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Year: 2023

Black Cake–Crumbs from the Past or Just Desserts?

In this haunting story of a young girl’s treacherous journey from Jamaica to England and then to California, we see the erasing of her past in order to survive. Black Cake is  a Hulu eight-episode miniseries based on the titular best-selling novel by the Jamaican American author, Charmaine Wilkerson.  Opening in the late 1960’s with a beautiful young Jamaican teenager, Covey Lyncook (Mia Isaac) is practicing swimming in order to compete competitively.  Her mother left when she was a young child, and her father, a debt-ridden gambler, does the unforgivable:  trade his debts for his...

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May-December–Mirror, MIrror on the Wall

Loosely based on the tabloid-heavy coverage of a scandalous sexual affair  by a 36-year-old teacher, Mary Kay Leourneau, perpetrated on her 12-year-old student, Vili Fualaau, Todd Haynes’ May December continues the story over twenty years later.   The couple, Joe (Charles Melton) and Gracie (Julianne Moore) are a picture-perfect married couple with two children, (born while Gracie was serving her prison sentence). Currently, the family is ensconced in a waterfront mansion in Savannah, Georgia,  blissfully ignoring their past. In walks a B-list actress, Elizabeth (Natalie Portman),...

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Queen Charlotte–A Royal Prequel

Some may dislike misconstruing the history of great female leaders–or any history, for that matter,  for the sake of entertainment. Queen Charlotte, the newly created Netflix series by Shonda Rhimes, is a rollicking reimagining of the Regency period of King George III and Queen Charlotte. It follows from the three-seasons’ blockbuster series. Bridgerton. Since watching the opening episode of Bridgerton in which the magnetic Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) presides over a competition to select the most eligible maidens for courting marriage proposals, Queen Charlotte has become...

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Lessons in Chemistry–A Delicious Dose

Based upon Bonnie Garmus’s bestselling blockbuster of the same name,  the AppleTV+ mini-series Lessons in Chemistry opens in 1961, at the cusp of the feminist and civil rights revolutions.  Elizabeth Zott (Brie Larson, Academy Award-winning actress of “Room”),  a highly educated and talented chemist, has taken a job as a low-level lab tech supporting  an all- male team of chemists at a renowned research institute.  The major problem:  none of the male chemists see her as a peer. However, one equally brilliant chemist, Calvin Evans (Lewis Pullman), sees her for who she really...

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The Long Song–An Aria of Grief and Strength

Based on the largest slave uprising in Jamaican history, leading to the abolition movement in Europe, the three-episode The Long Song is adapted from the late Jamaican-British author Andrea Levy’s acclaimed 2010 historical novel.  The author has fictionalized the uprising through the story of a young girl, July. “The life of a white missus on a Jamaican plantation,” a narrator (Doña Croll) intones in voiceover, “be surely full of tribulation — from the scarcity of beef to the want of a fashionable hat.” Within seconds, the hideous screech of that “white missus” interrupts the narrator. ...

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All the Light We Cannot See–Love is Blind

All the Light We Cannot See opens with a devoted, widowed father, Daniel LeBlanc (Mark Ruffalo),  teaching his young blind daughter, Marie (Aria Mia Loberti),  the intricacies of artifacts in the museum where he works as a locksmith.  Based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Anthony Doerr, this four-part Netflix mini-series (released on November 2)  takes the viewer on an emotionally intense journey through Nazi-occupied France.   While teaching his daughter living skills to maneuver in a war-torn country–Marie’s father, Daniel,  builds a miniature...

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