Love and Death

Love and Death

Elizabeth Olsen finds humanity in the murder suspect that shook Wylie


TV Show

United States of America
Crime, Drama
Elizabeth Olsen, Jesse Plemons, Krysten Ritter

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Elizabeth Olsen should have been nominated for this.

What it's about

Based on the 1980 murder trial, Candy Montgomery (Elizabeth Olsen) gets into an extramarital affair with Allan Gore (Jesse Plemons), which leads to serious consequences for their Methodist community.

The take

Based on the 1980 murder trial, Love & Death repeats the facts from witness testimonies, but also contemplates Montgomery’s character in her Methodist community. Through Elizabeth Olsen’s superb acting, Montgomery is a character anyone can easily empathize with. Despite living the suburban dream and living in a tight-knit community, she wants to soothe an emptiness inside of her. The first half shows she initially did so through her affair, but even as the marriages get resolved with support of their community, it still leads to the tragic death. But because of this, the series’ second half feels devastating, as her self-defense alienates her from the people that compose her entire world. Love & Death gives an empathetic portrayal of a regular housewife just trying to find someone who would unconditionally side with her.

What stands out

Everyone (rightfully) raved about the casts’ performance, but few took notice of the soundtrack. Of course, part of that is due to the staying power of classic pop tracks from the era, but the selected tracks perfectly matched its corresponding sequence. The choir pieces performed by the cast were also great– there’s a twisted sense of humor at certain moments. But the treatment for these tracks was great. Fading in and out the scores, matched with Olsen’s acting, gives a visceral experience of Candy’s discontentment. As the series progresses, the pop tracks give way to the series’ score, but the first few episodes help start up the mood and setting for the series.

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