 2014 (2014-11-02)
Olive Kitteridge is a no-nonsense high school math teacher who doesn't stand fools gladly and never hesitates to express an opinion, no matter how much hurt she might cause. She treats her husband Henry with indifference and is downright nasty to her son Christopher who can never please her. Henry is the local pharmacist and after his long-time assistant dies from a stroke he hires a quiet young woman, Denise Thibodeau, whose husband is also called Henry. The two Henrys go hunting with a third man but tragedy strikes. The only person Olive can seemingly be nice to is Kevin Coulson, whose mother Rachel suffers from bipolar disorder.
2"Incoming Tide"Lisa CholodenkoJane Anderson2 November 2014 (2014-11-02)
The years have passed and Kevin Coulson, now studying to be a psychiatrist, returns to town. He still has issues over his mother Rachel's suicide and has his own mental health issues to deal with. Olive's son Christopher is about to marry and she invites Kevin to attend the rehearsal dinner they're having that night. Not surprisingly, Olive dislikes her future daughter-in-law, Suzanne, as well as her prospective in-laws. She invites Kevin to stay with them and invite him to the wedding the next day which has a few problems of its own.
3"A Different Road"Lisa CholodenkoJane Anderson3 November 2014 (2014-11-03)
Both Olive and Frank are saddened when they receive a call from Christopher, now living in California, to say that he and Suzanne are getting a divorce. He also makes it clear that he won't be coming home anytime soon. The need for an urgent trip to bathroom find Olive stopping in at the local hospital to use their facilities but leads to something far more serious when two gun-toting addicts arrive looking for drugs. It leads to Olive and Henry having a major argument, blaming each other for Christopher having left home. She also reveals that she was once going to leave him. Christopher suggests they have counseling after their ordeal but Olive won't hear of it. After Henry suffers a stroke some months later, he is in home care. Christopher tells his mother just what he thinks of his childhood.
4"Security"Lisa CholodenkoJane Anderson3 November 2014 (2014-11-03)
Olive visits Christopher and his new wife Ann in New York City but relations continue to be strained. She likes Ann more than she liked Christopher's first wife but is still at her judgmental worse when it comes to Ann's two children from previous relationships or her housekeeping skills. When she decides to leave and he doesn't try to stop her she accuses him of forcing her out. It leads to another bout of accusations all around with Olive refusing to understand just how horrible a mother she was. She returns home to bad news. Some 6 months later the widowed Olive meets Jack Kennison, a widower, and they find a way to go forward together.


Critical response

Olive Kitteridge received widespread critical acclaim for its writing, directing, cinematography, and Frances McDormand's central performance as well as those of Jenkins, Murray and Gallagher. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the show has an approval rating of 95% based on 63 reviews, with an average rating of 8.68/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Olive Kitteridge's narrative slow burn enhances fascinating performances – and a story worthy of its source material."[5] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 89 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[6]


The miniseries received nominations at several awards ceremonies including the 72nd Golden Globe Awards, where the series was nominated for Best Miniseries or Television Film, Frances McDormand was nominated for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film and Bill Murray was nominated for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film.[7] Frances McDormand was also nominated at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie and Richard Jenkins was nominated Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie.[8] McDormand and Jenkins were also nominated in equivalent categories at the 19th Satellite Awards, where Zoe Kazan was also nominated Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film and the series was nominated Best Miniseries or Television Film.

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2015 American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Jeffrey M. Werner Nominated
Directors Guild of America Awards Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Television Film Lisa Cholodenko Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Frances McDormand Nominated
Best Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Bill Murray Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Richard Jenkins Nominated
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Frances McDormand Won
Best Miniseries or Television Film Won
Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Zoe Kazan Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Frances McDormand Won
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Richard Jenkins Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Long Form – Adapted Jane Anderson Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Limited Series Won
Best Actress – Movie or Limited Miniseries Frances McDormand Won
Best Actor – Movie or Limited Miniseries Richard Jenkins Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Movie/Miniseries Bill Murray Won
Cory Michael Smith Nominated
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Limited Series Won
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie Richard Jenkins Won
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie Frances McDormand Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie Bill Murray Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie Zoe Kazan Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special Lisa Cholodenko Won
Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special Jane Anderson Won
Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie or a Special Laura Rosenthal & Carolyn Pickman Won
Outstanding Costumes for a Contemporary Series, Limited Series or Movie Jenny Eagan & Debbie Holbrook Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or a Movie Cydney Cornell Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Design Garson Yu, Synderela Peng, Michael Lane Parks & Alex Pollini Nominated
Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or a Movie Christien Tinsley, Gerald Quist & Liz Bernstrom Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or a Movie Jeffrey M. Werner Won

Home media

Olive Kitteridge was released by HBO on DVD and Blu-ray on February 10, 2015.[9]


  1. ^ a b Doyle, Rebecca. "Olive Kitteridge Review HBO: What the Critics Are Saying - The Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  2. ^ "The Official Website for the HBO Series Olive Kitteridge". Hbo.com. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  3. ^ "Olive Kitteridge". Find and Watch. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  4. ^ Knox, David (December 26, 2014). "Airdate: Olive Kitteridge". TV Tonight. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  5. ^ "Olive Kittridge". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  6. ^ "Olive Kittridge". Metacritic. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "Golden Globe Nominations 2015 – - TVLine". TVLine. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  8. ^ "The 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Sagawards.org. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  9. ^ "Olive Kitteridge DVD Release Date". DVDs Release Dates.

External links