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We watched Sound of Metal recently, the only, I think, Oscar nominee we managed this year. It’s funny how I used to be so into it, seeing the movies, watching the red carpet, the ceremony, so interested and invested in it all. The clothes, the speeches, the wonder! A season of my life now complete, I suppose.

The film, however, got to me, deeply. How for a long while, a body moves along, believing it is one person, doing life in one certain way, contentedly so. Suddenly a change comes, wholly unexpected and painfully blunt. In the main character’s case, a loss of hearing. How does a drummer go on when he can no longer hear the notes? How does a body get out of the head space of necessity? Of Disability?

The most intriguing moment of the story happens when he’s told his grief is not about hearing loss. The problem is not deafness. The problem is making peace with deafness. The problem is the mind.

How true this is. How true that our minds are often our greatest road blocks. Stories we are told. Stories we create. Dysfunctional patterns and beliefs run riot, ruling us like bullies, toddlers in need of rest. How bankrupt and desperate. Sometimes ugly, too.

How potent the moment when we witness this ugliness from a distance, truly recognize it. Embrace it with love. Then let it go. What sweet freedom. What peace.

May we all arrive there.


Prince Avalanche – Two misfits re-stripe the back roads of Texas after a massive fire. Both lonely and unaware of how much they need the friendship of one another. The landscape plays itself, beautifully so.

The Hollars – There’s a lot going on here. Pregnancy, insecurity, illness, loneliness, and wicked destructive jealousy. Also awkward funny laughter followed by some truly heart felt moments. Kinda like life.

Plus One – Two friends decide to embark on the unbearable together – ten weddings over the course of a summer. More insecurity, quite a bit of drunkenness, love, dysfunction, and good humor. Oh, and to save you the head scratching, the main man is Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid’s son.

Britt Marie Was Here – A very tightly wound woman leaves her husband upon learning of his years-long affair with a much younger woman. Uncertain of her abilities, she takes on a neglected community center and its flailing soccer team.

Troop Zero – A young girl aching for her dead mother seeks to win the competition to have her voice put out in the universe (and therefore heard by ALL), via the Voyager craft. The only problem is she needs a Birdie Troop to do it, and the only one available does NOT want her. Undeterred, she gathers all the other misfit girls she knows to make their own. Underdogs rule the day, my friends. Plus, Viola Davis!!!

FREAKY – I loved the original Jodie Foster Freaky Friday and prolly could have watched it on a loop were the option given to me as a child. This racy, young adult in our modern times version is no less fabulous. Vince Vaughn plays a serial killer who switches bodies with a high school outcast in hilarious fashion. It’s madcap and funny and terribly gory.

Tales From the Loop – Greg and I, after ages and ages, finally bit the bullet and got Amazon Prime. For the shows, not the shipping. We’ve always kept our cart going until it was free, anyway. But, I digress. This show!!! It’s a three exclamation point and more, yes ma’am. It highlights the frailties, excitement, wonder, and loss of ordinary people living in a most extraordinary place of time travel, adventure, and answers one might not care to know. Beautiful, simply beautiful.

Save Yourselves – A couple super-attached to their devices decides to unplug for a weekend in the country right when the world is invaded my murderous, Tribble-looking creatures. It’s a hoot!

Mum – Follow Cathy as she navigates her new life after losing her husband, starting on the day of his funeral. Her in-laws, husband’s best friend, brother and obnoxious girlfriend, thick-headed and equally obnoxious son and his dimwitted but awfully sweet girlfriend play important roles, as she struggles to find her independence and sense of self. Three wonderful seasons.

Colewell – A quiet film following a postal worker as her office is declared obsolete, despite being the hub of her small community. A stunner.


Enjoy the View

Driveways – A woman and her young son travel across country to empty her sister’s house after her death. She was a hoarder, and there is much more work than anticipated. The process and their initial discomfort at the daunting task and the neighborhood in general soon vanishes when the son befriends the big-hearted, no nonsense next door neighbor. Such tenderness.

Always Worthy – A joyful train wreck of a fil-um following the life of a struggling actress in Los Angeles.

Mary & Mike – My first Chilean television series! And WOW, just wow. How I thank my lucky stars not to live in a place where I or people I care about could be murdered or disappeared at the whim of a maniacal dictator and his legions of Yes Men and Women. The series follows a husband and wife team and their near and far murder spree. Based on a real couple, the husband Michael Townley getting off easy before being ushered into the safety of the U.S. witness protection program for a bombing in Washington D.C. You can’t make this shit up.

