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RB H. CA

            Agree with your reviews of Promising Young Woman, The Dig and Nomadland--all worthwhile--and Carey Mulligan is amazing, especially in Promising Young Woman.

            With Sara & Russell, I watched the film First Cow last night, a "West Coast Western" set in the Oregon Territory (about CA but filmed in OR) during the 1820's in which the smartest, most cultured character is a Chinese immigrant.  It's a hard scrabble film about poverty, survival and entrepreneurship.  An interesting pre-gold rush view of life in the west it includes several Native American characters not in major roles. 

            (After sending the Golden Globe winners) Thanks. Looks like SBC is for real, and I enjoyed his comments, but not really interested in seeing his Borat film after all the press!  Glad to see awards to Nomadland/Chloe Zhao, Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Anya Taylor-Joy for Queen's Gambit. 

            Guess I should plan to see United States v. Billy Holiday with Andra Day, Rosamund Pike in I Care a Lot and Sorkin's Trial of Chicago 7.  Only watched part of the show, and thought it was so-so.

 

Holly V. IL

            As always great reviews. I saw a powerful movie on Netflix this weekend recommended by Rich Scott called Sarah’s Key.

            Just finished watching Raise Hell.  Thank you so much for recommending this. What an amazing human being. I was absolutely riveted by her life and her humorous ability to cut right through to truth. As you said in your review it would be so interesting to hear what she has to say about today’s politics (and her state’s Mr. Cruz).

 

Peg C. Mexico

As always - great reviews.  Thanks.  Wish I could see some of these!!!!!  However, filming in the Chapala area has resumed ... who knows what may follow!

 

Cecil H. BC, Canada

            Happy to report that I came across a very watchable flick yesterday while channel surfing. This is very rare these days. Motherless Brooklyn (2019) is an Edward Norton effort. I first encountered him in the 1998 film Rounders, which I thoroughly enjoyed at the time. Sometimes you just get lucky.

            If you haven't already seen it, you might enjoy A good Year (2006). Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard and Albert Finney.

            Head in the Clouds, 2004 – Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz, Stuart Townsend, Thomas Kretschman.

 

Martha C-B. AZ

            We watched Palm Springs last night. It was really good! Funny and heartwarming, loved the two leads too. Thanks for the recommendation.

            Wondered if you two had watched Cash Back on Hulu? Really good! It is kind of a quirky British film about a young artist and his love life, funny.

            We watched News of the World last night, a little predictable but it was a good story and Tom Hanks was great as always.

 

Helen W. AZ

Jan and I enrolled in Hulu for their one month freebie specifically to see Nomadland. The other night we watched United States vs Billie holiday and would love to read your review of that incredible movie.

Paul K. IL

             Captain Fantastic 2016: Viggo Mortensen plays a father who is trying to raise his kids so they can survive in a world he doesn’t like. He’s a widower, so he’s doing it all alone. Mortensen is one of the really good actors we don’t read about often enough. Grade B
            The Dig 2021: This is a really fine movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan. There are no car chases or explosions, just a quiet movie about an archeology dig in England in 1929. There is great acting and directing. Grade A
           Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 2020 It’s 1929 and Ma Rainey is in a recording studio working on a record. The trumpet player in her band is played by Chadwick Boseman, in his last role. He died shortly after finishing this movie. Viola Davis is great as Ma Rainey. Grade A
           Hillbilly Elegy 2020: Glenn Close and Amy Adams star in a drama about a Kentucky family trying to survive one day at a time. I thought it was a good coming-of-age movie. The story is told by the son of Adams’ character, and Close plays his grandmother. Close is almost unrecognizable and is wonderful in the role. I think this is one of my favorite movies so far this year. Grade A
          I Care a Lot 2020: Rosamund Pike plays a horrible human being: a character who preys on elderly people. She picks the wrong woman (Diane Weist) to victimize. What she didn’t know is that the woman’s son (played by Peter Dinklage) is a mob boss. In the end, she pays dearly for her actions, which she vehemently denies. Pike won a Golden Globe for this role, and she deserved it. She is very good at being super evil. Grade B
           Still enjoying Schitt’s Creek. Stevie, the motel girl, is my favorite character. I think she’s super cool! 

 

Denny G. FL

Stream, stream, stream - anxious to get back to the theaters, but I'll admit....there are some good offerings!

