The films of winter break

Over our break, we’ve been catching up on some watching. I was sadly disappointed with Barbie. It was fun enough, but flatter than I had expected, based on the positive hype. Margot Robbie was wonderful, but I was expecting more in the telling, perhaps. Beverly, Lily and I got to see Oppenheimer in the theater, and I think it would have been fun to try and see both on the same day.

I really enjoyed All the Light We Cannot See. I haven’t read the book yet, but the decor and filming was wonderful. I loved the winding story, and, for me, the only snag was that I didn’t buy the protagonist’s affection for each other at the end, given their short acquaintance. It was too cozy.

We watched The Guilty, which, if I’m remembering correctly, had only 4 speaking actors on screen. This would be a wonderful play, and Jake Gyllenhaal puts so much into this performance.

We also watched Bradley Cooper in Maestro, and I was floored. I loved the score for West Side Story as a kid, but Leonard Bernstein has been on the far periphery of my musical life. For me, this was a great introduction to a complex, charismatic, brilliant artist, and while it’s a little salacious, we view his marriage, family, sexuality, affairs, his energy and drive, and relentless smoking. I am interested to know more about his friendship with Aaron Copland.

At the end, there’s a 6 minute scene where Cooper conducts Mahler’s 2nd symphony, and it’s just stunning. He does an incredible job. I’m so impressed.