Watch This: Woman in Gold trailer

Woman in Gold stars Helen Mirren (and Tatiana Maslany) as Maria Altmann. Based on a true story about how Altmann fought the Austrian government to get back several paintings by Gustav Klimt that were stolen by the Nazis from her family during World War II. Ryan Reynolds plays her attorney.

Maria Altmann might have been called a “spitfire” in her day. She felt no restrictions on her behavior because she was female. Taking no for an answer from a bunch of male bureaucrats was not an idea that even crossed her mind.

Woman in Gold opens April 25, 2015.

Dicte: A Danish series about a Crime Reporter

Netflix is now streaming the Danish series Dicte. The series is named for the title character, Dicte Svendsen, played by Iben Hjejle. Dicte is a crime reporter who goes back to her hometown of Aarhus after a divorce.  She has an 18 year old daughter named Rose (Emilie Kruse) and an ex-husband (Lars Ranthe) who hopes for a reconciliation.

Mild spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Dicte: A Danish series about a Crime Reporter”

Orphan Black Season 3 Teaser and Premier Date

We have a date for the premier of season 3 of Orphan Black. April 18, 2015. And we have another clever teaser for the upcoming series. This one shows Tatiana Maslany killing it as she plays one clone pretending to be another clone.

So far the teasers for season 3 have mostly been reworked bits from season 2. We don’t seen much of Ari Millen, who will play several clones in season 3. (We did see just a hint of Ari Millen in these previews a few days ago.)

I’m not getting a sense that Tony, the male clone Tatiana plays will be back. We aren’t getting any hints about whether the pencil that Sarah blasted into Rachel’s eye is going to be the end of her or a temporary setback.

We do know from publicity about Ksenia Solo guesting on the series as a healer for Cosima that Cosima is probably going to recover and survive.

I saw a preview for an upcoming movie called The Age of Adeline in the theater the other day. The male love interest was played by Michiel Huisman, who plays Cal on Orphan Black. I hope that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had time to continue on as Cal in season 3.

I love seeing these teasers but I’d like at least a few tidbits about where season 3 will go.

Watch This: Previews for Season 3 of The Americans

The Americans will start season 3 on FX on January 28. I’ve been watching this drama about Soviet spies in the U.S. during the Cold War in the 1980s since the first season. As unlikely as it sounds to say that I like a show about Soviet spies, I am saying it here.

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in The AMericanse
This married couple are not what they seem

Much of the reason this show is so good are the outstanding performances from Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. They are brilliant in their parts as Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, two KGB officers who pose as a married couple living near Washington, D.C. They have two children, played by Holly Taylor and Keidrich Sellati. Their neighbor Stan (Noah Emmerich) is an FBI counter-intelligence agent who spends his days trying to catch people like them, and his evenings exchanging small talk with them over barbecue.

The spies have a “handler.” For a while their handler was played by Margo Martindale, an actress I simply love. This year Frank Langella is stepping into the role of handler. Richard Thomas is also a regular, playing another FBI agent.

There are recognizable events in the story, real characters and real happenings from the period, but ultimately – at least for me – the story is about Elizabeth and Philip: their relationship, their marriage, their family.

How about it? Are there any other fans of The Americans among readers?

Photos © Copyright FX Network

Review: Camp Takota

Thumbing through choices on Netflix or Amazon Prime is often frustrating because so few films pop up that have female stars. Camp Takota showed up as a featured choice on Netflix and I took the bait. This film has 3 lead female characters, played by actresses I’d never heard of: Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart.

Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart and Hannah Hart
Silly humor and lots of laughs at Camp Takota

Seems I’m not part of the in-the-know-crowd, because Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart are famous for their YouTube presences. They have large followings for their particular brands of comedy fun.

The film hit Netflix on December 1. This indie project is a groundbreaking effort by the trio at a full length feature. It’s one of the first long-form films to feature multiple YouTube stars, so I’m sure many YouTube celebrities have been watching it closely to see how it fares. It’s been doing well on iTunes since its release early in 2014.

Camp Takota was funny, it was charming, it was delightful in a lot of ways. It was also very obviously low budget and predictable. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying it and from encouraging the indie efforts of these 3 very funny women. You’ll have a good time at camp with these people.

Photos by Erica Parise – © 2014 – Chill

Watch a clip from Jane

Jane, a 57 minute documentary from Sundance Doc Club, is about the young Jane Fonda. You can watch it in full at docclub.com, but here’s a clip to let you know more about what you’ll be seeing.

The doc shows Jane Fonda rehearsing for a starring role in a Broadway play. When the play opens to harsh critical notices, her reaction is shown.

