Playground politics turns to murder in Big Little Lies – Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are school mums under suspicion

School mums can be absolutely terrifying at times. But when there’s murder at the school quiz night, things are really getting out of hand.

This dark comedy drama, adapted from Liane Moriarty’s novel, boasts an A-list cast and stunning setting in California.

Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Adam Scott, James Tupper… a casting director’s dream.

We are in the affluent beachfront community of Monterey, where everyone is beautiful and rich, with seemingly perfect lives. They do not arrive sweating at the school gates, dragging a half-dressed child behind them. No, this is more the freshly-coiffured, cake-baking set.

Shailene Woodley (left), Reese Witherspoon (centre) and Nicole Kidman (right) are the ‘perfect’ mums.
(Photo: HBO)

And they are friendly too.
“We pound people with nice,” says the Stepford-esque stay-at-home mum Madeline (Witherspoon).

But at a fundraiser for the local elementary school, something has gone horribly wrong. Someone is dead, and it seems that a few of the mums are somehow involved.

There’s Madeline, who’s as tightly wound as a coil, and despite being remarried, hates that her ex is happier with his new partner, the annoyingly free-spirited Bonnie.

Then there’s Madeline’s flawless best friend Celeste (Kidman), who has a seemingly enviable relationship with husband Perry (Skarsgard).

And newly-arrived single mum Jane (Woodley), who for some reason feels the need to sleep with a gun under her pillow, as well as high-powered career mum Renata (Dern).

Laura Dern plays career mum Renata
(Photo: HBO)

We don’t know who is dead or why. But tonight, we hear the playground politics and existing frictions behind this community of parents in Monterey, including one incident when Jane’s son allegedly tried to choke Renata’s daughter.

The battle lines were drawn long before this fateful night – and the seemingly perfect facade is starting to slip.

  • Big Little Lies starts tonight on Sky Atlantic, 9pm.

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