Cary Fukunaga, 2014
Crime drama gets the classy HBO treatment in this enigmatic and gripping eight-parter about two chalk ’n’ cheese detectives on a serial-killer case spanning 17 years in an eerie Louisiana backwater. The case itself is pretty standard weirdo-in-the-woods stuff; what is so compelling is the slow unpeeling of the two cops’ characters. Man of the moment Matthew McConaughey plays Rust, a troubled and troubling loner; Woody Harrelson, in his finest performance for years, is Martin, officially straight-up but just as tormented. Told across two timelines – now, and when the case began – we see how the years of guilt and uncertainty have ravaged these two men: Rust, a seedy, obsessive alcoholic, and Martin, a man with serious baggage. Peerless acting against a bleak backdrop of crooked priests, bayous and trailer parks.