Review: First Cow

 How long can this last?


Otis (John Magaro) has joined a group of trappers out in Oregon. He's a very skilled cook, hence earning the nickname "Cookie" but he's not well liked amongst those men. It's when he stumbles upon a Chinese man, King-Lu (Orion Lee) that he finds true friendship. They go into a business that involves them stealing milk from a rich man's cow to sell baked goods, even though they know this cannot last long.

I've always struggled with director Kelly Reichardt's features, even though I want more than anything to like and support them. The only one I've felt like I truly enjoyed from start to finish was Night Moves. First Cow struggles from some of the same "problems" I have with her other films, it's mundane, many scenes go on for just a beat too long, and the ending was questionable at best. But thankfully, Magaro and Lee are very compelling leads with excellent chemistry together, and that makes the time we spend with them worth it.

There's not a lot of backstory to be found here, but there's enough for us to know why they're where they are, what dreams they have, and plenty to make us care. I spent a fair amount of time worrying for these men because even they acknowledge their "business" can't go on forever. So the film succeeded in that aspect. I cared a lot about them, but ultimately I just wasn't completely satisfied. It's firmly in second place on my Reichardt list, and it was nice to mostly like one of her films again.

Recommended: Yes, if you're a fan.

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "I've got you." - King-Lu (Orion Lee)

Review: Emma.

 Handsome. Clever. Rich.

Emma Woodhouse (Anya Taylor-Joy) is all the things above and has an affinity for matchmaking. Of course, others interpret this as her sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. Her newest project is her friend Harriet (Mia Goth) while her friend Mr. Knightley (Johnny Flynn) is there to....point out all the problems with this and provide sexual tension.

That sounds like me being an asshole, but that's honestly what this is. I struggled reading this novel. In fact, I struggle reading a lot of Jane Austen's work, it's one of those things that I just think I consume better in film form and Emma is no exception. As silly and flippant as it is, I really enjoyed this pastel coated film we got. 

The humor in this is very understated and it works so well, particularly from Bill Nighy, who plays Emma's father and is clearly having an absolute ball making this movie. (And as an aside, the gag reel on this DVD was hilarious) There's nothing about this story you can't see coming, but it's delightful to watch.

Anya Taylor-Joy is great as Emma but it's Mia Goth once again stealing the show for me. I loved the costumes and the production design and especially the score, which reminded me a little of Bambi. It had that same whimsical, lovely tune to it. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Do you feel a draft?" - Mr. Woodhouse (Bill Nighy)

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Journalism

 

This week's TV Edition at Wandering Through the Shelves was suggested by the lovely Getter of Mettel Ray and is a theme after my own heart. Journalism. If you've been around here for a while you know how much I love media based on this. At the end of the day, I love a good mystery and films that revolve around journalism are always about getting to the bottom of a story and that always feels like a mystery. Here are three TV shows that I love that feature journalists

1) The Newsroom


I loved this show and was gutted when Aaron Sorkin chose to can it after three seasons. I know it's not very fondly remembered. A clip of it's worst scene is frequently circulated on social media even though I don't think it's a good representation of the show at all, but I thought this was great. Sorkin's fast pased dialogue works well in a news setting.

2) Sharp Objects

I adored the novel and Amy Adams did a wonderful job of bringing hot mess express Camille to life. It's part murder mystery, part working your way through trauma and I'm always interested in this. This was an excellent mini series.

3) The Morning Show

I watched the entire first season in a few days and I'm just hooked. While I took issue with the film's season finale, it reminded me a lot of The Newsroom and the acting is wonderful all around. The only downfall is I'll actually have to pay for an Apple TV subscription when it comes back for season 2. 

Review: The Devil All The Time

 Need Satan? He's here 24/7


Arvin Russell (Tom Holland) is a young man in rural West Virginia. The story starts with his parents (Bill Skarsgard and Haley Bennett) before tragedy strikes and he moves from one small town to another. Now he finds himself at odds with a new preacher in town. (Robert Pattinson) Meanwhile, a pair of serial killers, Sandy and Roy (Riley Keough and Jason Clarke) loom nearby and all these stories eventually connect.

