What We Watched – November and December 2020

The Way (2012)
Linda’s recommendation: Surprising Yes
This Estevez family project is unexpectedly touching, telling the story of a father making the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in place of his son.

Glory (Netflix)
Linda’s recommendation: Okay
The story of the black soldiers of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. Told from the perspective of the white commanders it is overly dramatically and romantic IMO. The cinematography and a young Denzel Washington are high points.

This Is Us (NBC on Hulu)
Linda’s recommendation: Perfect for someone, but not for me.
A long, melodramatic soap opera. 18 episodes in each season is just too long. My feeling is if you can’t tell your story in two seasons of six episodes each (plus a Christmas special) then your script needs editing. That’s what television watching in the U.K. will teach you. Ultimately too much is just so boring.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Linda’s recommendation: Awful
I have never seen this movie with Steve Martin and John Candy, directed by John Hughes, so we decided to watch it on Thanksgiving day. I could not believe how bad it was. Not even remotely funny.

The Farewell (2019 Amazon Prime Video)
Linda’s recommendation: Sweet and innocent
Set mostly in present day China, this story about an extended family’s drama is fun to follow along with.

Uncle Frank (Amazon Prime Video)
Linda’s recommendation: Enjoyable with some caveats
Directed by Alan Ball, with some terrific acting by Paul Bettany. Best use of cigarettes as prop. A coming out story from the 1960’s and focussed on the South.

An Education (Netflix)
Linda’s recommendation: Predictable but good
Required viewing for all 16 year olds. Set in Twickenham in 1961, this is the classic dilemma about choosing to own your own future or taking the fun, easy way forward before you understand how un-fun and not easy that choice is. Carey Mulligan is excellent.

Mud (Hulu)
Linda’s recommendation: I enjoyed this
Matthew McConaughey plays Mud, a fugitive hiding out on a remote island who is discovered, and then assisted, by two young boys.

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