Patricia Arquette turns out to be really good at playing monstrous women, the sort who wave their neediness and cruelty around like wild tentacles. Watch her in the trailer for The Act: Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose below.
Arquette's unhinged performance as a romantically deluded prison employee in Escape at Dannemora won her a Golden Globe earlier this year. Now she’s Dee Dee Blanchard, a classic Munchausen-syndrome-by-proxy mama.
Dee Dee has reduced her healthy daughter, Gypsy Rose (Joey King), to a pathetic, infantile invalid fed through a tube, toothless and barely able to walk. Superficially sweet as good ol’ apple pie, there is a dark undercurrent to Arquette’s Dee Dee, who barely lets her daughter speak, controlling every interaction she has. It’s another performance bound to be met with awards-show love.
Soon enough, Gypsy starts to figure out that she may not be as sick as her overbearing caretaker claims, and anyone who followed the story in 2015 will know the extreme reaction she had.
This grotesque true-crime story, which also stars Chloë Sevigny and AnnaSophia Robb as fictional characters inspired by real-life friends of the Blanchards, is the first season of new anthology series The Act. Mean to the core and very addictive, the eight-parter is not to be missed. (Starts Tue., Jun. 19 at 9.30pm; Fox Showcase) 4.5 stars