I thought the trailer for this film was wonderful but when reviews started coming out, I set my expectations back. Everyone called it bleak and brutal and while it is those things to an extent, it ended up being a lot tamer than I expected.

This is a actor's film. There's barely any happiness to be seen in this, but it doesn't make it unwatchable because there are so many wonderful performances. Some actors don't get nearly as much screen time as you would hope. (Like Mia Wasikowska) Tom Holland is the standout for me. After being so used to seeing him as Peter Parker and other lighter roles, he shows incredible range playing Arvin, who has the weight of the world on his shoulders. I left this film wishing I could just give his kid a hug. He had excellent chemistry with Eliza Scanlan, who plays his step sister as well. Bill Skarsgard makes the most of his short role as well. The Skarsgard dynasty is something else. And while the tone is overly bleak, don't worry. Robert Pattison is back with another ridiculous over the top accent. It's just like he was in The King. Over and hour of this movie goes by before he shows up and camps it out. It's not meant to be funny, his character is actually quite horrifying, but the execution provides some levity.

The film does have its downside. The point of the film is that everything is connected, but because there are so many different stories being told, inevitably some are more interesting than others. Sebastian Stan plays a corrupt sheriff for example, and he's Sandy's brother. I did not care about any of his "side quests" so to speak, and I'm still legitimately confused about point of one of them. This film uses a narrator who explains some pretty obvious things, but when I actually needed a better explanation, he was nowhere to be found.

Over all, I'm pleasantly surprised with this. It turns out I didn't need to scale back my expectations like I did. 

Recommedned: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Some people are born just to be buried." - Roy (Jason Clarke)

2020 Emmy Winners


We've made it to the end of Emmy Season! I was curious how tonight's virtual show was going to go, and honestly I think it went very well. I hope the Oscars, SAGs and Globes take note. This is how you do it.Every show that won tonight will donate $100,000 to No Kids Hungry, which was a nice touch. While there was a fet skits, they didn't overload us with them like I expected to and I liked them having actual essential workers presenting every now and then. As for my picks, I came in at 11/21 with the listed categories below. 50% is still passing, right? Below are my thoughts, the winners are highlighted in fuchsia because we're fancy tonight.

Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul
The Crown
Killing Eve
The Mandalorian
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
Succession
Ozark
While Succession didn't sweet like Schitt's Creek did, I'm happy to see it nab the top prize. That theme music is a bop and I never want to stop listening to it. 


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Laura Linney, Ozark
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Zendaya, Euphoria
I screamed when Zendaya won. She was such a dark horse nominee and to see her win, and to become the youngest winner ever at age 24 is so exciting. She also urged us to have hope in young people, even though her show often doesn't depict that. I thought that was very sweet.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Steve Carell, The Morning Show
Brian Cox, Succession
Billy Porter, Pose
Jeremy Strong, Succession
I got this one right! He seemed so genuinely shocked that he won, but I'm glad he did. I thought Cox might out edge him here. 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
Nicholas Braun, Succession
Matthew MacFayden, Succession
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld
I was pulling for Culkin, but I cannot get mad at a Crudup win because he was really fucking good on The Morning Show.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
Julia Garner, Ozark
Sarah Snook, Succession
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Forgive me, Julia Garner for underestimating you. She's won this award for the second year in a row. Even though I'm not caught up with Ozark, I've always enjoyed her as an actress so I'm happy with this. Sarah Snook winning would've been nice too.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Good Place
Dead To Me
Insecure
The Kominsky Method
Schitt’s Creek
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
What We Do In the Shadows
I haven't seen Schitt's Creek and they won EVERYTHING in the comedy categories so I won't have much to say here. Eventually I'll watch it. 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
I really need Issa Rae to win something.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Ramy Youssef, Ramy


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Mahershala Ali, Ramy
Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place



Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Yvonne Orji, Insecure
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


Outstanding Limited Series
Little Fires Everywhere
Mrs. America
Unbelievable
Unorthodox
Watchmen
This was such a stacked category and I liked all five shows, but Watchmen was the right winner. I'm happy for them.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Jeremy Irons, Watchmen
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education
Paul Mescal, Normal People
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True
HA! Statistics were not on my side for Ruffalo, the sole nominee for his series winning but he won anyways. He was so damn good, and I am so damn happy.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
Shira Haas, Unorthodox
Regina King, Watchmen
Octavia Spencer, Self Made
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere
Regina has now won her 4th Emmy and I never tire of seeing her win things. I would've been happy with Shira Haas winning too, but Unorthdox winning directing was a nice surprise for a show I expected to go home empty handed

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series
Holland Taylor, Hollywood
Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America
Margo Martindale, Mrs. America
Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Jean Smart, Watchmen
I did not see this coming at all, though I should have because this is Uzo's 3rd Emmy. 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series
Dylan McDermott, Hollywood
Jim Parsons, Hollywood
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen
Jovan Adepo, Watchmen
His speech about Dr. Manhattan giving a woman everything she needed in the body of a black man was beautiful. I'm really happy with this win. Two Dr. Manhattan's won tonight. 

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Andrew Scott, Black Mirror
James Cromwell, Succession
Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian
Martin Short, The Morning Show
Jason Bateman, The Outsider
Ron Cephas Jones, This is Us


Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away with Murder
Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
Cherry Jones, Succession
Harriet Walter, Succession
Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
Phylicia Rashad, This is Us


Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Fred Willard, Modern Family
Dev Patel, Modern Love
Brad Pitt, Saturday Night Live
Adam Driver, Saturday Night Live
Eddie Murphy, Saturday Night Live
Luke Kirby, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
I guessed Brad Pitt so I got this one wrong, but I'm glad Murphy got an Emmy since he was so egregiously snubbed for an Oscar nomination earlier this year.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Maya Rudolph, The Good Place
Angela Bassett, A Black Lady Sketch Show
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Saturday Night Live
Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live
Wanda Sykes, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Bette Midler, The Politician
I guessed Maya but I thought she'd win for The Good Place instead of SNL...still counting this as me getting it right. I'm petty.

Outstanding TV Movie
American Son
Bad Education
Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend
Bad Education is a great movie so I'm happy it won here. I was rooting for this and El Camino, which would've also been a worthy winner.

Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
John Oliver wins for the 5th year in a row and his reaction to his Emmy exploding out of a box was hilarious. He spoke so highly of his team and how much he misses them, and that was a sweet touch too.

Review: Spies in Disguise

 Cartoon Bond.

Agent Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is the world's greatest spy, but when a mission goes wrong, a villain named Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) copies his likeness and commits crimes, which results in Sterling having to run from his agency. Then there's Walter (Tom Holland) an inventor who works for the same agency and is fired by Sterling before all of this goes down. His inventions don't harm people, and when he tells Sterling he can make him disappear, Sterling jumps the gun, drinks his latest serum, and then finds out by "disappear" he meant "turn him into a pigeon that no one notices."

I was shocked when I logged on to write this review and saw that the film was actually under two hours. It feels so much longer than that. This really is a Bond movie for kids, it borrows all the same beats but Smith and Holland are fun enough to make it bearable. There were quite a few times that I legitimately laughed at things happening, but there were other times I found some of the jokes incredibly stupid.

This isn't groundbreaking animation by any stretch, and I think the pacing was actually kind of terrible for what should be a quick action story, but as a whole it works for an at home watch on HBO Max. It teaches a nice lesson and has a few good jokes. 

Recommended: Sure, it's free on streaming if you already have HBO.

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Glitter makes people happy." - Walter (Tom Holland)

Thursday Movie Picks: The Band

 

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is about Bands. I suppose you could interpret this as bands of people, but I took it for literal musical bands. Here are some of my favorite films that include them.

