• Marilyn Gardner Woods

Anybody else confused?

Updated: Apr 23



Remember how easy it used to be to show up at the neighborhood theater, buy a ticket, get your popcorn and red hots and settle in?


Not so today. Streaming, Netflix, Scener, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Metastream, Two Seven, Disney Plus, Squad - the options make my head swim.







In this dark thriller, Promising Young Woman, Carey Mulligan (love her), performs flawlessly as a medical-school dropout who will stop at nothing to get revenge on a classmate.


Best pic and Best Actress nominations.


Spellbinding.











Prepare to be confused and compelled into this stupendously effective and profoundly upsetting film, The Father, in which Anthony Hopkins gives a scalding, Oscar-worthy performance as a man stricken by dementia. Your emotions will go from bafflement to outright distress, mirroring Hopkins, the father, and his struggle.





Since seeing "One Night in Miami" and following it up by reading the autobiography of Malcolm X, I am obsessed with the 1960's, a decade I missed mostly changing diapers, carpooling, Beatle-watching and the like. This movie, Judas and the Black Messiah, impels me to dive deeper...



which I did with this movie, The Trial of the Chicago 7.


“The whole world is watching!” This iconic chant from the protest movement of the ‘60s sparked conversation with my friends and colleagues about how far we've come since the riots of 1968 and the subsequent trial and also what on goes on today.







The main reason I watched Mank first was because my son-in-law's sister-in-law's brother - John Churchill - is featured as one of the writers. It is the story of how Herman Mankiewicz, played brilliantly by Gary Oldman, wrote “Citizen Kane,” despite being drunk, dissolute and broken — literally; he’s in a cast throughout, the result of a fractured leg suffered in a car accident.


Black and white so cool...








This last in my having-seen lineup of nominated Best Pictures (still need to see Nomadland and Sound of Medal ) was Minari, both charming and heartbreaking.


But this little boy may be the most adorable ever in movies. He and the loving, foul-mouthed grandmother, Yuh-Jung Youn , who is nominated for Best Supporting Actress steal the show!









With that said, my little mini-reviews offer no sign of an uplifting film. Thought-provoking, suspenseful, devastatingly sad, but no laughers. I'm okay with that. Really, really good movies, just in time for the Academy Awards on Sunday.


Two more to go for me. Got to figure out where to view. If you, too, are confused, here's how to see them all. Click here. Not a lot of time before the Oscars - but binge-watch and give it a try!


Glad I'm not a voting member of the Academy. Great movies this year!




PS If you've seen them all or are looking for a book recommendation, I loved Hamnet, the historical fiction story of William Shakespeare's family - his three children (an older daughter and a set of twins-a girl and a boy, Hamnet, the title of the book) and his wife, Agnes. It is her that the story is really all about. I loved her character. Author, Maggie O'Farrell writes brilliantly.





Oh, and did I mention how awesome the Padres are doing? Hometown boy, Joe Musgrove became the first pitcher in the history of the club to throw a no-hitter recently. San Diego icon! Go Padres!



Thanks for the synopsis. Will really help Sunday night since we have only seen Mank!!!! SB


Have you seen Concrete Cowboy (with Idris Elba, the UK's Denzel Washington), The Aftermath (with Kiera Knightley), The Next 3 Days (most suspenseful ever, with Russel Crowe), The Dig (with Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan), The Dressmaker (with Kate Winslet). I just realized how Brit-driven my film taste is. RS

Thank you for your reviews of the movies. We will try several of them. Jan and Bruce







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