Review: Season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale was originally a novel from prolific writer Margaret Atwood. I read it about 30 years ago when it came out, but my memory is sketchy. My sketchy memory left me free to watch the new television series The Handmaid’s Tale with fresh eyes. This is a review of season 1. Continue reading “Review: Season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale”

Review: Meadowland

Meadowland is a drama about losing a child and how individuals deal with grief. It received glowing reviews when it first came out, I was eager to see it. The opportunity finally arrived with Netflix adding Meadowland to its lineup.  Continue reading “Review: Meadowland”

Filming for Top of the Lake S2 Begins This Spring

Top of the Lake season 2 begins filming in March, according to a statement by star Elisabeth Moss at Sundance to a Deadline reporter. Top of the Lake season 1 aired in 2013 – a long wait between seasons, but worth it.

The dark drama series is from filmmaker Jane Campion. It features Detective Robin Griffin (Moss), who returns to her former home in New Zealand to a job in a small police department. She’s immediately involved in the case of 12 year old Tui (Jacqueline Joe), who tries to drown herself in a lake. Continue reading “Filming for Top of the Lake S2 Begins This Spring”

Watch This: Trailer for Meadowland

Meadowland starts next weekend in theaters. It will be available on Video on Demand the following week. It stars Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson as parents whose child is abducted. Here’s the synopsis.

In the hazy aftermath of an unimaginable loss, married couple Sarah (Olivia Wilde) and Phil (Luke Wilson) come unhinged – recklessly ignoring the repercussions. Phil, a New York City cop, starts to lose sight of his morals as Sarah puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations, falling deeper into her own fever dream. The directorial debut of cinematographer Reed Morano, Meadowland is a visceral exploration of grief and hope. Featuring Giovanni Ribisi, Elisabeth Moss, Ty Simpkins, John Leguizamo, Kevin Corrigan and Merritt Weaver.

Meadowland Poster

From the preview, it looks like Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson get called upon to do more in their parts than we have seen them do before. According to reviewers who saw the film at festivals, both give outstanding, deep performances.

Director Reed Morano is pulling double-duty as cinematographer in this one. Check the image in the poster and up at the top. Olivia Wilde is looking out of the frame, lost somewhere. I expect Morano’s bringing her cinematographer ‘s eye to her directing process.

If you see the film, please share your impressions in the comments. I’d especially like to know if any trigger warnings for parents who have lost a child should be included in conversation about the film.

Watch This: Trailer for Truth with Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford

Truth is based on the real newsroom drama detailing the 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report investigating then-President George W. Bush’s military service. The subsequent firestorm of criticism cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers. The film is based on Mary Mapes memoir, “Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power.” She was one of the screenwriters.

A scene from Truth with Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett and Bruce Greenwood.
A scene from Truth with Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett and Bruce Greenwood.

Cate Blanchett plays Mapes, with Robert Redford playing Dan Rather. Other actors appearing in the film include Bruce Greenwood, Elisabeth Moss, Topher Grace, John Benjamin Hickey, Stacy Keach, and Dennis Quaid.

Dan Rather had worked at CBS since 1962 when this story broke. At TIFF, Rather appeared after the film screened and gave his full endorsement of Truth.

Release date for the film is October 16, 2015. The first-time director is James Vanderbilt.

I remember this event clearly and I’m sure many others do too. It’s fairly recent history to already be the subject of a movie. Of course, from our side of the camera, the story we heard was only the news as first presented and the ensuring controversy. The behind-the-scenes story this film tells was not part of what I knew about. It should be a fascinating movie.

I noticed the enthusiastic reception the film got at TIFF, including this endorsement from Christine Horne. She was there for her own film Hyena Road, but found time to watch Truth.

To be fair, maybe we should add a couple of cheers for Robert Redford in there, too. I’ll let you know about that after I see the film.