Danielle Deadwyler Shines As Miranda In Station Eleven

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In Station Eleven, the catharsis comes through a little girl (Matilda Lawler as young Kirsten) finding solace in a worn-down copy of a rare graphic novel (the titular Station Eleven) and through the novel’s creator herself, Miranda. Art as a vessel to predict, prevent, or just pour out grief is not a new concept. We’ve been self-medicating through art for centuries. In this case, we watch Miranda create quietly, never wanting anyone to see her book let alone obsess over it decades later. Her goal isn’t the glory, it’s doing the work. And even though her creation costs her everything, including the love of her life, an actor named Arthur (played by the perpetually handsome Gael García Bernal), who drops dead during a performance of King Lear on Day 1 of the pandemic before she gets the chance to reconnect with him, but after she gives him a copy of Station Eleven, she leaves, refusing a dinner invite.  Arthur and Miranda never see each other again. This gutting storyline not only made me weep, but it separates Station Eleven from the other apocalyptic stories that oversaturate the genre. It’s about love and loss as they all are, but Miranda is such a fascinating character, and Deadwyler is so intoxicating to watch in this role, that at times it feels like she’s in a whole different show — one that’s just hers, that doesn’t require you to pay attention to anyone else, just Deadwyler ripping your heart out with every syllable. She’s not stealing scenes. She is the scene. You’ll like Station Eleven if you’re drawn to disaster dramas but you’re also going to love it if you just want to watch one of the most compelling characters on television played by an actress giving a performance of a lifetime. 

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