What We Watched – January and February 2021

Lupin (Netflix, France, 2021)
Linda’s recommendation: Definite Yes
These best thing about this series is that it is so much FUN to watch. The “gentleman burglar” is not a really bad guy nor a wholly good one. He is ahead of everyone but just by one step; wily, rather than playing a long complex con that is difficult to follow. The writing and editing are tight, the pace is snappy. I’ve seen five of the first ten episodes, and enjoyed it very much.

Into the Wild (Netflix)
Linda’s recommendation: Yes
Based on the book by Jon Krakauer, and a true story, this film is a story well told. A rare case where I thought the film superior to the book. Great acting by both big and small name cast.

The Professor and the Madman (The Virtual State)
Linda’s recommendation: Yes but no hurry
Sean Penn and Mel Gibson star in this true historical drama about the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary. Set in the middle of the 19th century, it is a little confused about what kind of movie it wants to be, but overall the story is good.

76 Days
(The Virtual State)
Linda’s recommendation: Meh
The first 76 days of the pandemic in a hospital in Wuhan, China shot documentary style. No added commentary or framework was provided; I didn’t really understand this film.

The Prestige (Hulu, movie)
Linda’s recommendation: No
Great cast that delivers a muddled, confusing, and ultimately unbelievable story. Mixes drama and supernatural with a silly result, it is too long and there is too much muttering.

High Fidelity (Hulu, 10 episodes)
Linda’s recommendation: Yes
I loved the original with John Cusak, and was surprised at how good this remake was. A great ensemble cast mostly unknown to me – I enjoyed performances by Zoe Kravitz, David H. Holmes, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Jake Lacy. The emotion I felt when this ten episode ‘series’ ended was exactly the same as after the original ended – a bittersweet, happy-sad kind of feeling. I enjoyed it.

The Morning Show (AppleTV, 10 episodes)
Linda’s recommendation: Definite Yes
This show captures exactly how it feels to work in a big corporation, both good and bad. Reveals the subtleties of #MeToo experience. I really enjoyed watching the characters reveal themselves.

Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself (Hulu)
Linda’s recommendation: Yes, Yes, HELL YES
This was fabulous. I agree with the comment that this is “exceedingly difficult to categorize, but at its core it is about identity and how we see ourselves compared to how we are seen by others.” So good, I’d say if you don’t have Hulu, get it now so you can watch this 90 minute show immediately.

Gran Torino (Netflix)
Linda’s recommendation: Okay
Typical Clint Eastwood vehicle where he doesn’t seem capable of speaking, but this film has a warm heart and was enjoyable.

Doubt (AppleTV)
Linda’s recommendation: Yes
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Amy Adams in a perfect representation of 1950’s Catholic life. I enjoyed the flashback, and the dilemma.

The Dig (Netflix)
Linda’s recommendation: Yes
I enjoyed this lyrically-paced film about a group of people whose lives intersect with an archeology project.

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