Heaven Can Wait – A walk on the less serious side, only forty years or so after it first hit theaters. Warren Beatty plays a football player prematurely taken to heaven by an overzealous guardian angel. He’s sent back and put in the body of another man, where hilarity and quite a bit of mad cap drama ensues.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night – A dreamy wander into the furthest reaches of China, as a man searches for a woman he lost decades earlier. Moody and ever so beautiful.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – I’m not going to insult your intelligence by telling you what this is all about. What I will do? Say how it is as wonderfully evocative as the Westminster Mall twilight showing with my family, way back in 1982. I exited shame-faced at my puffy-eyed mess of tears. Yep.

Bad Words – Jason Bateman plays a man capitalizing on a spelling bee loophole to annihilate the competition, befriend a fellow competitor, and generally wreak havoc for a bit of revenge. Crude and hilarious with a dash of sweetness, too.

Wild Nights with Emily – A fun, informative, and sometimes uproarious history lesson on the life of Emily Dickinson. Quite a bit of her poetry, too. Delightful.

Escape to the Chateau – Oh, gosh, was this a wonderful escape, indeed. A couple (and their two adorable children) buy a chateau in the French countryside to refurbish, live in, and hold posh weddings. They are sweet and loving and funny and such damn hard workers, turning their wreck back into a work of art. I gobbled six seasons in no time flat!


American Folk – Strangers drive from California to New York after their flight is grounded on September 11th. A thoughtful look at angry and wounded people and our ability to overcome what holds us back (or not). Some nice singing, too.

The Wall – a woman visiting the country with friends survives an apocalyptic event that separates her from the remaining world. A vivid portrayal of acceptance and survival and the importance of our relationship with nature.

From Sea to Shining Sea – Buddies on a road trip across America, viewed both from the lens of a native and foreigner.

Something, Anything – A woman eagerly searches for her own sense of self and her place in the world.

Harriet – The dazzling story of Harriet Tubman – so much more than I ever realized.

Boundaries – An emotionally vulnerable mom takes her son and pot-dealing father on a road trip after he’s been kicked out of yet another nursing home.

The Capture – the dark side of technology and activism collide in this crime thriller. Not for the idealistic or faint of heart.

The Only Living Boy in New York – a recent college graduate gets caught up with his new neighbor and an affair with his father’s lover, among other things, as he struggles to determine a clear path for his own life.

The Sleepers – a chilling spy thriller depicting the first days of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, where no one is trustworthy and everyone is culpable.

Dr. Sleep – For any one who ever wondered whatever happened to Danny Torrance. I’m not normally one for horror, but this had me from the first moment.

Foodie Love – a horrible name for a great story delving into the complications of insecurity and regret on a relationship. Beautiful people and beautiful food, in a tip of the iceberg way.

Love Life – Follow Darby through the ups and downs and sometimes serious embarrassments of being a young woman struggling to find her way in love, relationships, and her career.


The Fencer – One of those based on true events stories that would have been just as interesting had they actually stuck with the truth. But, I digress, because it is still quite good. A man hiding from the communists moves to a small town, falls in love, and teaches children how to fence.

Appollo 11 – Like entering a time machine (insert cool sound effect here) and watching the first trip to the moon unfold. Truly magical!

Follow it with this for an apropos cultural counterbalance…

The Biggest Little Farm – Follow a couple as they struggle with plants and trees and beasts to create a sustainable & regenerative farm in California. Inspirational.

Cold War – A beautiful and difficult film that captures a troubled love during the Cold War, where sacrifice and loss are the standard order.

Feel Good – Comedian Mae works to overcome her addiction to drugs while becoming romantically entangled with a straight woman unsure of her feelings. Funny and real. One of my favorite lines: “I get my good qualities from my parents, and my bad ones are a mystery.” Truth.

Some Freaks – A trio of misfits date and become friends, show their most awful and fragile selves, fall apart, and come together again.

Dispatches from Elsewhere – A group of Philadelphia strangers come together for a common purpose in a most magical and mysterious way. Goodnesssss. Were I an inhabitant of the Bay Area and heard of this while the wheels and inspiration for this series were in motion, I would have been a most gleeful participant.

Hannah Gadsby: Douglas – One of my favorite comedic minds is at it again, and what a marvel it is to be along for the ride!

Small Apartments – My kinds of quirky cast of characters, all living in or somehow associated with a dilapidated apartment building. Death, mischief, theft, mayhem, much heart, and a lot of laughs.

All the Light in the Sky – An aging actress struggles with the fact that she’s beome less and less desirable (and employable) while entertaining her young niece, who is also an actress. Such truth here – the fragility of spirit, the disheartening reality of a changing body, and suddently becoming the oldest person in the room.

Wanderland – This was such fun! A man takes up a stranger’s invitation to spend the weekend at her home in the Hamptons, and it is anything but what he thought it would be.

Betty – Saving the best for last. Girls who skate (board), call each other out on their bullshit, love fiercely, fall down, and get back up again. And the music is a dream…


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