One of the more conservative sites I read for perspectives on current entertainment is “The Gospel Coalition.” Some months I struggle with my recommendations because my level of sensitivity to R rated movies is very different from that of my closest friends. I love the disclaimer that opens “The Gospel Coalition” each month:
“TGC reviews media that is not suitable for everyone. To help readers make wise decisions, we recommend reading ‘Should I watch this?’ at www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/should-i-watch-this-5-questions-for-the-discerning-viewer/.” You may also email me at email@example.com to ask more specific questions or share something you love!
A few readers noticed I love scary movies and shows and asked that I recommend some entertainment in this genre. Skip ahead if this isn’t you! One thing I recently enjoyed is “Malevolent” on Netflix. It’s the story of four young people who stage “house cleansing” services and then have the tables turned on them. It’s actually a family drama, but it does have some gore and violence. I also love “Servant” on HBO Max, a series produced by one of my favorite directors, M. Night Shyamalan. And finally, I love “Midnighters” on Hulu. It’s in the vein of “The Undoing,” where one bad decisions leads to another.
My favorite series this month is “Your Honor,” starring and directed by the incomparable Bryan Cranston. Mr. Cranston plays a judge who seeks to protect his son after he commits a crime and goes to awful lengths to do so. There is language and implied violence. It seems lots of successful series coming out during the pandemic are asking the age old question, “How far would you go to protect a loved one?”
My favorite movie this month is “Nomadland” on Hulu. I adore the actress Frances McDormand, and she is stellar in this quiet, slow, thoughtful movie. It is based on the true story of Empire, Nevada. The U.S. Gypsum plant was the biggest employer in Empire. When it closed its doors in 2011, the town’s entire zip code disappeared in a few years. Frances portrays widowed Fern who loses everything and takes to an RV in order to travel to find work. There are only three professional actors in the film; all the other actors are real people who actually lived this life. The music is so beautiful and haunting that it almost plays a character in this film.
Another film I enjoyed this month is “Our Friend” on Amazon Prime. It is a true story of a young married couple with two daughters who rely on the help of their best friend as the wife battles cancer. It takes place in Fairhope, Alabama. It is sad, but I’m so glad I saw it. It made me really reflect on the friendships in my life and the definition of a true friend.
Two documentaries I devoured this month were “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at The Cecil Hotel” on Netflix and “Framing Britney Spears” on Hulu. I kept rewinding the Britney documentary to make sure I heard the facts correctly!
One of my favorite shows that is currently airing but also available on Hulu is “The Good Doctor.” Freddie Highmore brilliantly portrays a doctor with autism. Another show currently airing (both of these shows are on ABC) that I enjoy is “Big Sky,” which is about a small town hiding an insidious secret.
By next month we will have witnessed our first virtual awards show and will have Oscar nominations in hand, so get ready! And pass that popcorn, please ...