Mark Ruffalo plays Thomas, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia (here in the image) and also his more solid brother Dominick.
Mark Ruffalo plays Thomas, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia (here in the image) and also his more solid brother Dominick. (HBO)

Attention assured depression and an unmissable actor performance. Mark Ruffalo, aka Hulk in Avengers, embodies of them twin brothers in I know this is much true, this mini HBO series in six episodes available on the OCS platform.

The first, 40, is burly, bearded, cigarette in his mouth, divorced, a house painter after quitting his post as a college professor and agitated by the energy of despair. Do not throw any more! The second is puffy, vaulted, scared and schizophrenic: at the beginning of the series, in a local library, he slices his hand while reciting verses from the Gospels in protest against the American intervention in Kuwait – it is 1991 – and is interned in a psychiatric hospital. His brother will fight to get him out, as he always cared for him since he was a child. Add a mother with cancer, a violent stepfather, a complicated childhood, it’s like a curse that seems to befall this family.

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I know this is much true was a best seller of more than 1000 pages released in France under the title of The power of the vanquished. A dive into popular and poor America in the state of Connecticut. The story of a generation of Italian immigrants from 1920 to 1990, hidden secrets, a succession of misfortunes.

Dark as with the Dardenne brothers

Director Derek Cianfrance knows how to shoot these intimate films. In Blue valentine with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, he told of an escaping love. In this series, the image is thick, as if we were with the Dardenne brothers, we multiply the close-ups. Everything is dark. Even the psychiatrist’s office.

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Mark Ruffalo is unrecognizable in the two roles he shot six weeks apart. The result is strong. An exhausting series, where the worst is never impossible … it does not necessarily make you want to watch it on paper and yet through this accurate portrait, it is a whole humanity that emerges and an ode to the resilience of the human soul and questions that we always ask ourselves as “Is violence transmitted from generation to generation” ?