Ryan Murphy takes on Halston in Netflix’s ‘Halston,’ and just like a lot of things Murphy, it isimperfect with flashes of brilliance and mediocrity. I know I should commend him for dealing with gay and gay-adjacent subjects, buT i just wish they were all good. Serviceable won’t cut it, and ‘Halston’ is just barely serviceable.
Based on Steven Gaines’ biography so it’s not like they don’t have a lot to work with. Halston’s life is brimming with glitz, glamour, and more than enough drama to fill seven series of Netflix episodes. But we get five here that focus on different things, and shows a couple of obvious sides of this genius. We never see what made him tick,. we never really see anything beyond the surface.
Ewan McGregor tries very hard to flesh out the character but is left floundering in the air. he nails his voice, but somehow reads ‘older.’ Rebecca Dayan steals her scenes as Elsa Peretti, and I rally like Krysta Rodriguez’s Liza Minnelli, which really could have gone so bad.
The show could have been a camp classic, but it’s too shy to be that. It’s also not a blushing wallflower, it certainly can’t be described as square. the latter episodes fare better than the first ones, a conundrum for Murphy who almost always does things in the opposite direction. It’s not boring, for sure, but I found myself wandering at times. Or maybe I just can’t make up my mind? It is pretty to look at, and they nail the costume and production design. Still, it feels a tad hollow.
I don’t know why, but something compelled me to watch Disney’s ‘Christopher Robin,’ and I didn’t know why. I am not really a fan of Winnie the Pooh, and I was mostly lukewarm about an earlier film about the author (I wrote about it here ) but perhaps the Universe was steering me towards it for a reason, and it is perhaps to address a wave of melancholy I have been feeling lately. In this film, directed by Marc Forster some a screenplay by Greg Brooker and Mark Steven Johnson, has Christopher Robin as an adult with a young daughter. Christopher is overworked, toiling for a luggage company, and far far away from his old friends from Hundred Acre Mile. But then Winnie the Pooh wake up one morning, disoriented and weak, ad looking for his ragtag group of friends. He enlists Christopher’s help and of course, Christopher has no time for him – he has to give a proposal to the board of his company on how to crunch numbers for more profit. So a lesson must be learned in all this, and it’s something we all know. But something her hits me hard – on how our lost friendships can come back, on how some of them can never come back, and how in our old age, we have to rely on things and folks familiar, and hope they will be there to help us. I couldn’t help but shed a tear – thinking of myself, of my mortality, of being alone, and lonely, and will someone be there for me when things start to get tough. Just writing about this now is piercing my heart. This is what makes the movie special to me. For the most part, I am not the target market for this film, but the slice of wistfulness got to me, and it helped get in touch more with my emotions. Maybe the Universe needed for me to get in touch with them, and perhaps that is why I got drawn to it. I am still trying to figure out the end-game lesson, but it shouldn’t matter. I should just enjoy the here and now.