             Derek DelGaudio's In and Of Itself:  Mesmerizing - it certainly was, Very interesting, very different, and I leaned forward several times during the movie in anticipation of what was to come next.  Some very personal experiences here!

          Nomadland:  I thought this was very good, and Frances McDormand never disappoints.  I thought it was sad that Fern continued to move on, facing more challenges and sacrificing possible opportunities, but she probably wouldn't have had it any other way.  Although that way of life is hard to relate to, there were touching moments and good friendships made - I appreciated it because it made me feel something.

             One Night in Miami:  Great movie!  My daughter was excited to see Leslie Odom, Jr. in this as she has seen Hamilton 4 or 5 times already!  All of the actors were good in their roles, and just trying to imagine these four men together in one room and the conversations they exchanged....oh to be a fly on the wall!

              Hillbilly Elegy: This slice of dysfunctional family life didn't fare so well with the critics.  It had a good cast, but I think the actors deserved better (it was a Ron Howard film too, and I just love him).  Little did I know that the family resided in Middletown, Ohio, not too far from Dayton where I grew up.  The narrator reflects on his childhood and rolls with the punches.  It's a tale of perseverance, but never once did he give up on his family.`

            I am fully vaccinated as of today - woo hoo!

 

Art S. Reviews

            Re: The Mauritanian 2021: Went to the Keystone Arts Cinema this afternoon for the only showing scheduled for today, which was at 4:15. I'd rather have been out for a walk in the sunshine, but it was still pretty chilly out. There were only six other people in the theater and I heard several people, who, like me, talk about having received their second dose of the vaccine already. It's been over four weeks since I got my second dose. A notice told the audience to wear masks during the entire showing unless they were eating and two did have popcorn, but we were quite socially distanced. The movie was The Mauritanian which starred Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Shailene Woodley. Foster was excellent and should be nominated for several awards. I thought Rahim was very good in many scenes, but he had this strange smile/laugh that didn't quite fit, I didn't think, in many scenes. At the end, since this was based on a true story and a book, the screen showed video of the real man, and he also had this unusual laugh. Cumberbathch was good in his role, but Woodley had very little to do except translate in some scenes where it wasn't necessary, since we soon learn that the prisoner speaks English. It was a taut drama about a suspected 9/11 terrorist imprisoned at Gauntanamo, Cuba and held there for many years without any charges. It showed very graphically how he was tortured. The scenes inside the prison, the cells, the interrogation rooms, and even the outside areas for the prisoners, which were portioned off with heavy canvas, were claustrophobic, especially when you saw such a contrast between the beautiful beach and ocean waves when people were flying onto the island. Everyone should see this movie, but I'm afraid not very many will, partly because of the pandemic and partly because of the subject matter, but the prison at Gauntanamo is still there, with many still not being told what they are being charged with. And, they have been there for years and years. Be sure to stay after the credits roll to see the actual people whom the movie is based on and hear some of the other information that is known. There is an explanation in the movie about why Gauntanamo was chosen for this undertaking, and it's very disturbing and sad. I hope Biden and his team will be able to finally close it down, but I'm not very optimistic.

            Re: The Courier 2021: Several of us went to Keystone at the Crossing late this afternoon to see the new movie, The Courier.  We were the only people there (six of us) except for one other couple who came in just as the movie was starting. We all thought the movie was entertaining and enjoyed it.  The cast included Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Buckley(who played the Dolly Parton wannabe in Wild Rose a couple of years ago)  Rachel Brosnahan, who people might know from TV, and Merot Nimidze, a Georgian actor, who many might recognize, but whom I didn't know.  They were all excellent and elevated this from being just the usual spy thriller.  Cumberbatch, as well as Nimidze, both deserve Oscar nominations, but I don't find them among this year's nominees.  I saw where movies were considered from January, 2020 all thru the end of February, 2021 for this year's awards, and it was listed as being released within that space of time, but I guess it just got overlooked.  I can't believe Cumberbatch wouldn't have been nominated.  The story was very suspenseful, especially the last third of the film. I thought the direction was also done well (by Dominic Cooke).  The story is based on true events.  A businessman in England is recruited as a secret agent and begins bringing all kinds of classified material from Russia and especially concerning the Cuba missile crisis.  His counterpart in Russia wants to avert a nuclear war and thus save the world from annihilation.   I thought the movie was done very well, with many suspenseful moments, and some shocking scenes and built up enough momentum to be quite thrilling.  You weren't sure how it was going to end.  I'd recommend it highly.