There are few actresses who give full-on, metaphorical balls-to-the-wall performances. Betty Gilpin is one of those people. She gives immensely high-caliber performances every time she is on screen. So, with the release of “The Hunt” (2020) fast approaching it is time we take a moment to appreciate the underappreciated Betty Gilpin. Gilpin has been working long before her turn as actress-turned-wrestler on Netflix’s “GLOW.” But it has been her Emmy-nominated performance as Debbie Eagan and wrestling alter-ego Liberty Belle that has shone a light on her innate talent.
If you are unfamiliar with the book or the story in general, be cautious travellers: this is one of those films that is going to be coated in melodrama and ultimately, demanding of your tears. The question is, is the journey worth that outcome? Yes. As with life itself (which primarily ties to the central heart of the story: there are always bright places in dark times) things can be challenging, disheartening, and sometimes downright seemingly hopeless, but we can prevail. That sort of message, even if it’s paraded at times here, is worth seeking, and if it allows someone out there to feel less alone, the intent is successful.
February is the month of Valentine’s Day and of love, so it’s the perfect time to discuss romantic comedies. Over the past few years, Netflix has produced a plethora of original rom-coms. While not all of them are top-notch quality (yes, I’m thinking of the slew of Noah Centineo vehicles they made after the success of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” (2018)), they’ve proven themselves to be the top studio for this sort of movie.
“Horse Girl” (2020) is an oddity of a film, but a moving and harrowing one at that. Alison Brie stars and co-wrote it with director Jeff Baena, known for his ability to construct a marriage of dark subject matter and comedy. Here, there’s definitely a gloom, and while there is some humor, “Horse Girl” is mostly a rabbit hole down one woman’s detachment from reality. It also provides Brie, an incredibly talented and versatile actress, a chance to embody a role entirely. While I missed the film at Sundance, I was able to chat with Brie briefly, and I know how personal this story was to her. Even without that context, it’s clear. It is a tour de force for Brie, showing her devotion to the performance in every way.
Cards on the table. I am a member of Team Swift. Even though I am probably not the target demographic for her music. To me, she's a clearly talented and interesting songwriter and performer, and whom I believe showed great promise with her early dabble in acting on an episode of C.S.I. Except... there's always been something slightly manufactured about Taylor. Is it her straight-line upward success trajectory from her early days in Country to being a Queen of Pop? Was it the constant headlines about her relationships with various men or her celebrity girl gang? And then there are the Kanye West shenanigans. She's one of a handful of superstars that have grown up in the Social Media Age (see also, Gaga, Lady and Perry, Katy), and on the whole, has seemingly managed a public persona that's.. well just darn nice. Possibly just too nice.
He’s done it, he’s finally done it! Writer/director Tyler Perry has brought into existence, this demonic spawn of a film, this thing--this living, breathing creature from the depths of darkness where no light penetrates. Given what I’ve seen from Perry, I was expecting awful, but this far exceeds anything my mind could’ve conjured up. This spectacularly misogynistic monstrosity is one of the most inept films I’ve ever seen. Cheaply made, phoney, stilted, insultingly asinine...and all I can say is: Watch. It. Now.
Numa Perrier’s feature debut “Jezebel” (2019) is a deeply personal film that makes viewers feel like they’re a part of the action. Perrier, the writer director, and co-star of the film, based the film on her experiences as a cam girl. The film is an important step in humanizing sex workers, a group of people who are often looked down on and disrespected. At its heart, “Jezebel” is about sisterhood and grief through the lens of two sex workers struggling financially and emotionally.
January 20th, 2020 is a date that will go down in infamy as the end of one the greatest eras in modern television : the brief but powerful reign of "Bojack Horseman", star of screen and book. Five and a half moving, funny, poignant, brilliant seasons have left little doubt that Raphael Bob Waksberg and friends will knock the final six episodes out of the park but there are many questions left about how our dubious hero will say his final goodbyes. Besides "The Office" ( the soundtrack of my life) there are few shows I have examined as carefully or studied as intensely as "Bojack Horseman". It is the only show I’ve ever loved enough to consider a fan tattoo. My careful examination of a show that rewards careful examination has revealed the following : Bojack Horseman’s (Will Arnett) life is in danger.
"Marriage Story" is actually a tale about a divorce - that of two successful theatre artists, Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson). Initially, the film appears to be entirely Charlie’s story but without Nicole, there would be no movie. In the beginning, he is unable to see his wife for who she really is but he grows to see her so clearly that he can fully appreciate the extent of what he’s lost. That theme - of appreciating women as fully formed human beings, equal to their male partners and counterparts - is what makes "Marriage Story" a feminist love story.