Spirituality

Why Big Little Lies is SO MUCH MORE than the Emmy Awards it won

As Nicole Kidman so rightly puts it: "By you acknowledging me with this award, it shines a light on it even more."

By Ellie McDonald

If you didn’t know about Big Little Lies before (we’re not sure how this could happen considering it’s only one of the best TV series’ to hit silver screens this year), after the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, you will now.

(Y'know, it's just that major, award-winning TV series that stars some of our favourite actresses of today: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern...)

The stellar cast of *Big Little Lies* (L-R): Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz.
The stellar cast of Big Little Lies (L-R): Shailene Woodley, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz.

Big Little Lies, adapted from Aussie author Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name, cleaned up at this year’s Emmys, taking out a handful of accolades, including Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie, Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie and Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie.

However, it’s not so much the incredible acting that deserves a standing ovation (OK, it does), but rather what this series – and the women in it – do for reaffirming the strength of modern girl power.

Allow us to digress...

Big and little friends on screen *and* off...
Big and little friends on screen and off...

Reinforcing the power of the female “tribe”

Big Little Lies is about a lot of things; domestic violence, sexual assault, bullying, but it’s also about friendship. Madeline’s tenacity in defending Jane when her son, Ziggy, is accused of hurting Renata’s daughter, Amabella [sic], is one small proof that women do actually rally around other women.

Just because.

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^^Hmmm. Funny that...

Deeper than that, this notion of a friendship tribe reaches further than the fictional town of Monterey, through our TV screens and into the very hearts of the actresses leading the show.

As Laura Dern put it when she won her Emmy: "I share this with my tribe of four ladies, I feel very proud to be reflecting fierce mothers and women finding their voice..."

If teaming up, as women, to speak to, encourage and empower women, doesn't make for a deserved-to-be-celebrated, and much-needed, power posse, we don't know what does...

It also speaks for “fierce mothers and women” trying to find their voice

Whether the light shines on Jane’s experience with post-traumatic stress disorder after she was raped, or the crippling self-blame Celeste lives with as a victim of domestic violence, Big Little Lies encapsulates just a few of the very real, and frightening, realities women are faced with every single day.

And what better time to air these truths then now? A time when decisions are still being made for women by men (ahem, President Donald Trump). A time when one in five women in Australia alone have suffered at the hand of physical and even sexual abuse at the hands of their partner.

Not only that, but as Big Little Lies shows, this kind of violence does not discriminate; it can impact anyone from any family, any race and any socio-economic background.

Including someone who may hide it behind affluence, privilege and beauty. Someone like Celeste.

As Nicole explained in her winning speech...

"Sometimes when you’re acting you get a chance to bring a bigger message… We shone a light on domestic abuse."

"It is a complicated, insidious disease. It exists far more than we allow ourselves to know. It is filled with shame and secrecy."

"By you acknowledging me with this award, it shines a light on it even more."

If you, or someone you know, need support, contact 1800 RESPECT or beyond blue on 1300 224 636.