Brain Dump: A Wife’s Nightmare, Annie, On My Way, Into the Woods

It’s time for a brain dump. My brain is teeming with thoughts about this and that – mostly movies I watched over the holidays. Short thoughts. Thoughts so short that combining them into one post seems like a grand idea.

A Wife’s Nightmare

Jennifer Beals in "A Wife's Nightmare"
Jennifer Beals

A Wife’s Nightmare gave us a Jennifer Beals who was unsure, compliant, nervous, and worried. The gaslighting part of the story was a new acting challenge for Jennifer Beals and she did it very well. I was happy she found her way to some backbone by the end of the story, however. Jennifer Beals is always a pleasure to watch. Here’s a full review.

Annie

dancing and singing on a rooftop
Rose Byrne and Quvenzhané Wallis in Annie

Annie is a wonderful update to the familiar story. The new songs were perfect contemporary music. The cast was excellent, particularly Quvenzhané Wallis. Hat tips to older versions of the story were well done.

I had the pleasure of going to the movie with a friend and her two grandchildren who danced in their seats and sang along. Afterwards they agreed that the movie was really good. These two biracial youngsters – ages 3 and 6 – wanted their hair freshly washed for the movie so it would look like “Annie hair.” The importance they placed on looking like Annie reminded me again how critical it is that we see someone who looks like ourselves represented on screens as smart, successful, talented, and worthwhile human beings.

On My Way

Catherine Deneuve and Nemo Schiffman in On My Way
Catherine Deneuve and Nemo Schiffman in On My Way

On My Way (French title Elle s’en va) is a French film with English subtitles I found on Netflix. Catherine Deneuve is the star, which is what caught my interest. It has 4 stars on Netflix, always a good indicator it’s worth watching. Catherine Deneuve is 71; she’s put on some weight. But whatever it was she had – she’s still got it. She’s still got ALL of it.

Into the Woods

Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods
Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods

When you start with talent like Stephen Sondheim and Rob Marshall, add in a screenplay by James Lapine, and cast fantastic people like Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt as the players – well, you end up with something utterly brilliant. That is all I have to say: brilliant.

Annie photo ©Sony Pictures. Into the Woods photo ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Jennifer Beals Stars in A Wife’s Nightmare

Does this sound like a Lifetime movie?

Inspired by a true story. When a mysterious teenage girl shows up on their doorstep claiming to be her husband’s long lost daughter, Liz Michaels welcomes her into their home – but when Liz starts to feel pushed out of her own family, she begins to question the girl’s true motives and doubt her own sanity.

Yeah. Definitely a Lifetime movie. Mild spoilers ahead.

But there’s a twist, and it’s a big one. This movie stars Jennifer Beals. A Wife’s Nightmare is the title to look for.

A Wife’s Nightmare gave us Jennifer Beals as Liz, a wife who is unsure, compliant, nervous, and worried. She’s just returned home after a mental breakdown. The arrival of a young woman claiming to be her husband’s daughter makes her question her own mind and thoughts. The gaslighting part of the story was a new acting challenge for Jennifer Beals and she did it very well.

I was happy she found her way to some backbone by the end of the story, however. Jennifer Beals is always a pleasure to watch. The ending was most satisfying.

I’d watch Jennifer Beals in almost anything, so I wouldn’t miss this one. The last Lifetime movie I watched – Big Driver – was very good, too. Lifetime is on a roll.

Jennifer Beals in A Wife's Nightmare
Jennifer Beals in A Wife’s Nightmare

The young daughter is played by Lola Tash. The husband, Gabe, is played by Dylan Neal.

The Trailer

Here’s a promo for the movie.

The film is part of a series, all filmed in Kelowna, British Columbia. The other films in the series are A Mother’s Nightmare, A Sister’s Nightmare and A Daughter’s Nightmare.