Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino is poised to return to theatres …
On the surface, Grace and Frankie sounds almost too good to be true. The title characters (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, respectively) are two septuagenarians whose husbands, Robert and Sol (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) announce that they are leaving the women for each other. The strengths and legacies of the actors, the contrast in personalities, and the core hook of the show sound as if they’re tailor-made to deliver Netflix’s next binge-worthy addiction.
Better Living Through Chemistry flirts with danger from its opening moments, in which a narrator first says that while each of us can’t help everyone, everyone can help someone, and follows it up by saying that our lead character would dismiss that sentiment as fortune-cookie foolishness. That character, portrayed by Sam Rockwell, who grows more Sam Rockwell-esque by the minute here, would be right to do so, but the film he occupies essentially embraces that sentiment, if to a slightly amoral extent. Better Living Through Chemistry is, seemingly, a bit desperate to both occupy the same satiric subgenre as American Beauty and to be so emphatically unique among other American Beauty-esque films that it’s unable to fully achieve either goal in the end.
Since its premiere, The Good Wife has done what is nearly impossible for most shows- it is stunningly smart, perfectly paced, and beautifully written, and it has only gotten better in its game-changing fifth season. Guest stars are nothing new to the show, which has the most creative and entertaining guest casting on television, and it uses these performers incredibly well, folding them into stories the audience is already invested in alongside characters we care about.
The possible story of illegal chemical weapons being used by the US against enemy combatants has been a looming issue over the ACN team over the second season of The Newsroom, particularly as the discussions with Rebecca Halliday and her team indicate a massive failure. The first signs of the breakdown became visible in the closing moments of last week’s episode, and this week explores the full scope of the fallout from the discovery of the story’s falsehood, delivering an episode that, while not necessarily divulging any new information, nonetheless is a fascinating one that leaves several characters in interesting places by the end.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler is an intensely silly film, but all things considered, it’s silly for unexpected reasons. A movie that offers up the image of John Cusack playing President Richard Nixon, with the only distinction between Cusack’s normal visage and his Nixonian veneer being a Pinocchio-like nasal extension, should have its silliness all sewn up in such goofy celebrity casting. But instead, what makes Lee Daniels’ The Butler almost entertainingly ridiculous is less the eclectic, deliberately weird cameos and more a flat, sappy, and inconsistent-to-the-point-of-being-schizophrenic script that very badly wants to tie its title character to Important Events of the 20th Century without fleshing said character in at all.