Sometimes I’m amazed that anyone survives the devastations of youth to reach the wisdom of age. Or maybe it’s the blows we take as young people that lead to the wisdom of age. Either way, Jane Fonda has endured many a hard knock to become the woman she is today. Her journey reminds us that it’s worth the effort to keep on going, to keep on keeping on.

Docclub has numerous documentaries on a variety of topics, all of which can be streamed if you join and pay a monthly fee.

Watch This: Previews for Agent Carter

Agent Carter will get a two-hour premier on ABC on January 6, 2015. The Marvel character steps out of the comics into the world of 1946. I must say, Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) looks kick ass on the small screen.

Agent Peggy Carter played by Hayley Atwell
Agent Peggy Carter played by Hayley Atwell

The series will have 8 episodes. Except for Agent Carter, almost all the cast will be male. Hayley Atwell better make Agent Carter bigger than life to overcome all that male around her. Is she up to it?

Also starring in the series are Dominic Cooper, Costa Ronin, Chad Michael Murray, Enver Gjokaj, Shea Whigham and James D’Arcy.

This Marvel production is filling the time slot that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. held while that show is on hiatus.

Here’s the plot, as described at Marvel.com.

It’s 1946 and peace has dealt Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy finds herself stuck doing administrative work when she would rather be back out in the field, putting her vast skills into play and taking down the bad guys. But she is also trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life, Steve Rogers – a.k.a. Captain America. When old acquaintance Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper, “Captain America: The First Avenger”) finds himself being framed for unleashing his deadliest weapons to anyone willing to pony up the cash, he contacts Peggy — the only person he can trust — to track down those responsible, dispose of the weapons and clear his name. He empowers his butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), to be at her beck and call when needed to help assist her as she investigates and tracks down those responsible for selling these weapons of mass destruction. If caught going on these secret missions for Stark, Peggy could be targeted as a traitor and spend the rest of her days in prison – or worse.

There’s also a second preview.

Watch This: Previews for Cake

Cake stars Jennifer Aniston as a woman in chronic pain. The big excitement is that she doesn’t wear any makeup in the film. Aaackk! Looking at a woman with no makeup on may cause brain damage! Are you prepared to put your brain in danger by going to see Cake?

That isn’t right. I made that up. The real truth is acting in a film without wearing makeup may lead to an Oscar. The point is, if you’re brave enough to show your face without makeup, you must be a great actress and not just some airhead from Friends.

All kidding aside, chronic pain is no joke. I deal with it. Many people do. I think the topic of the film is going to connect with a lot of people. Many people understand the agony involved in daily living with chronic pain depicted in Cake. And, yeah, give me ALL the pills.

The film also stars Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Mamie Gummer, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Chris Messina, Lucy Punch and Britt Robertson. That’s an excellent cast. It’s directed by Daniel Barnz.

The film opens in January 2015. January is not the best month to release a film if you’re hoping for Oscar nods, but that’s the schedule.

Watch This: Trailer for Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2 won’t be in theaters until May 2015, but the first trailer has already been released.

The second installment of this teen-power anthem to women stars Elizabeth Banks (who also directed), Anna Kendrick, Hailee Steinfeld, Rebel Wilson and many more. My granddaughters loved this musical tale of the triumph of the underdog in the first Pitch Perfect. So did I. It looks as if Pitch Perfect 2 is going to uphold the standard set for the series.

The first poster for the movie is also already out.

Pitch Perfect 2 poster

Review: Still Mine

Still Mine is simply exquisite. The actors, the story, the drama: everything about it is beautifully done. It’s a gem!

The Canadian film stars James Cromwell and Geneviève Bujold as a couple married for 60+ years. They live in a big drafty house in New Brunswick. The husband, Craig, decides to build a smaller house nearby that will serve his wife Irene better. Irene is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s starting to affect the way they live and the way they interact.

A poster for the film Still Mine

The beautiful relationship between Craig and Irene is inspirational. They even have a sex scene! I stand up and cheer when I see a movie where people in their 70s and 80s are allowed to remain human and still be the sexual creatures they’ve always been. This movie would have my vote based just on that one scene.

However, there’s much more to the movie. There are excellent performances from all the actors, particularly James Cromwell and Geneviève Bujold. There is the stiff-backed stubbornness of a man who knows what he’s doing and doesn’t take kindly to people telling him he can’t. There’s the worry, fear, confusion, and anger of a woman who knows she’s losing her memory. There’s the concern of the couple’s children. There’s the bureaucratic ass who tries to put the kabosh on every single thing Craig does to build his wife a better place to live.

The film was written and directed by Michael McGowan. It is based on a true story. It was released in the U.S. in 2013.

I absolutely recommend this lovely film. Look for it on Netflix and Amazon Prime.