I apologize for being off the radar. Often, when I have something that I find difficult to approach, I can’t seem to do anything else.
So here goes, I am going to start with not necessarily the Bad, but definitely the uncomfortable and wrong. Jojo Rabbit was a highly anticipated movie that was voted TIFF 2019 Grolsch People’s Choice Award. We got to the theater late and really didn’t hear the director, Taika Waititi speak, but I am not sure that would have really helped. Scarlett Johannsen (Avengers: End Game), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace) and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri) play their roles well. After a lot of thought about what to say when asked, I came up with “I don’t think that we should ever think of Hitler and smile”. I will admit the movie would have been funny if JoJo’s imaginary friend had been a big blue rabbit! If you have a different perspective, I would love to hear it.
Our Rating for “Jojo Rabbit”
Now for The Good
I was all ready to tell you to stay home and watch the original Midway (1976), with it’s all-star cast. But if you are a fan of WWII movies this year’s Midway is worth watching on the big screen. The cast is not quite as star studded, but it does have Woody Harrelson (The Highwaymen), Patrick Wilson and Mandy Moore. Also, Luke Evans, Ed Skeirin (If Beale Street Could Talk), and Nick Jonas help fill out the eye candy quotient. This movie is a little more interesting as more real people are portrayed in the film, not just the major players.
Our Rating for “Midway”
The Current War: Director’s Cut is another film that got caught in the Weinstein scandal. This movie premiered at TIFF 2017. We couldn’t fit it in our schedule, so we thought we’d just see it later in the fall. Two years later it has finally hit the big screen. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Edison in his usual “I am so talented at whatever I do you can’t actually expect me to have to deal with ordinary people and events” fashion. This time with an American accent. Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water) is George Westinghouse, a man, maybe without the vision, but with a plan. I especially liked the character of Marguerite Westinghouse, played beautifully by Katherine Waterston. Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite) plays Nikola Tesla much like his character, a lot of vision but not much plan. Overall and enjoyable and informative film.
Our Rating for “The Current War: Director’s Cut”
Harriett is another film that brings to light a fascinating time in history that had gotten a little lost in the myth. This is a well done film that seems to stick fairly to the facts. Cynthia Enrivo’s (Bad Times at the El Royale) portrayal of Tubman is engrossing. Leselie Odom, Jr., Joe Alwyn (Mary, Queen of Scots), Henry Hunter Hall and Janelle Monáe (Welcome to Marwen) added depth to the cast. If you don’t see this in the theaters, make sure to stream it.
Our Rating for “Harriet”
And finally, the Yummy
Last Christmas is a fantastical bit of holiday fluff. Emilia Clarke (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Henry Golding (A Simple Favor) are adorable as Kate and Tom. Michelle Yeoh’s (Crazy Rich Asians) Santa adds the right amount of snark so the story isn’t too sappy. Emma Thompson (Late Night) is surprising as Kate’s mother, Petra. A sweet story about adjusting to abrupt changes in your life that cause you to reinvent yourself. This may not become a classic but it is worth the trip to the theater.
Our Rating for “Last Christmas”