What To Watch Now

On Netflix:

BroadchurchVeteran Brit powerhouse actresses (Charlotte Rampling; Marianne Jean Baptiste) join the strong ensemble cast as dueling barristers (lawyers) in S2 of the crime drama set in the quiet, beautiful, close-knit town. It’s time for the trial, BUT there is still suspense. We learn more re: another crime from the past of DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant). I’ve seen the first 3 eps so far.

Orange is the New BlackThis show continues to grow (new guards and inmates come in, incl. a young/hijabi/black/Muslim woman and a celeb akin to Martha Stewart, played by Blair Brown). How will Sophia deal w/ being in isolation?  What will Piper do next now that she has the rep of being a badass?  Will Crazy Eyes ever find real love?  The jail is overcrowded now, w/ a large pop. of  Latinas bused in.  I have only seen 3 eps- need to get back into it soon!  

In Theaters:

Finding DoryMy mom (big fan of Finding Nemo) & I saw this yesterday afternoon (TOO hot to be out)- we LOVED it! The short film (Piper) was SO cute/well-made/touching!  The octopus, Hank (Ed Oneill) was my fave; it was esp. cool how he blended into the environment around him (like a chameleon).  Gorgeous Brits Idris Elba & Dominic West play two seals. Veteran comedy actors (Eugene Levy & Diane Keaton) voice Dory’s kind/encouraging parents.

Free State of JonesThe McConaughssaince  continues w/ this (based on a true story) historical drama set during the Civil War. But I must admit that the first 5 mins are tough to watch (bloody/gory/realistic); the diverse audience I saw it w/ gasped and cringed at some scenes. There is absolutely NOTHING glam re: war, and boy does this film show us that! The pitch-perfect Matthew is joined by luminous Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) and Mahershala Ali (who MANY will know from House of Cards on Netflix). In his role as Moses, an escaped field slave separated from his wife and young son, Ali gets to show us a LOT more of his talent. Even in the quiet moments, he is a strong screen presence.

No man outta tell another man what he’s gotta live for or what he’s gotta die for!  Newton Knight declares to his small band of followers- runaway Confederate soldiers, poor white farmers (including widows w/ children), & runaway slaves

I can’t believe that history like this is NOT taught in schools!  I’m SO glad that I got to see it for free at a pre-screening. Unlike what Col. Robert Gould Shaw (played by Matthew Broderick in Glory) said in one his letters to his mother (“I do not know these men, their jokes, their songs”)- Knight can relate to the blacks around him. He lived in the swamps w/ them, foraged for food/fished w/ the men, etc.  Check this film out if you can!

On TV:

The Night OfThis is an HBO limited series starring British-Pakistani actor, Riz Ahmed, and veteran actor, John Turturro (who had to take over after the death of James Gandolfini). The story centers on a Pakistani-American college kid from Queens, Nas Khan, who is questioned, then arrested, for the murder of a young woman he picked up in his father’s cab one night while on the way to a party.  The original story comes from across the pond (England), where the accused suspect was played by boyish/waifish Ben Whishaw; that story was focused on class from what I’ve heard.  This version doesn’t shy away from the fact that the suspect is a Muslim male, or the inherent suspicions that come w/ that in post-9/11 era. 

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