Helicopter Mom looks hilarious. The film stars Nia Vardalos, Jason Dolley, Mark Boone Junior and Skyler Samuels. It was written by Duke Tran and directed by Salome Breziner.
Here’s the description of Helicopter Mom.
Oh, how far we’ve come from the dark days of rampant homophobia. But teenager Lloyd Cooper (Jason Dolley) may think society—or at least his mother—has progressed a bit too far on this topic. Lloyd’s mom Maggie (a hilarious Nia Vardalos) says she would not only accept a gay son, she actively encourages it, as it would be “really cool” to have one. In fact, Maggie becomes so convinced that Lloyd himself is gay that she “outs” him to his entire high school. Like any good “helicopter mom,” who hovers over every aspect of her children’s lives, Maggie takes control of Lloyd’s social life, setting Lloyd up on dates with boys whom she has approved and filing for a gay student college scholarship. There’s just one wrench in her grand plans: Lloyd doesn’t even know whether he’s gay or not. But the mother is willing to accept her son for who he is—or at least who she thinks he is.
It looks like Helicopter Mom is hitting all the festivals right now. I’ll let you know if I see any news about where it might be seen or streamed later. The web site looks fairly up to date and has a funny behind the scenes video. It mentions where the film is currently to be seen as well.
Check out the BBC’s brilliant treatment of previews of the coming seasons for many of our favorite shows. Mixed among the previews are clips of shows from the past and present.
I predict a rush to copy this style of preview sharing by all the networks. It’s a fantastic way to use the technology. They may not all be lucky enough to get Benedict Cumberbatch doing Shakespeare to hold the narrative thread together, but you can bet they’ll try to equal this.
I’ve only mentioned Call the Midwife in passing, but it’s excellent. You can catch up with several seasons on Netflix. Mostly women characters and wonderful ones at that. It’s also on PBS.
There’s a clip from Happy Valley but no preview. As far as I know they haven’t started shooting series 2 of Happy Valley.
The clip from The Fall is different from the two I’ve already published here. Gillian Anderson is simply outstanding in this show. Don’t forget Archie Panjabi is also in the cast.
And Last Tango in Halifax! what’s up with Gillian (Nicola Walker) in what looks like a wedding dress? And Alan (Derek Jacobi) in a tux? All the while Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) changes a tire in a very nice pair of heels. Is Gillian getting married?
It’s time for another brain dump. These are quick hits on this and that.
The Good Wife
Linda Lavin has been on The Good Wife lately. Her character is part of the plot line to put Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) in jail. Lavin created a most particular character. She uses exacting quirks to make her character stand out in a show filled with peculiar and unusual characters. Kudos to Linda Lavin on her performance! It’s masterful.
Speaking of unusual characters, Carrie Preston’s marvelous character Elsbeth Tascioni is involved in a sex scene in the “Old Spice” episode of season 6. Elsbeth and Josh Perotti (Kyle MacLachlan) have sex on the desk in Elsbeth’s office. It’s a true bodice ripper in the trashy romance novel style. Delightful!
Did you see the announcement that Archie Panjabi will be leaving The Good Wife at the end of season 6? Kalinda Sharma is my favorite part of The Good Wife. I’m sad about the announcement. On the other hand, Kalinda has never been used enough. My hope is Archie Panjabi will find her way to a show where she plays the lead! #GiveArchieHerOwnShow
Téa Leoni as Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord is wonderful. Leoni plays her as unflappably calm, grounded, brilliant, bold, funny, and a great reader of character. All the players around her are outstanding as well, particularly Bebe Neuwirth.
Much as I love Elizabeth McCord as a character, the stories aren’t always believably realistic. Like Buffy, McCord saves the world in every episode. She does it by defying the advice of all her advisers and the POTUS. As an American who feels the system is broken, it’s nice to root for someone who does everything outside the system. Rah, rah, Elizabeth McCord! It’s great TV, but if the Secretary of State could save the world all by herself, Hillary Clinton would have done it already.
