I Hear You (Film Thoughts: Coda)

I was looking on Letterboxd of films I have watched this year, and realized that I loved Sian Heder’s ‘Coda’ so much that it’s one of my top two films of the year. I rate films based on my emotional connection to them, and ‘Coda’ made me feel a lot of different emotions: happy, enthusiastic, I mean, even the music in it gave me joy. I know it is now streaming on Apple+ and I just hope people are able to find it.

‘Coda’ is a coming of age film about a young woman, Ruby, who is the only hearing member of her family. The film is a story of her growing up and realizing that her world could be much larger than what she thought it could be. The film is centered around a wonderful performance of Emilia Jones as Ruby. She displays warmth and vulnerability in her character, and has a great singing voice to boot. And most of the supporting actors are great as well – probably Marlee Matlin’s best performance since she won her Oscar, and Troy Kotsur nearly steals the movie playing Ruby’s father. It’s one of those movies that is making you laugh so hard you haven’t realized you are already crying.

Musical of Musicals (Series Thoughts: Schmigadoon S01 E01 E02, Apple TV+)

Apple TV’s ‘Schmigadoon’ was made for someone like me. I mean, where do I start? It’s a show about a musical, and it is itself a musical. It has musical numbers, with references to famous musicals in almost every frame. Sure, it pokes fun of them, too, but in a cute ribbing way – and you have to get the references anyway to feel any kind of sting. It’s truly wonderful.

I have seen the first two episodes and I am in love with it (I had to rewatch them right away) It is about a married couple, both doctors, who go on some kind of couples retreat to add some spice to their relationship. And wonder of all wonders, they get stuck in a place called Schmigadoon, a town stuck in the musical wonders of the 40s and 50s. Think an amalgamation of ‘Oklahoma!,’ ‘Carousel,’ and ‘The Music Man.’ It’s the kind of place where people burst into song and just burst into full-blown production numbers instantly, and you will either love it or hate it (I say you love)

The highlight for me, in the first episode anyway, is a scene reminiscent of the Carousel bench scene, with Aaron Tveit starring as Danny (think Billy Bigelow) falling madly in love with Melanie, one of the doctor visitors. It’s corny, it’s cute, and Tveit is just pure perfection. The musical numbers are all great, Christopher Gattelli’s choreography is spot on. And spotting all the references will be such a good ‘game’ to spot for a musicals nerd like me.

I am so in love with this show that this is probably never going to be renewed.

In Defense of Family (Series Thoughts: Defending Jacob S01 E01 E02, Apple TV+)

Again, I am late to this show, but I just finished watching the first two episodes Apple TV series ‘Defending Jacob,’ and it is riveting. I read a little bit about the show, to be honest, so I had more or less an idea of what to expect. Basically the story revolved around a family. The father, played by Chris Evans, plays a district attorney whose son is accused of murder, and he ends up defending his son. It’s a pretty intense set up, and based on the first two episodes, is s pretty intense show.

My first takeaway – Evans is fantastic here. I always thought he was a very handsome presence, but have not thought of him more as an ‘actor’ until now. He pretty much carries the burden of the story here (he executive produced the show) and carries it with aplomb. I am mighty impressed. The show is filmed in a blue-ish hue which gives it a specific feel – a small town ravaged by a gruesome murder. The show certainly held my interest, and I actually don’t want to binge it all at once as I want to savour it more.

Top O The Morning (Television Thoughts, The Morning Show S01 E01 E02 E03)

20325944-7625891-image-a-52_1572359159621So who would have thought my new favorite performance among this Faall’s new television shows is Jennefier Aniston’s? Seriously, she is pretty good in ‘The Morning Show,’ from Apple+. There are all these new streaming channels and this show might be a reason for you to add Apple’s new service to your entertainment roster. And Aniston is kind of playing a little against type here – although the role is still very America’s Sweetheart-ish, it shows some edge, and is a strong woman who tries to take control. I am only up to episode three and the storyline is already heating up. It’s basically a retread of the Today Show real-life story – a male anchor has been fired after sexual harassment allegations, and his co-host tries to pick up the pieces. Reese Witherspoon plays an upstart reporter who gets plucked from bumfuck and gets thrust into the co-host seat, after some machination. Witherspoon’s role so far is a little on the familiar side, but this will all depend on her chemistry with Aniston, and it looks like their characters are going to be interacting a lot after the third episode.