1) Breakfast on Pluto

I love this movie about a trans woman who leaves her Irish town and heads to London and their cabaret scene. It has an amazing performance by Cillian Murphy. After watching the documentary Disclosure, I know it's not highly regarded in the trans community anymore as Murphy is a cis, straight male playing the lead role, and that makes me a little sad because it's always been an indie film I recommended. Especially for those looking for LGBTQIA requests. 

2) God Help The Girl

This is one of the most aesthetically pleasing movies I've ever seen. I love everything about it. The music, the fashion, the way the leads make such a great team. It follows a girl fresh out of treatment for an eating disorder, a singer/songwriter, and one of his guitar students. They form a band together to share their love for songwriting. It's just a cute movie. 

3) Band Aid

This film is about a couple who in a last ditch effort to save their marriage decide to write all their fights into songs and start a band together. It's peak mumblecore but I like how it all plays out. 

Review: Unpregnant

Road Trip


Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) is a 17 year old girl in Missouri who needs an abortion. She finds out that the closest clinic to her that will allow her to get what she needs without parental consent is in New Mexico. When her boyfriend reacts in a way she doesn't expect, she enlists her former friend Bailey (Barbie Ferreira) to drive her there. Shenanigans ensues.

Everything I praised Never Rarely Sometimes Always for earlier this year for not doing happens in this movie, and it only makes me appreciate the former even more. I understand that they're going for very different things. This is more of a screwball comedy to NRSA's melancholy approach, but it harms the movie so much its impossible not to compare the two.

Everything goes wrong for Veronica and Bailey, they start out icy given their history, bond, have a huge blow out fight, then make up. That's not even a spoiler, that's just the basic trope. Richardson and Ferreira being delightful actresses is the only thing that makes this movie watchable. I've enjoyed their work elsewhere, so I stuck with this one even though by the time I hate the 75 minute mark all I wanted to do was fast forward to get it over with.

Aside from them, there is some nice cinematography and some of the jokes are funny, but this film is far too predictable and basic to fully enjoy.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "If any of this gets back to me I'm going to sew you two together like a human centipede." - Peg (Jeryl Prescott)



Review: Class Action Park

 ..Alpine Slide burn?


This documentary follows former staff and park goers of a water/amusement park in Vernon, New Jersey that was opened from 1978 to 1996. It was known for its dangerous rides, consistently
 uninterested teenage staff, and a healthy flow of booze to aid park goers in their dumb fuckery. It was essentially the first big American water park and judging by all the injuries and deaths that came from it, it's incredible that it was allowed to go on for as long as it did. Don't worry, there's an explanation for that to.

After being so bitterly disappointed in I'm Thinking of Ending Things, I turned on HBO Max for this as it had been on my recommended page for a few days, and let me tell you, this is exactly what I needed. I had never heard of Action Park before watching this so it was all new to me. Everyone in the documentary is super engaging and the cheap animation they used to reenact some of the rides was a funny touch. The amount of crimes being broken during all of this was staggering. From fake insurance, to paying teenagers to test the rides, to pulling teeth from some of the safety pads and having to paint the bottom of one of the pools white so lifeguards could spot bodies more easily, some of this stuff was truly out of this world.

But of course, it's not all fun and games and more than one person died at the park. One person's family is interviewed to bring us back to reality after an hour of bafflement. That's the one part the documentary struggles, the tone for the last 20 minutes or so is a bit weird because we're talking about something serious, but a few of the previous interviewees are still talking about how nostalgic they are for the part. Alison Becker saying that it was sort of like "If you can't take it, get out of Jersey" then cutting to the family going to the cemetery to visit their son's grave was a bit strange.

I haven't seen many documentaries yet this year but this is easily my favorite of what I have seen. I can't recommend this enough.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "And if you can't swim....yikes." - Faith Anderson

2020 Emmy Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

 


Can you believe the Emmys are next week already? I have no idea what the telecast is going to look like. I'm assuming it's going to be something like how the Globes had to work during the 2008 Writer's Strike, but either way, I'm excited! A lot of shows I watched this year were recognized and I'm going to break down who I think will win, and in some cases, who should win.

Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul
The Crown
Killing Eve
The Mandalorian
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
Succession
Ozark
Who will and should win: Succession
I can't see anyone else coming out on top this year. The second season was great and it feels like the most talked about show in the drama category, even with Ozark's third season being a hit as well. 


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Laura Linney, Ozark
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Zendaya, Euphoria
Who will win: Jennifer Aniston
Who should win: Her or Zendaya
Honestly, there's a lot of talent in this category. After watching The Morning Show recently, I fully believe Aniston is going to win and I'll be happy with that. I thought she was fantastic. I'd love if Zendaya took it though, because she was excellent in Euphoria.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Steve Carell, The Morning Show
Brian Cox, Succession
Billy Porter, Pose
Jeremy Strong, Succession
Who will win: Jeremy Strong
Who should win: Billy Porter
I'm less sure on this because I think Cox and Strong might split votes but I have a feeling Succession will be winning big this year. Bateman is definitely a strong candidate for Ozark. Carell was good in Morning Show, but he feels more Supporting. Billy Porter was excellent in this last season of Pose. I'd love to see him win.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
Nicholas Braun, Succession
Matthew MacFayden, Succession
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld
Who will win: Bradley Whitford
Who should win: Any, really.
I love every single performance in this category but due to so many shows being doubled up, there will be vote splitting and I think Whitford was stronger in THT than Wright was in Westworld. I'd love if Duplass, Culkin, or MacFayden won. Crudup was excellent in TMS too. There's so much talent here.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
Julia Garner, Ozark
Sarah Snook, Succession
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Who will win: Laura Dern
Who should win: Sarah Snook
Reigning champ Julia Garner benefited a lot last year from going up against 1100 Game of Thrones nominees so I think she has a harder time of repeating this year. Laura Dern is coming off an Oscar win, and Renata was the stand out of season 2 so I think that might help her. Sarah could bank another win for Succession but I'm just not sure here. We know how much everyone loves to award Meryl, so that could come into play here as well.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Good Place
Dead To Me
Insecure
The Kominsky Method
Schitt’s Creek
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
What We Do In the Shadows
Who will win: Schitt's Creek
Who should win: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or Insecure
I don't watch Schitt's Creek but it seems to be getting more buzz than previous winner Mrs. Maisel. 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Who will win: Catherine O'Hara
Who should win: Issa Rae
Issa Rae is hilarious in Insecure. There were several times this past season that I had to rewind scenes because I was laughing too hard and wanted to watch them again. I'm always partial to Brosnahan as Midge because I love that show as well, but again going by buzz, Catherine O'Hara is probably going to win. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Ramy Youssef, Ramy
Who will win: Ted Danson
Who should win: ?
I like Danson in The Good Place but I haven't seen any of the other nominees to compare. Unlike O'Hara, I don't think Levy will be as loved with voters. Ramy is the reigning Golden Globes winner, but they don't always translate to Emmy.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Mahershala Ali, Ramy
Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place
Who will and should win: Tony Shalhoub
I'd like to see William Jackson Harper win but I'm not sure if he has the edge. Shalhoub has won before and seems like a clear favorite so I don't think he'll have to worry about a lot of vote splitting for Sterling. (who I'm shocked qualified for supporting, I thought he'd be in Guest) Again, without seeing Ramy it's hard to gauge Ali's chances. I never hear anyone talk abou tthat show.


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Yvonne Orji, Insecure
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Who will win: D'Arcy Carden
Who should win: Yvonne Orji
I think D'Arcy has a good chance of winning here. Again, Schitt's Creek could be a threat. Gilpin never wins for GLOW and SNL and Mrs. Maisel will likely split votes. Of course, I love Orji and want her to win because she plays Molly so well.

