Movies

Road To Gold: Alternate Universe America

Zootopia
Golden Globes Nomination: Best Animated Feature Film

Much like Deadpool I only just sat down to watch Disney’s Zootopia. And very much like Deadpool I was still pleasantly surprised despite the hype that followed for the better half of the year. Zootopia is a movie that should genuinely be shown in schools, an enjoyable cautionary tale about where things in America are headed with an ending that gives a glimpse at how we might act if we didn’t have to focus all our energy on a reality star who tweets about meetings with Anna Wintour. Kids always have a better grasp on humanity than adults, and Zootopia taking away a top prize would just be a reminder that we should all take a step back from ourselves and join hands at a Shakira concert. Things really aren’t all bad, unless we want them to be.
Lion
Golden Globes Nomination: Best Picture, Drama + Best Supporting Actor + Best Supporting Actress + Best Original Score
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role + Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Completely unrelated to Zootopia‘s animal theme but falling in line with a nice picture of how the world could be is Lion, which brought several tears to my eyes despite the man who was snoring loudly beside me for the entire two hours. Based on a true story, Lion was maybe a little heavy on the ads for Google Earth and a little light on the character development. But for a minute, it’s a reminder of family, and how good things could come out of the internet if we didn’t have to focus all our energy on a reality star who tweets about meetings with – wait, did I already say that? Anyway… Dev Patel is charming as always, and Sunny Pawar is an adorable actor in the making. You’d have to be made of stone to not get a little joy from this.

Advertisements
Standard
TV

Road To Gold: I’ve Got A Bad Feeling

The Night Of
Golden Globes Nomination: Best TV Miniseries or Movie + Best Actor, Mini-Series or TV Movie
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries

Game of Thrones failed me. I was far too obsessed with the latest season of the show to pay attention to press surrounding The Night Of, the show that would replace HBO’s coveted Sunday night timeslot. I saw the commercials every week as I sat waiting for Jon Snow to come back to life, but for some reason was convinced that The Night Of was a contagion story, or involved some supernatural elements, or was just too creepy for me to pay attention to. Obviously, I was wrong about all of the above.

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Law & Order, you get the gist of The Night Of. It’s a dark¬† procedural cop show at it’s core, revolving around a seemingly cut-and-dried murder case where Nasir Khan (Riz Ahmed), a young Pakistani-American, is on trial for the death of an Upper West Side girl. But in its first hour it pulls you in farther than anything allowed on Network television, and ends up saying a lot more about race than what Ice-T gets to deliver. It’s frustratingly slow at times, especially when we’re given more information about John Turturro’s character’s eczema than the evidence surrounding Nas. Its the pacing that gets to you, filling you with an ominous feeling of dread that you try to ignore while falling in love with Ahmed (who is having a great year, and also manages to be in the best character in Rogue One). The Night Of is a show that sticks with you because, as a mini-series, we’re never really left with any sort of conclusion. And while some of these questions are nagging (Why was his lawyer portrayed as an idiot who kisses him in a jail cell, on camera, even though I’d probably want to do the same thing?), most are left unanswered as a reminder that this happens every day in America. What happens to a young man forced into the prison system, what happens on trial when there’s no evidence to nab the likely criminal, what happens in racially divided neighborhoods – these are questions that don’t get answers, in real life or on HBO. I honestly haven’t stopped thinking about the show since I finished it. Maybe we’ll get a season two that will fill in some blanks, but if you’re looking to tune in I’ll tell you this: the cat, at least, gets a conclusion.

