10 best Jane Campion movies and TV shows

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Jane Campion is widely regarded as one of the most respected directors of her generation, with a style of her own. No matter what genre she’s working in, she manages to bring out the richness and complexity of those who perform on camera, and she also recognizes that there is a power unique to films that cannot be replicated.

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However, she has also shown that she is adept at working in television, so it is worth taking a deeper look at her work, which has been praised by Internet Movie Database users.

ten In the Cup (2003) – 5.3


Meg Ryan in In The Cut

One of the key aspects of Campion’s style as a director is great attention to visual detail, even if that means the story itself doesn’t make as much sense as it would in the hands of a less artistic director. This is certainly the case with his film, in the cut, which focuses on a teacher, played by Meg Ryan, who finds herself involved with a detective, played by Mark Ruffalo. Among other things, the film is known to have Ryan playing against the guy (she is best known for her roles in many romantic comedies).

9 Holy Smoke! (1999) – 5.9


Ruth walking in the wilderness at Holy Smoke

Campion’s film Holy Smoke! is remarkable for several reasons. Firstly, this is one of her films that most clearly shows why she is highly regarded as a visual stylist, and she has a keen sense of what makes a film frame seemingly jump off the screen. . Second, it also features two very good performances from Kate Winslet (in one of his best roles) and Harvey Keitel.

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Third, it deals with a powerful subject, as Kietel’s character attempts to help Winslet escape the domineering influence of a cult.


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8 Portrait of a Lady (1996) – 6.2


A close-up of Isabel in The Portrait of a Woman

The portrait of a lady is, as the title suggests, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by famous author Henry James, in which a wealthy young woman is manipulated and exploited by others. As with so many other Campion films, this film pays close attention to visual detail and atmosphere, immersing both the characters and the viewer in this world which is more than grim and, at times, quite unsettling to inhabit. . Plus, it also stars Nicole Kidman in one of his best roles.


seven Two friends (1986) – 6.4


Kelly and Louise standing together in Two Friends

In addition to directing numerous feature films for theatrical release, Campion has also shown that she has a skillful hand with the delicate genre of the TV movie. As the title of this film suggests, it focuses on the extraordinary friendship between two young women. However, rather than moving forward chronically, it actually goes backwards, showing the evolution of their friendship and helping the viewer understand why it has always been doomed to be temporary.


6 Honey (1989) – 6.8


Kay looks at horse figures in Sweetie

Dear is notable for being Jane Campion’s first feature film, but even so early in her career there were indications of the kind of director she would become. The film, which focuses on the tense dynamic within a poisoned family, is an uplifting tale of the nature of family ties and how easily what should be a bastion of love and care can become anything but nothing. more than a terrible form of tyranny.

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As with so many Campion films, it is scary, fascinating and beautiful all at the same time.


5 Shining Star (2009) – 6.9


If there’s one genre Campion has always worked in, it would be period drama, and she’s created some of the best examples of that genre in the movies. In Shining star, the subject is the poet John Keats, who is played in the film by Ben Whishaw. Between Campion’s directing and Whishaw’s sensitive performance, the film not only manages to give the viewer an understanding of the poet’s life, but also captures a part of the spirit that made his work so influential and engaging, even after his untimely death.


4 Power of the Dog (2021) – 7.0


Peter looks at himself in the mirror in The Power of the Dog

The power of the dog is sure to be considered one of Benedict Cumberbatch’s best films, which delivers a truly powerful performance. Here, Campion shifts her generic focus to the western, but as always, her signature visual style is very present, and she uses her director’s skills to delve into the depths of her characters and their tormented psychologies, even when she uses the film to explore some of the themes common to the western as a genre.




3 Haut du Lac (2013-2017) – 7.5


In addition to working in films, Campion has also shown that she is adept at creating exciting, thoughtful and well-constructed TV series, as she has demonstrated with her series. Top of the lake. Starring Elizabeth Moss in one of her best roles, it focuses on a detective investigating two mysterious murders. Since this series has Campion at the helm, the pleasures come not only from the intrigue of the investigation but also from the skill with which it manages to create a visual image.


2 An Angel at My Table (1990) – 7.5


Janet and Billy look at each other in Angel at My Table

There are many things to enjoy An angel at my table, another of Campion’s early works. Like Shining star, An angel at my table is based on a true story, in this case a series of autobiographies written by New Zealand author Janet Frame. The film follows her throughout her life, and in addition to the strong performances of the various women chosen to play Frame, the film also features Campion’s visual touches and the landscapes are particularly evocative.


1 The Piano (1993) – 7.6


Holly Hunter in the Piano

The piano is arguably Campion’s masterpiece, the film that put her on the map in terms of director. It’s a beautiful and haunting film about the nature of desire, and it focuses on a mother and daughter who come to New Zealand in an arranged marriage. Holly Hunter gives a particularly moving performance as Ada, a woman who communicates only through sign language and her playing the titular piano. More than anything else, however, the film chronicles a woman’s extraordinary efforts to assert her own identity in a strictly patriarchal world.

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