When Low Winter Sun hit the TV airwaves, I was initially drawn to it due to the casting of Mark Strong in the lead and Lennie James as his partner. It seemed like a hard edged cop drama and looked like it would be worth my time to give it a shot. What I didn’t know is that it was based on a 2006 British miniseries of the same name that also starred Mark Strong as the lead character. The result was stunning television.
Strong plays Detroit Detective Frank Agnew who at the start of the series is seen killing a fellow officer with his partner Joe Geddes (James). The two detectives feel justified in their actions and cover up the murder to look like a suicide. But what Agnew thought was the perfect crime backfires as the victim was under investigation by internal affairs and the suicide is ruled a murder. Worse yet, Agnew himself is assigned to find the culprit.
Low Winter Sun is exactly what a gritty adult crime drama should be. Strong’s character is bullish, no nonsense and says what is on his mind. There are no good guys or villains in the show just varying degrees of grey in characters you love one minute and hate the next. The show takes its time with methodical storytelling yet never manages to let its hooks out of you once they are in. I cannot fathom why the show didn’t last past one season but at least we have that. And Strong shows us perhaps better than he has in any film why audiences should stand up and take notice of his abilities as an actor. Agnew is dark, layered, conflicted, reviled and sympathetic. He may be a character actor to most but he deserves the chance to be more. Low Winter Sun is highly recommended for those craving solid dark adult entertainment.
Available now on DVD.