By: Henry J. Fromage –
The Oscars are around the corner, so it’s time to bear down and catch up with the some soon-to-be nominees, with a couple exceptions.
While maybe not reaching the Adam McKay political satire heights it maybe was shooting for, there’s no denying the simply ace acting on display from Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, a slimy John Lithgow, and especially an utterly transformed Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly. Is framing these mouthpieces of many reprehensible things as progenitors of the Me Too movement a bit simplistic? Sure, but it’s also not not true. Two Beers.
16. Little Women
Greta Gerwig cements herself as one of our very few finest filmmakers working today in this inventively staged, uniformly beautifully acted adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel. Not a single mistep mars this utterly gorgeous, at times sad, in others funny, but overall uplifting film- one of the finest of the year. A Toast.
17. John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch
Only Netflix would have given John Mulaney the kind of cash necessary to make his own front stoop children’s variety show dripping with his particularly New York cynical sensibility. If you are a fan of the comedy stylings that brought you Too Much Tuna and Original Cast Album: Co-op (and, bizarrely, the weirdest parts of Okja), then this will be for you. Two Beers.
18. One Child Nation
Documentarian Nanfu Wang returns to her homeland with her young child and probing questions about the recently overturned almost four decade One Child Policy. She finds interviewees who are willing to speak to the atrocities that policy begat with disturbing candor and the same excuse- “there was nothing I could do”. A tragedy of unimaginable proportions. Two Beers.
19. Uncut Gems
The Safdie Brothers double down on their jittery, nerve-wracking New York con-artist style, and find their perfect collaborator in the nearly deranged, never better brinksmanship of Adam Sandler. This movie will take you on a absolute ride, one you may not agree you’ve enjoyed in the end, but one you’ll never forget. Two Beers.
20. The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil
Ma Dong-seok (or as he’s known in international markets, Don Lee) is about to be a very big deal. Before the Marvel movies and remakes of his Korean star vehicles (like this one, which has already been picked up with him to star by Sylvester Stallone), he has put together quite a resume at home, from being the best part of Train to Busan to this crime thriller in which he plays an utter bull of a mob boss who teams up with the policeman on his trail to find a psychotic killer who rear ends people and then slashes them to death when they get out of their vehicles. Turns out that doing that to Ma Dong-seok isn’t a great idea… Three Beers.
21. The Report
Adam Driver can even make paper-pushing thrilling, as it turns out. Here he stars as Daniel Jones, who at the behest of Senator Diane Feinstein (Annette Bening) creates an exhaustive report of the CIA’s use of torture and “advanced interrogation” in its black sites around the world following 9/11. He knows that it may never see the light of day for many reasons, but Driver and the film ably communicate the daily grind that is necessary to bring the truth to light when nobody wants to hear it. Surprisingly enrapturing from start to finish. Two Beers.