Month: November 2021

Impeachment: American Crime Story

We revisit former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment from the point of view of Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein of Booksmart). This Hulu mini-series begins with a naive twenty-two years old intern’s infatuation with a charismatic  president.  There are more than several awful and illegal actions taken against Monica: interrogation in a hotel room by the FBI without legal counsel present; threats by Bill Clinton’s staff; media “slut-shaming” for her testimony–all make Impeachment a compelling narrative presenting facts and corrupt behavior not...

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“American Rust”(2021)–Corrosion and Decay

American Rust  is based on Philipp Meyer’s titular novel.  This is a   Showtime’s original series in which we watch police chief Del Harris (Jeff Daniels), struggle with his past.  He is  an  Army combat veteran with  PTSD, investigating the  murder of a fellow police officer. Billy Poe, son of the woman he loves , Grace (Maura Tierney),  is suspected of the murder. The camera, in the open scene, pans the waste and decay in Buell, Pennsylvania–a “flyover” town outside Pittsburgh. The residents and community are on the margins of life.  Two...

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“Blackbird” (2019)–The Final Flight

In this timely and sensitive film, three generations get together for Christmas dinner–instead of  Thanksgiving, even though it actually is Thanksgiving.  As often happens in real-life family gatherings as well as in Blackbird, there will be dysfunction, a farrago scattered within warm laughter about shared memories and sometimes bitter accusations.  In this drama a dying mother assembles her family to spend a final weekend together before she ends her life. An alarm goes off and Paul (Sam Neill), a doctor and husband to Lily (Susan Sarandon), reaches up to turn off the...

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“The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” (2019)

This 2019 HBO documentary, directed and produced by Alex Gibney (of “Enron:  The Smartest Men in the Room” and “Taxi to the Dark Side”) opens in 2014    with Theranos, a startup in blood-testing technology.  The Inventor is filmed at Theranos’s spectacular Silicon Valley chic headquarters in Palo Alto.  Its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, is hailed as the youngest self-made female billionaire by Fortune magazine.  With a multi-billion-dollar valuation, and a recent $400 million investment from many Trump supporters (the Waltons,...

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“Supernova”(2021) –Nebulous?

“A person dies when he loses his memories.” In Supernova we see Sam (Colin Firth), a concert pianist, and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), a novelist, traveling across England’s Lake District,  in their RV van  to visit friends, family and places from their past. Tusker was diagnosed with dementia two years ago, and Sam and Tusker have been partners for over thirty years. Driving along in their van, Sam and Tusker first engage in the familiar banter of any long-married couple who have spent the majority of their lives together.  Tusker’s early...

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