2021 Golden Globes Nominees and Other Reviews.

It’s awards season! It’s the woot-woot time of my year, but I’m super sad there will be no traditional ceremonies and red-carpet events. The fashion was half the fun and while I’ll definitely be tuning in, the experience will not be the same. (Insert image of me blubbering into a cocktail here). That said, I’m trying to do my homework. So far, hubby and I have viewed a few of the contenders. In no particular order, below are my thoughts.


Bottom line, I loved this movie. It is sticking with me. . . in a good way. A black and white, noir-looking film, before going in, I worried it would be another Hollywood eye-roll thing where it was too artsy and not enjoyable. And I’ll admit, until I really understood what was going on, I was tempted to click it off. It was difficult to get into. The movie is primarily about Herman J. Mankiewicz, the big machine of Hollywood before WWII, and about the inspiration for and writing the screenplay for the classic movie Citizen Kane.

It’s shot like Citizen Kane too. Kind of choppy if I recall correctly, with flashbacks and interesting cinematography, and of course, also shot in black and white. There was genius-level dialog written by Jack Fincher. Honest to God, I want to read the screenplay. I may do that because I missed so many eye-opening gems of lines. There was just too much for my pea brain to absorb before the next solid gold nugget came at me. I need to watch the movie again.

Hang in there; don’t turn it off! It’s about the writer’s process and the agony of the creative beast coming together alongside the ruthless, heartless, business end of the movie-making biz. Can someone please tell me how those movie stars persevered under the sick tyrannical bullshit of Lewis B. Mayer? Ugh.

Towards the end, two scenes stood out. The first is the big dining room showdown at San Simeon and the wretched emptiness of William Randolf Hearst which echoed through the cavernous space while Mank lays deep drunken truths on the table telling them about their sad and lonely existence. Gary Oldman gets an Oscar for that scene alone.

Then when Orson Wells – the voice effing spot on – played by Tom Burke – visits Mank at the home he set him up in to dry-out and write. The two argue, Orson gets angry and throws stuff, and not overly riled by the violence, they stop quarreling in mid-fight, for a moment’s musing that Citizen Kane needed a good purging violence scene like that too. OMG. The writer’s life. They live in the story. The beauty of the creative triumphs over all.

There is also the inspiring Upton Sinclair and his progressive reforms storyline entrenched into Mank – and I suppose into Citizen Kane too. Damn. Now I’ve got to go back and watch that movie again. It’s been a long time. What would the world have been like without Upton Sinclair? Pluck that guy out of history. I wonder.

Listen, I could go on, but I worry about spoilers. Just watch the movie! Finish it! Even if you’re tempted to click off like I originally was.

Here’s to you, Herman. I wish you were still with us, writing today.

Hillbilly Elegy

Loved it. The acting was first rate, and while it didn’t make me cry, I was terrifically involved with each of the characters and moved by their stories. Based on a book about the real life of J.D. Vance which I hadn’t read, the painful journeys of each of the characters were so very human and reflected beautifully the damaging cycle that poverty, alcohol and drug abuse, and violence will take on each generation. No spoilers, but it was an uplifting story about choices, love, and perseverance. Never before has a Texas Instruments calculator played such an important role in the lives of so many. The ripples of that took my breath away. They were endless. Five stars!

Trial of the Chicago 7

Oh boy. I think my jaw dropped at least a dozen times while watching. I screamed and pounded my fist too. The lives these real people lived! The heroism. If I didn’t know it was true, I almost wouldn’t have believed it. The people who fought for their principles should be proud of what they represented and accomplished. Unfortunately, real change happens in minuscule steps. For them though, let’s take a collective bow and say thanks. And I’m sorry. The movie is a beautiful tribute and puts on display the culture and values of the society during those times as well as on some who lived it. The film offered a glimpse of American life during the Vietnam era and shined light on the grand truths.

I Care a Lot

OMG. I was wildly stressed out at the beginning of this movie and fled from the room. George plowed on, and I peeked back after 30 minutes and resumed watching when he assured me that retribution was coming for the main, evil character played convincingly by Rosamund Pike. Damn girl. The movie was chilling, well-acted, filled with twists, and kept you on the seat of your chair until the incredible end. Great movie if you’re not a coward like me.

Bliss – not up for an award (to my knowledge), but on this list because I’m making a list and I need to purge my rage somewhere.

Hated this movie. Sorry! Great acting, love the actors, the plot and story kept me intrigued, but in the end, I was just pissed off. I can’t say much more because of spoilers. The previews made me think we were going somewhere other than where it took me. Whatever. I just wasn’t into it. Curious what others think. #bliss on Twitter. Let’s chat.

Pretend It’s a City – not up for an award either – just throwing my confetti on it!

Loved. L-o-v-e Fran Lebowitz. She made me smile a lot. It’s an easy-to-watch documentary about Fran and her opinions filmed by her old friend, Martin Scorsese. It was an eating popcorn, cuddle under the blankets on a lazy Sunday afternoon kind of a show.

I saw it parodied on SNL – with Fran and Marty characters being spoofed and I wasn’t all that happy that they made the show seem silly and that Martin Scorsese’s delight in Fran was over the top. The fact is, Martin is tickled by Fran Lebowitz and so am I. I’ve been a fan of hers since the weird Warhol days and I learned a lot about this eccentric woman during the course of the show. She’s a unique person who I totally relate to. At one point she said something about (paraphrasing here. . . ) spending her days reading and plotting revenge. Come on. That’s my kind of girl! I heart her.

Enola Holmes

(again, not up for an award – but should be)

Millie Bobby Brown, you’re a dream. She plays Enola Holmes in this wonderful movie—the young, clever, curious, and abandoned sister of Sherlock and Mycroft. It was a little jewel that I came across in the middle of the night. Enola, (the word “Alone” spelled backward) reminded me a bit of the wonderful movie Tuck Everlasting. Maybe because they take place during the same time period – somewhere around the early 1900s and the world was different. Also, lives were in jeopardy. Enola lives in England, alone with her mother, played by the oh-so-fabulous Helena Bonham Carter, until. . . she doesn’t. Clues, clues, clues. The fascinating Holmes family.

It’s a charming movie. Watch it.

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