I like how much Tim Daly gets to do in Madam Secretary. If this show had a male lead, the pretty wife would be tucked away in the background and used occasionally to show that the hero is straight. But Tim Daly as the husband isn’t tucked in the background, nor are McCord’s 3 children. Daly gets real plot lines of his own. Each child has an individual personality, too, they aren’t merely bodies crunching cereal around the breakfast table in the morning. This may be because of Tim Daly’s pull as a big name, or it may be because the chief writer on the show is a woman – Barbara Hall.
How to Get Away with Murder
I’m struggling with the non-linear style of storytelling on How to Get Away with Murder. It’s meant to build suspense – it is. It’s meant to keep you coming back – but at least in my case, it’s just irritating me. I’m still watching, so obviously I’m not irritated beyond the point of hanging around. But still.
I do want to mention how much I loved the scene in which Viola Davis removes her wig and all her make up. Then she turns to her husband and says, “Why is your penis on a dead girls phone?” BAM! BAM! What a pair of moments.
The Walking Dead
A tweet from Kate Moennig caught my eye. I think she’s referring to the cannibalism scenes.
Well, The Walking Dead finally made me lose my appetite
I agree with Kate Moennig, the cannibals were extra gross. Actually, The Walking Dead is gross as a standard thing. In the same episode with the cannibals, “Four Walls and a Roof,” there was also a cowardly priest (Seth Gilliam). The priest locked himself in his church with a big supply of food and listened as his parishioners clawed at the door when the zombies came for dinner.
Between the cannibals and cowardly priest, I find more metaphoric fodder in the priest. Everything about The Walking Dead is a metaphor, of course. This one priest could stand in for every kind of horror and evil ever perpetrated in the name of religion. The Crusades, the notion that there’s no God but God, the Westboro Baptist Church, or dozens of other examples of evil done by religious leaders – pick your metaphor and make it work. Will Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the gang leave him alive when they move on?
White Bird in a Blizzard is now available on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play and in theaters. The film stars Shailene Woodley, Christopher Meloni, Eva Green, Gabourey Sidibe, and many others.
Here’s the official description of the film.
Kat Connors is 17 years old when her perfect homemaker mother, Eve, a beautiful, enigmatic, and haunted woman, disappears – just as Kat is discovering and relishing her newfound sexuality. Having lived for so long in a stifled, emotionally repressed household, she barely registers her mother’s absence and certainly doesn’t blame her doormat of a father, Brock, for the loss. In fact, it’s almost a relief. But as time passes, Kat begins to come to grips with how deeply Eve’s disappearance has affected her. Returning home on a break from college, she finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother’s departure, and her own denial about the events surrounding it.
The official trailer:
The star, Shailene Woodley, and the director, Gregg Araki, recently talked on AOL about how the film is sex positive and the sexual scenes are written from a woman’s perspective. According to Araki, it’s one of the first films to bring this perspective to a young woman’s coming of age tale. You can see that interview on HuffPost Video.
If the sex scenes are truly filmed from the female perspective and not for the infamous male gaze, that’s a very good thing. We need a lot more movies with this approach.
I have not watched the film and reviews are all midrange in ratings. Not too bad, but not too good either. I often really like the films the reviewers don’t like. Make up your own mind. I think big fans of Shailene Woodley will want to watch it no matter what the reviewers have to say. If you see it, please share your reactions below.
Although we still don’t know an exact starting date for the 2nd season of The Fall on the BBC, it is definitely getting closer. Gillian Anderson herself mentioned the new preview on her Twitter account.
In addition to Gillian Anderson as a detective, the series also stars Jamie Dornan as a serial killer. The first season of The Fall was some of the best television I have ever seen in my many years watching TV. The Fall season 2 can’t be released soon enough to suit me.
