The mini-series I Know This Much is True is to Mark Ruffalo what the Revenant was to Leonardo DiCaprio, a work entirely devoted and swallowed by an extraordinary performance. And we like it a lot (a lot!), The Ruffalo from Dark Waters or Spotlight, with his doggy eyes and cheeks plunged into paperwork. But did he need that? Of these seventeen weeks of filming to incarnate at first the role of Dominick, Italian-American house painter treated as a “Rocky SDF”, before the actor does not take a break, tells us the New York Times, and do not cloister themselves to inflict themselves a diet based on porridge and maple syrup in order to gain the 15 kilos apparently necessary to interpret this time the role of Thomas, schizophrenic twin of Dominick, who crosses a large part of the series under chemical tank top.
Passing the performative side of this umpteenth testimony of the American fascination for the duplication of actor and the pseudo-need to harm themselves in order to “live” a role (when the actor is by definition simple tenant), remains a series that suffers from masochism. Ruffalo and filmmaker Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond The Pines) drowning in an outrageous pain that ends up turning off all the lights.
It is not as if the affair began in lightness, with the sacrifice of Thomas who disturbs the tranquility of a library by cutting his hand with a machete to atone for the crimes of Operation Storm desert. Stopped manu militari, the illuminated is taken to a high security prison by obtuse cops, determined to hear nothing of Dominick’s claims who explains that a call would be enough to send his brother back to the care institute where he has his habits . Rather successful in his way of depicting a man’s fight against the administration steamroller, I Know This Much is True is regularly sealed by a voiceover which organizes traffic in a number of flashbacks retracing the lives of the two brothers. What value should be given to the speech of the mentally ill? What is the imperative of care in a civilized society when the patient dares to use violence – against him, of course, but should we wait until he attacks the good people? The series throws in the air full of relevant questions, but it swings even faster twelve thousand other horrors on its protagonists without finally dwelling on anything. The character of Dominick alone is a crowd. He’s brother, it’s his burden. But he is also a father whose heart never stops bleeding; an abused stepson; a cruel former child. The nagging question of its origins still whistling in a corner, like a tinnitus, via the mysterious manuscript of a grandfather raised in the shadow of Etna. Full of dramas (not all listed here), oozing wounds, I Know This Much is True is a black hole that keeps collapsing on itself, under the kilotons of sordid that it stacks in 35 mm until it becomes unbearable.
I Know This Much is True of Derek Cianfrance (6 x 55 min), on OCS, 1 episode every Monday.