Listen to Me, Mom and Dad
'CODA,' 'Searching for Mr. Rugoff,' and 'Confetti' are all worthy of discovery.
Current Cinema: Salty in its language and coarse in its depiction of the life of a tight-knit family in New England that makes its living from the sea, CODA (Child Of Dead Adults) is initially off-putting as it pushes familiar buttons. In time, though, the winning performance by Emilia Jones, as the only hearing member in her family, bolstered by ace dramatic performances by Marlee Martin and Troy Kotsur as her deaf parents, and a key supporting performance by Daniel Durant as her deaf older brother, carry the day.
Director Sian Heder, who also wrote the Americanization of a French-language film, avoids unnecessary sentimentality as long as she can, which then increases the impact in the stirring final sequences, which brought me to tears multiple times. Recognizing the importance of the subject matter for mainstream audiences, Heder has made a dramatic comedy that prompts viewers to forgive its baser instincts. [Now streaming on Apple + and playing in select theaters nationwide with subtitles for the benefit of the deaf.]
Also: The fascinating documentary Searching for Mr. Rugoff is well-made by industry veteran Ira Deutchman and bound to appeal most of all to film buffs with a special interest in exhibition, and independent/international cinema distribution in the 1960s and 1970s. And anyone who remembers the enjoyment of visiting a movie house to see a film on a bigger screen than what's at home. [My review at Screen Anarchy]
Directed by Ann Hu, Confetti touched me personally in its depiction of a young girl who desperately yearns to learn ordinary things that are frustratingly beyond her grasp. Her mother, though, is determined to make sure that she receives the education that she herself never received. [My review at Screen Anarchy]
Now Streaming: I quite enjoyed the first two episodes of Blake's 7 that I sampled, a British sci-fi series that belies its low-budget surface appeal. If you are a fan of 70s television, this might be worth checking out. Another new series, Time, is a prison drama that is definitely not something I recommend for families with young children. Good show, but not for kids, in my opinion. [My review at Screen Anarchy]
Upcoming: I won't be able to make the press screening for Lisa Joy's Reminiscence, starring Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson, but it will be on HBO Max as well as select theaters this weekend, so I'll have to compromise and see it streaming. I like the sci-fi premise (private detective, lost memories], but then, I'm a sucker for most anything sci-fi. [HBO Max]