Outstanding Limited Series
Little Fires Everywhere
Mrs. America
Unbelievable
Unorthodox
Watchmen
Who will and should win: Watchmen
I've seen all 5 of these and they're all wonderful. I'm still so happy for Unorthdox getting recognized but Watchmen is the clear winner. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Jeremy Irons, Watchmen
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education
Paul Mescal, Normal People
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True
Who will and should win: Mark Ruffalo
I cannot imagine anyone else but Ruffalo winning this. Irons was not a huge standout in Watchmen and even though Hugh Jackman was excellent in Bad Education, I still think Ruffalo out acted him. He is the only nominee for his show, but I still think his performance is strong enough to get him the win.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
Shira Haas, Unorthodox
Regina King, Watchmen
Octavia Spencer, Self Made
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere
Who will win: Regina King
Who should win: Shira Haas
This is touch because aside from Self Made, which I haven't seen, everyone else was excellent. It's definitely going to be a battle between Blanchett and King who were both excellent, but I have such a soft spot for Shira Haas. What she did in Unorthadox was incredible. 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series
Holland Taylor, Hollywood
Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America
Margo Martindale, Mrs. America
Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Jean Smart, Watchmen
Who will and should win: Jean Smart
Mrs. America only getting three nominations in this category will be the biggest shot. I thought they'd take up at least 5. Toni Collette was great in Unbelievable but I'm still annoyed that Kaitlyn Dever and Merrit Weaver were left out. 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series
Dylan McDermott, Hollywood
Jim Parsons, Hollywood
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen
Jovan Adepo, Watchmen
Who will and should win: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
I'm torn here. Statistics tell me that Tituss Burgess will probably win but who wasn't talking about Yahya while Watchmen was airing? I think he has a chance.

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Andrew Scott, Black Mirror
James Cromwell, Succession
Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian
Martin Short, The Morning Show
Jason Bateman, The Outsider
Ron Cephas Jones, This is Us
Who will win: Martin Short
Who should win: Jason Bateman
I love Andrew Scott but his nomination in this category is bullshit. I think voters will like The Morning SHow enough to give this to short, but Bateman was very memorable in his short stint on The Outsider.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away with Murder
Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
Cherry Jones, Succession
Harriet Walter, Succession
Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
Phylicia Rashad, This is Us
Who will and should win: Alexis Bledel
I'm pretty torn here, so I'm going with Bledel who has previously won in this category. 

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Fred Willard, Modern Family
Dev Patel, Modern Love
Brad Pitt, Saturday Night Live
Adam Driver, Saturday Night Live
Eddie Murphy, Saturday Night Live
Luke Kirby, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Who will win: Brad Pitt
Who should win: Adam Driver or Dev Patel
Dev's nomination in this category is again, kind of bullshit, but I cannot deny my thirst and Emmy voters would totally give both Pitt and Aniston awards in the same year. Adam Driver could win as a makeup for that Oscar he should've gotten. That would be nice.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Maya Rudolph, The Good Place
Angela Bassett, A Black Lady Sketch Show
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Saturday Night Live
Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live
Wanda Sykes, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Bette Midler, The Politician
Who will and should win: Maya Rudolph
I suppose Bette Midler could have a chance in The Politician, I haven't seen that show, but I think The Good Place will come out on top here.

Outstanding TV Movie
American Son
Bad Education
Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend
Who will win: Bad Education
Who should win: That or El Camino
I haven't seen all of these, so I'm just guessing here. El Camino was severely undernominated. I thought the Emmys would go nuts for this. 

Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Who will and should win: Last Week Tonight
No late night show makes me laugh as hard as John Oliver's. Give him another win.

2020 Blind Spot Series: Mildred Pierce


What I knew going in: All of it. 

Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford) is a hardworking woman who starts waiting tables after her husband leaves her. Her spoiled daughter Veda (Ann Blyth) looks down upon this, but she's determined to work her way up to owning her own restaurant. However, now her second husband, Monte (Zachary Scott) has been murdered and she finds herself relaying her story during questioning.