Here’s hoping the date will be soon for the release of The Fall on BBC Two, possibly in November. The release date in the U.S. is going to lag behind that. I also published an earlier preview for season 2.
Another preview released on Oct. 29 reveals the release day for iTV in Ireland as November 9. In England, the show begins on Nov. 13. This preview is different from the one above.
It’s a true story about an amazing, admirable man.
It’s directed by Angelina Jolie.
The film stars Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson and Garrett Hedlund in the story of Louis Zamperini. Louis Zamperini was an Olympic runner who served in the Air Force in World War II. He ended up in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. His endurance under horrifying conditions, and his ultimate survival are both testaments to the human spirit.
This is a new trailer for Unbroken.
There is another trailer for the film, which was released during the Olympics. Louis Zamperini himself can be seen in that trailer. He died in July of 2014 at the age of 97 and never got to see the film.
Unbroken is scheduled to release on Christmas day. If you like to get out to a movie on Christmas Day, there are many tempting choices. (Two I’ve already mentioned are Big Eyes and Annie.) Unbroken will make you believe in the power of never giving up.
Lila is a short film by Carlos Lascano that will make you smile and will brighten your day. The actress playing Lila is Alma Garcia. The film uses magic and art and reality to tell a brief but charming tale.
Lila is the conclusion of a trilogy beginning with A Short Love Story in Stop Motion and A Shadow of Blue. (The link to A Shadow of Blue is to the trailer. There are several versions of the film with different music, but this is the only thing I could find with the original music.)
I wish I had Lila’s eyes in my life. I’d be grinning, too.
Because I took a week off, I got a bit behind mentioning upcoming films that feature women in the leading role. To compensate, I combined them into this post featuring trailers for She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, Miss Meadows, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a provocative look at the birth of the women’s liberation movement between 1966-1971. It reintroduces the wide-reaching movement with poetry readings, women’s rock bands, and zaps (impromptu protest actions). The film links the previous era to today’s war on women. It makes an impassioned case for reviving feminism as a mass movement.
Miss Meadows is a school teacher with impeccable manners and grace. However, underneath the sweet exterior hides a gun-toting vigilante who takes it upon herself to right the wrongs in the world by whatever means necessary.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 finds Katniss Everdeen in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.
From a story by Stephen King, Big Driver is the story of a novelist bent on revenge after falling victim to a brutal crime. It is a made for Lifetime TV film. It stars Maria Bello, Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett, Ann Dowd and Will Harris.
I spent last week at a conference in Ghost Ranch, NM. The conference, called Wisdom Sharing, featured Alice Walker, Gloria Steinem and Dr. Chung Hyun Kyung. The marvelous moderator, shown on the left above, was Dr. Melanie Harris.
The location is stunning in its beauty and spirit. The women who were the star attractions were brilliant – powerful speakers, activists for women’s rights, funny, and centered in a forceful but calm wisdom. It was one of the best weeks of my life. My photos are on Flickr.
In addition to the many talks, wisdom circles, and other activities, we watched 3 documentary films. (Trailers for the 3 films are below.)
The first evening was the film Jesus and Buddha which features Dr. Chung Hyun Kyung who is a lay theologian of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, and is also an Associate Professor of Ecumenical Theology at Union Theological Seminary in the U.S. Plus, she’s a Buddhist. Or as she put it, it was both predestination and karma that brought her to Ghost Ranch and her friendship with the other extraordinary speakers.
The film for the next evening was Beauty in Truth, a documentary about the life of Alice Walker. The film was written and directed by Pratibha Parmar, who was also present at the conference. That’s her below, listening to one of the speakers. (I reviewed Beauty in Truth earlier this year.) Parmar worked with Alice Walker on the book Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women and the ensuing 1993 film Warrior Marks.
Beauty in Truth and Miss Representation are both available from various streaming sources and are available for screenings in schools or gatherings. PBS broadcast Beauty in Truth and keeps it available. You can get DVD’s of Jesus and Buddha from Old Dog Documentaries.