The setting for The Beguiled is a girl’s school in Virginia during the Civil War. Young women are sheltered there from the horrors of war, when they take in a wounded soldier. The soldier is played by Colin Farrell so you know EXACTLY where this story is heading. He starts working his way through the ladies when something goes horribly awry, which is why you have to see The Beguiled. Continue reading →
Hidden Figures tells the remarkable true story of three women (Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson) who broke race and gender barriers at NASA to play a part in the space race. It features wonderful performances by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, as well as a return to form for Kevin Costner. There’s also a lovely and unexpected tribute to John Glenn, played by Scream Queens‘ Glen Powell. Director Theodore Melfi doesn’t dig too deeply into the Civil Rights Movement, but he does remind us of the ugly realities of the time (like segregated bathrooms and office spaces). Even Katherine Johnson was forced to drink from a separate coffee maker while working at NASA, despite the important work she did alongside white men and women there.
Hidden Figures is a text-book crowd pleaser, with lovable actors playing remarkable people who changed the world, but it also brings to mind the women it doesn’t mention. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson managed to get the education they needed to reach their full potential, but what about those who couldn’t? It’s easy to shake our heads in frustration while observing the bigotry of the past, but segregation is alive and well today, especially in our education system. Continue reading →
You know the first sip you take of a great cup of coffee? It’s your first cup of the day and the taste and smell flows all over you in a way that makes it more of an EXPERIENCE than a cup of coffee? And no matter how great that coffee is, nothing compares to the first sip?
Well, that’s how I describe my experience with director Jeff Nichols.
I was introduced to Nichols back in 2011 through his movie Take Shelter. It starred Michael Shannon as a man whose repeated visions could be signaling something sinister, like an oncoming apocalypse. I remember spontaneously bursting into tears at the end of the film and how chills ran up and down my legs.
Take Shelter was my #1 film of 2011 and I still recommend it to friends today.
Jeff Nichols released Mud a year later to even more critical acclaim. It featured Matthew McConaughey and some phenomenal child actors (Tye Sheridan as Ellis and Jacob Lofland as Neckbone, the greatest character name EVER). Mud had a strong story but it lacked the supernatural glow of Take Shelter, so I was mildly disappointed. Continue reading →
I saw a movie called Take Shelter in 2011, and it rocked my world. It starred Michael Shannon and was directed by Jeff Nichols, and I remember how chills ran up and down my legs as it ended. Take Shelter ended up being my #1 movie of 2011 and I’ve been watching Jeff Nichols ever since.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear about his latest project, Midnight Special. It once again stars Michael Shannon and appears to be about a boy with special powers. I know that sounds stupid, but Nichols has the ability to take strange and simple stories and turn them into something beautiful. Add the fact that Adam Driver is also in this and…well, I’m pretty much climbing the walls over it.
Take a look at the brand new trailer while I go try to rein in my expectations. Midnight Special opens March 18th.