I must be one of the few people who watched the HBO mini series before seeing the actual movie. To be honest, outside of really liking Evan Rachel Wood's performance, I don't remember much of it. So even though I knew the story, this film felt very different than what I was expecting. 

It's funny to me that Joan Crawford has this bitchy reputation yet she's so good at playing these sympathetic characters. I liked Mildred immediately. Sure, she has her faults, but she's easy to root for. Even if you hate that she indulges Veda so much, you can understand why she does it. Ann Blyth was also wonderful here. Veda is the worst. I think I prefer Evan Rachel Wood's take on the character as it had more depth to it, but Blyth was good too. 

Another thing I enjoyed was the set up of Mildred narrating her own story. I thought it was a great way to tell it. I had expected to be luke warm on this the way I was with the mini series (which I now want to re-watch after seeing this) but I really just loved every second of it. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Harmless." (in response to how she likes her drinks) - Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford)

Thursday Movie Picks: Non-English Films

 

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is a yearly re-occurring theme, and one of my favorites. Non-English Films! I love seeing what other countries have to offer film wise and I feel fortunate that I'm able to get my hands on so many, even if it takes a bit of waiting. As always, I set a rule for myself not to reuse films I've used in the past, so here's what I came up with this year.

1) Parasite

From South Korea, it feels right to mention the only good thing to come from 2020 - and that's this year's reigning Best Picture champion. Director Bong Joon-Ho's quote  “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films” is something I 100% agree with and wish more people would get over. Parasite was an excellent film and one of the rare instances where the festival hype paid off exactly the way I thought it would. I love this movie.

2) The 400 Blows

From France, this was a film I had on my very first Blind Spot list and has been one I've been thinking about a lot lately. It's anchored by one of the best child performances out there and was my intro into French New Wave. I still have far to go in that genre but now that I have HBO Max, I'll have the option to watch this again and I'm very happy with that. 

3) Scenes From a Marriage

From Sweden, this is a film that I liked upon first viewing, but as I get further away from it I feel like my feelings for it grow stronger. It's such a well made movie. I think I love it more every minute. Ingmar Bergman is basically the biggest motivator for me joining the Blind Spot blogathon and he's never disappointed me as a director. Even the films of his I don't care for, I still never full on hate. 

Review: I'm Thinking of Ending Things

 We have a connection.


A young woman (Jessie Buckley) is going to meet her boyfriend Jake's (Jesse Plemmons) parents for the first time. She's already thinking of ending their relationship. As she goes over this in her mind, Jake almost seems to hear her thoughts. When she arrives at his family's home and meets his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis) things get stranger.

Have you ever felt like a movie was effectively gaslighting you? Because that's how I felt watching I'm Thinking of Ending Things. I didn't realize until sitting down to write this review that Buckley's character is credited as "young woman." She's introduced as Lucy, but then later on we learn that might not even be her real name. Her not having a name in the credits is honestly the icing on the cake of how bothered I am about the way her character is treated.

I wanted to like this movie so much. The trailer was awesome, I love the actors involved and I've enjoyed Kaufman's work in the past, but I just found myself frustrated while watching this. I guessed early on what part of the "twist" was going to be, but I wasn't prepared for how empty I'd feel after it all plays out. It starts off so strongly and then it feels like we're going in circles. Jake is a character that's obsessed with media and every strong moment Lucy (Yes, she gets a name here) has is followed up by a distracting rant about whatever book or movie they're talking about on this long, treacherous drive they're going through and it felt less and less like an actual conversation someone would have. 

And that's the point. Without spoiling anything, once you get to the end it makes sense why everything is the way it is, but it isn't a compelling as it ought to be. The actors at least save this from being a giant head-scratcher. Buckley and Plemmons are both wonderful. Collette and Thewlis are good too, though they're not in the film for very long. Visually, I liked a lot of the film as well, but that can't save me from the bitter disappointment I feel from this.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can't fake a thought." - LUCY (Jessie Buckley)