Standard
Movies

Road To Gold: Singing In The Rain

La La Land
Golden Globes Nomination: Best Picture, Comedy or Musical + Best Director + Best Actor, Comedy + Best Actress, Comedy + Best Screenplay + Best Original Score + Best Original Song
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role + Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

When did we as a society get so cynical? Surely it was before the storm that was 2016, which wasn’t the world that La La Land was born from but one that it felt appropriate to be brought into. We needed a little optimism, and yet half of the press La La Land started to get was Twitter trolls talking about overrated and unnecessary the movie was. Really? Since when was highway dancing, mood lighting and tap shoes anything but underrated. It’s easy to say “they don’t make movies like this anymore,” but I don’t think Sebastian and Mia would mind the cliche – it’s the truth. Two people find each other while chasing their dreams. They interact over the course of a year. They sing a song about disliking each other, and then get together. You might be inclined to call all this cheesy, and that would be fine. But I don’t think a little bit of cheese is ever a bad thing, especially when it’s as beautiful as this. We watch movies because we want an escape, and though the ending may not be the escape you look forward to, La La Land gives you hope to go out there and try to do whatever it is you’ve always wanted. It’s like an old friend poking you to pick a New Year’s resolution and stick to it. It’s old-Hollywood familiar with a freshness that reminds you there isn’t color and song like this outside of live musicals on NBC. Sure, the world sucks sometimes. But we don’t need to be so down about it. I walked out of the movies feeling all that and then some, with “City of Stars” stuck in my head. Get out your tap shoes and enjoy the movie. It’s what it’s there for.

Standard
Movies

Road To Gold: I Finally Watched Deadpool

I don’t ski. I don’t travel. So the saving grace of the winter months for me is simple: Awards season. From Globes to SAGs to Oscars nothing brings me more joy than attempting to watch every bit of film released between December and January within one week of time off work, so that I can sit on my couch and make guesses about who’s taking home the trophies. Here’s my attempt to watch the most buzzed about television and movies and maybe take some semblance of hope away from 2016. Because seriously, this year needs to end.

Deadpool
Golden Globes Nomination: Best Picture, Comedy or Musical + Best Actor, Comedy

I know. It’s nearly 2017 and I still hadn’t seen Deadpool. I’m the only one on my flight to Iceland who chose watching Love, Rosie over what’s being lauded as the most important superhero film of the year. Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those thinkpieces – there are enough of those without me weighing in. But despite witnessing Ryan Reynolds’ public transformation into Wade Wilson and knowing pretty much every punchline of the movie heading into it, sitting down to watch was really satisfying. It’s an action-comedy that’s exactly that, an origin story that manages to have a clear plot, and a story that’s stayed faithful to the source material. It’s a movie that I genuinely laughed at, which is more than I can say about half of the typical “Comedy or Musical” nominees. It’s nice when the voters get it right, and though I don’t see Deadpool coming away with the top prize, as a moviegoer I appreciate the inclusion. Not that Mr. Pool would give a shit.

Shortlist of nominees I’ve already seen:

Game Of Thrones
Golden Globes Nomination: Best TV Series, Drama + Best Supporting Actress
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series + Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Stranger Things
Golden Globes Nomination: Best TV Series, Drama + Best Actress, Drama
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series + Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

This Is Us
Golden Globes Nomination: Best TV Series, Drama + Best Supporting Actress
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Veep
Golden Globes Nomination: Best TV Series, Comedy/Musical + Best Actress, Comedy
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series + Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Blackish
Golden Globes Nomination: Best TV Series, Comedy/Musical + Best Actor, Comedy + Best Actress, Comedy
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series + Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

The Edge of Seventeen
Golden Globes Nomination: Best Actress, Comedy

Jane The Virgin
Golden Globes Nomination: Best Actress, Comedy

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Golden Globes Nomination: Best Actress, Comedy

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series + Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

 Transparent
Golden Globes Nomination: Best TV Series, Comedy/Musical + Best Actor, Comedy + Best Actress, Comedy

The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Golden Globes Nomination: Best TV Miniseries or Movie + Best Supporting Actor + Best Actor, Mini-Series or TV Movie + Best Actress, Mini-Series or TV Movie
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries + Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries

Black Mirror
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries

Mr. Robot
Golden Globes Nomination: Best Actor, Drama + Best Supporting Actor
SAG Awards Nomination: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Standard