What I'm Into: March 2022
Here’s a look at What I’m Into this month in the world of music, movies & television: Belfast: This is my personal pick for Best Picture this year. Honestly, there are 3-4 movies that I could have swapped in for my top spot, but this one had a certain charm to it (and the 90-minute runtime was refreshing). Jude Hill has the same charm as Roman Griffin Davis did in Jojo Rabbit. There's an innocence and carefree nature about him that just accents the struggles happening all around him. Belfast, set during the Irish Civil War, is a movie about home, family, and the things that make the human experience universal. It caught some flack for not taking a more defined stance on the issues that occur in the peripheral of the film, but my take is that is what adds to the authenticity. As seen from the stance of Buddy (Hill -- a surrogate for Kenneth Branagh's own experiences), that lack of politic grounds the feelings of childhood and captures the complications that arose in all of our own childhoods as well. This one was tight, meaningful, and just an overall positive experience.
Friday Night Lights: So I'd seen the first 2 seasons of Friday Night Lights about 4 times already. That meandering second season just always seemed to lose me somewhere after jumping the shark with Landry's storyline and the writers' strike. But finally, thanks to Noah and his nighttime feeds, I was able to get over the hurdle and watch the series in its entirety. What a treat the 4th and 5th seasons were, too! I don't know if this is an unpopular opinion or not, but Friday Night Lights does what so many shows fail to do and that's re-capture the magic of what made it a success, in the later seasons. Injecting the series with new blood during the East Dillon storyline was such a smart choice. During my watch, I could see so many threads of modern television that I believe we owe much in part to FNL (strong soundtracks and emotional storytelling with honest, flawed characters and a lot of heart -- I'm looking at you This Is Us). It's easily a top 20 show of all-time for me. If you haven't seen it yet, it still holds up (especially if you can get through Season 2), give it a watch. Drive My Car: This is a movie I'm still chewing on, two weeks after seeing it for the first time. I could analyze this for hours on end. Ryusuke Hamaguchi's story is based on a variety of literary inspiration and is chock full of symbolism and allusions. I don't want to give too much away with this one, but the title credit drop is one of the most memorable in recent memory just due to its placement. It's a story centered around ideas on communication, grief, and the human condition as told around the preparation and execution of a stage production of Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya". I can 100% see a path to this film being remade for American audiences within the next few years. Its universal themes are ripe for additional adaptations. It's a three-hour runtime, but I could absolutely make a case that this film deserves the top spot for Best Picture this year. Get past the subtitles and dive into this one head-first.
Life and Beth: Em and I just started this one a day or two ago. I know Amy Schumer is a polarizing figure, but when she's on (see: Trainwreck), she really hits a home run. Life and Beth appears to be the next big thing in her filmography. Full disclosure, we've only seen the first four episodes, but this one works in my book. Stylistically, the show is somewhere between Aziz Ansari's "Master of None" and Lil' Dicky's "Dave". There's comedy splashed throughout but the heart of the show is in the drama and story that's unfolding in between those moments. Michael Cera co-stars and it's so good to see him in something new. It's jarring to think about the fact that he's been so far removed from the Hollywood spotlight in recent years, but his performance here reminds us all that he's more than capable. We've really enjoyed this one so far and are looking forward to seeing it through (and hoping for a Season 2).
Playlist of the Post:
Track Listing: 1. Devil Town - Bright Eyes 2. Nightswimming - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Bela Fleck, Chris Thile 3. Tiny Dancer - Florence + The Machine 4. Dirty Work - Steely Dan 5. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters - The Killers 6. Chandelier - Damien Rice 7. Kid Fears - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Brandi Carlile, Julien Baker 8. Lady May - Tyler Childers 9. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
10. Something Good This Way Comes - Jakob Dylan