Picnic at Hanging Rock Image
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: The disappearance of three girls and a teacher from the Appleyard Ladies College in 1900 leads to an investigation that includes English headmistress Mrs Hester Appleyard (Natalie Dormer) in this drama series based on the Australian novel by Joan Lindsay and inspired by Peter Weir’s 1975The disappearance of three girls and a teacher from the Appleyard Ladies College in 1900 leads to an investigation that includes English headmistress Mrs Hester Appleyard (Natalie Dormer) in this drama series based on the Australian novel by Joan Lindsay and inspired by Peter Weir’s 1975 film of the same name. Expand
  • Genre(s): Drama, Movie/Mini-Series

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    May 24, 2018
    83
    Picnic at Hanging Rock is lush, gorgeous, Gothic and at times plotted tighter than a corset.
  2. Reviewed by: Sophie Gilbert
    May 29, 2018
    80
    The mystical elements of Lindsay’s book remain, but Mrs. Appleyard’s more detailed biography adds more tangible, flesh-and-blood danger to the mix. ... The question in the series becomes less about how the girls disappeared than why. Whether they’re vaporized by a shift in the magnetic field, transformed into animals, or something more mundane, their vanishing feels deliberate--a way to reject their prescribed futures for a different, freer path.
  3. 80
    Picnic at Hanging Rock is the sapphic, David Lynch-influenced mystery-thriller that you didn’t know you needed.
  4. Reviewed by: Allison Shoemaker
    May 25, 2018
    67
    It’s a lot, but it’s the right kind of a lot, and like Dormer’s performance, these choices skirt right up to the line of the ridiculous without ever crossing over. Had the writers and directors of this series been better at walking that line, Picnic At Hanging Rock might be more than a decent series with rich production values and a performance that blows the doors down.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 22, 2018
    60
    Picnic at Hanging Rock is a project that works better at the length of a feature film than a six-hour series. In the mid-section of the season, scenes start to feel overheated, as if the producers are worried that you’re starting to get bored (you probably are). Memorable performances and solid production values just don’t matter if a narrative sags.
  6. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    May 25, 2018
    50
    In the end, neither the lush looks nor committed performances are enough to overcome the balance issues and general bloat.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    May 25, 2018
    30
    Kondracki’s portrait of these girls is at once too sketchy to make them three-dimensional, and yet too literal to make them beguiling--which makes them come across as grating bores. ... There’s almost no reason for this version to exist.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Jul 21, 2018
    7
    It was hard for me to decide on a score for this mini-series. It certainly is beautiful to watch with gorgeous sets and costumes and greatIt was hard for me to decide on a score for this mini-series. It certainly is beautiful to watch with gorgeous sets and costumes and great cinematography. However, the story is too drawn out over six episodes and thus dilutes the dramatic impact that was so well-achieved in the Peter Weir movie. Consequently, I decided on a 7. It is worth seeing if only for the visuals. Expand
  2. Jun 24, 2018
    4
    Nope. If you're going to take on an important novel and arguably the seminal film of the Australian New Wave, you better show up andNope. If you're going to take on an important novel and arguably the seminal film of the Australian New Wave, you better show up and represent. This series is an unwieldy mess. There are so many flashbacks it was literally difficult to figure out which time frame (pre, during, post picnic) you are watching. The actors are fine but also unremarkable. However, the plethora of characters get a fair amount of dialog and screen time, but very little of it helps move the plot along in any sort of compelling direction.

    The reality is that the correct visual medium of this story is as a film. And good luck besting one of the great directors (Australian or otherwise) in Peter Weir. Too much of this series is dull filler. The fascinating and haunting conceit of the story is that these young girls disappear into the mysterious and ancient Australian wilderness in the age of Victorian repression, sexual and otherwise. Their awakening from the picnic nap and disappearance is a metaphor for a seduction and a loss of innocence. Just leave it at that.

    Also, I can't help but notice from some of the language in the crtitics' reviews that there is a lingering perception that the Joan Lindsay novel is a fictional retelling of real events from Valentine's Day 1900 in Victoria. It most surely is not. Didn't happen. The author cleverly submerges fictional newspaper accounts to draw the reader in.
    Expand
  3. Jul 26, 2018
    2
    Beautiful costumes and settings, talented cast and a great novel - this adaptation should be a must see, but the episodes are like watchingBeautiful costumes and settings, talented cast and a great novel - this adaptation should be a must see, but the episodes are like watching paint dry. I found myself pushing fast forward to see if anything interesting would happen. Expand

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