Streaming Quick Takes: "Harry and Megan", "Fleishman in Trouble", "Amsterdam", "The Crown," and More
Fleishman is in Trouble A- Hulu
Taffy Brodesser-Akner is so smart. This series is based on her book of the same title, and she wrote most of the episodes. The writing is sharp, refreshing, and lush. She is the female Aaron Sorkin. There, I have said it. I don’t want to say too much, because I don’t want to spoil any of the many surprising ways this series unfolds. Suffice it to say it’s worth watching the entire series. I will say that it percolates a little slow, so hang in there. I have never had a series take a hard left so late in the series and loved the new direction but this in definitely true of Fleishman is in Trouble. Claire Danes proves why she is one of the great actresses of our time. Watch to see. The writing stumbles on itself in the final episode or I would have given this a higher score. It’s quite good.
Harry and Megan Netflix B
Yes, I watched it. What can I say? I’m rooting for them. I hope their love story is half what they made it out to be. You know why? Because he is Diana’s son, and when he was born all I remember people saying was “An heir and a spare.” What a horrible way to come into the world. He deserves to find happiness and be loved for who he is. I hope that is the case, because he has gone all in. My favorite parts were the home movies they shot themselves, after the photographers had been sent home. Listen, all of our lives would look great if we had make-up artists and four people to dress us with one professional photographer capturing all the best moments and tossing the rest. I hope they’ve made enough money to live in peace now and continue their charity work.
The Crown Netflix C
I didn’t like this season. I don’t care for Imelda Staunton as the queen. Claire Foy set the bar high. She studied the queen and the nuances of her speech. I feel like Staunton didn’t watch Foy’s performance and didn’t make any attempt for there to be a through line from the two previous actresses’ performances. Meh. This season was really about Charles and Diana, and it felt more than a little manipulative. The agenda was clear: Don’t make Charles look too bad, but it’s okay to cast doubt on Diana as long as it appears she has been taken advantage of…it all made me want to throw up. And poor, poor Camilla? Please!
Amsterdam HBO Max B
The fun of this movie is its amazing cast. If you were playing a drinking game and every time a celeb had a cameo, you had to drink, you would be drunk enough to enjoy the movie without caring about its thin plot and plodding pace. Maybe. It’s not a bad movie, it’s just not a great movie. It certainly deserves the best cast award from the Screen Actor’s Guild. Be amused by the cameos, don’t look deeper. The cupboard is pretty bare.
Good Luck To You, Leo Grande HULU B+
In 2022 it seems Hollywood’s advice for white women over 50 who have lost their sense of self and want to get your groove back is have sex with a young man of color in his 20’s. Although Olivia Coleman does this in Empire of Light, without showing quite as much skin as Emma Thompson in this somewhat lighter flick. The irony is that for a large portion of Good Luck To You, Leo Grande it’s very talky. Talk, talk, talk, until you find yourself thinking – Sheesh, are they going to do it or not? That’s director Sophie Hyde delivering on foreplay. There is some good character development here and the two actors, Emma Thompson and the delightful Darryl McCormack, shoulder the film well. No spoiler alerts but let’s say this is an R-rated movie for good reason. If I’m honest I wish it were a little less R-rated. My opinion.
Wendell and Wild Netflix B
Directed by Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas) this animated feature stars Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key as the title characters. It’s weird, it’s wild, it’s dark. This is not a Disney animated film. The film shows real promise but quickly gets mired in the realities set forward in the script. It struggles to stay on track and get to an ending that ultimately is not as satisfying as the first 10 minutes of the movie had us hoping. I genuinely loved some of the messages imbedded in the film about identity, grief, loss, blame and even surviving the teen years. Sadly, I wouldn’t show this to a teenager, leaving me to wonder who the target audience was? If you love Nightmare Before Christmas, you will love the animation.
Name the film starting with the Letter A that featured the listed character(s)
Mozart (1984 film) A_____________
Harry Stamper, deep-core oil driller (1998) A_____________
The Brewster Family (1944) A____________ (four words)
Patrick Bateman, investment banker (2000) A____________(two words)
13 year-old writer, Briony Tallis (2007) A_____________
Answers next week...