Delia Owens took the literary world by storm with her 2018 novel Where the Crawdads Sing, and it was little surprise when the film got picked up to be adapted as a movie. Reese Witherspoon is a producer on the upcoming mystery drama after selecting the book for her Hello Sunshine Book Club, and now audiences are about to see the struggles of Marsh Girl Kya play out on the big screen. Where the Crawdads Sing has screened for critics ahead of its July 22 release, and the reviews are in.
Daisy Edgar-Jones stars as Kya Clark, a girl who is forced to grow up early and learn to survive on her own in the North Carolina marsh after being abandoned by her parents and siblings. Kya finds herself a suspect in a murder when her ex-boyfriend Chace Andrews (Harris Dickinson) turns up dead.
So how did critics feel about director Olivia Newman’s vision of Delia Owens’ best-selling book? Let’s turn to the reviews, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of Where the Crawdads Sing. Our own Sarah El-Mahmoud rates the film 3 stars out 5, saying the film loses some of the spirit of the beloved book, as Olivia Newman seems to avoid the story’s grittiness in a somewhat glossy adaptation. She argues:
Hoai-Tran Bui of SlashFilm was similarly underwhelmed with the film, rating it 6 out of 10. This review says the murder mystery is turned into a glossy romance, resulting in a “soapy snooze”:
Lovia Gyarkye of The Hollywood Reporter calls the adaptation a “muddled moral fantasy” whose narrative relies heavily on racial and gender stereotypes. This review says while the Black characters are underdeveloped (a fault of the book as well, the critic argues), Kya is painted as so beautiful and delicate that she comes off as more “manic pixie dream girl than misanthropic protagonist”:
David Ehrlich of IndieWire grades the movie a C+, saying Olivia Newman made Delia Owens’ literary sensation into a summer popcorn flick, as it never dives deeper than surface level. The film adaptation isn’t worthy of same celebration received by the book, but it finds just enough ways to endure, in large part thanks to its star, the review says:
Owen Gleiberman of Variety, meanwhile, finds Where the Crawdads Sing “compelling,” but says Daisy Edgar-Jones’ Kya is quite “poised” and “refined” for a character who learned to survive on her own and is known as a “wild child.” Overall, Where the Crawdads Sing is as dark as it is romantic, he says:
If you want to see what all the fuss is about, you’ll be able to check out Where the Crawdads Sing when it hits theaters on Friday, July 22. Until then, be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what other films will be gracing a theater near you in the near future.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.
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