Thursday, September 23, 2021

Even More Movies


            OK – the pandemic is not over, so you have a perfect excuse to watch even more movies on your home screen. Or: We worked hard all day taking care of the house, yard and David, so it’s time to kick back and watch a movie. Or: We worked hard at our jobs for years, and we are getting too old to work into the evening, so let’s head for the couch – maybe even for an afternoon nap – and see what’s happening on Netflix or Amazon Prime.


            So, here are some of our recommendations. But first, a note on categories. You know what documentaries are. Many of our choices have to do with the natural world. “Feel-Good” means different things to different people. Most of ours have to do with people who, unlike us, have some flaws. “Thought Provoking” is also very personal. I have not included the thought, “Why are we watching this garbage?”



·      “Fantastic Fungi” – Better than the title suggests – amazing photography, information, world we live in

·      “Sensitive: The Untold Story” – a psychologist’s examination of people, perhaps 20% of the population, who are unusually sensitive to their surroundings. I’m not one of them.

·      “The Keepers” – A series exploring sexual abuse and murder in connection with the Catholic Church in Baltimore. Alarming how deep the damage goes and how complicit were Church officials.

·      “Blackfish” – All about a killer Orca held by Seaworld

·      “My Passion for Trees by Judy Dench” (YouTube) – Kim and I have a thing for trees. This little movie shows just one reason why. Again, what an amazing world we live in.

·      “Garnet’s Gold” – A treasure-hunting oddball searching for treasure hidden in Scotland. Fascinating character study.

·      “The Elephant Queen” – A tale of love and loss about a mother elephant’s efforts to protect her herd.    



·      “Sam I Am” – Sean Penn as a father with an intellectual disability attempting to gain custody of his daughter.

·      “The Book of Henry” – A young genius, dying of cancer, tries to save the girl next door from abuse.

·      “My Afternoons with Margueritte” – Gerard Depardieu as an illiterate man’s friendship with an older, well-read woman. Better than it sounds.

·      “Same Kind of Different as Me” – a wealthy couple in a troubled marriage turn things around thanks to their connection with a homeless man. Based on a true story.

·      “Peanut Butter Falcon” – A young man with Down syndrome escapes from assisted living and befriends a wayward fisherman on the run.

·      “The Lighthouse of the Orcas” – a mother with an autistic son travels to Patagonia to meet a ranger and wild orcas.

·      “Penguin Bloom” – A mom, coping with a crippling injury, finds inspiration from an injured magpie taken in by her family. Really.

·      “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” – A wilderness misadventure in the wilderness leads to life-changing discoveries for a troubled orphan teen. Sam Neill.



·      “Food Club” – Charming tale of three Danish women who go to Italy to cook and refocus their lives.

·      “Acceptable Risk” – Irish murder mystery – a good one.

·      “Undoing” – Nicole Kidman as a therapist whose life unravels when she suspects her husband might be responsible for a widespread disaster.

·      “Alias Grace” – True-crime drama about an Irish immigrant to Canada, convicted of murder, and the psychologist who interviews her.

·      “A Mother’s Son” – A mother suspects her son might be a murderer and agonizes over what to do with her suspicions.




·      “In and Of Itself” – Fascinating performance by a magician who explores questions about who we really are. See it, and get back to me.

·      “Wakefield” – Bryan Cranston plays a lawyer on the edge of madness who disassociates himself from his own life, living hidden in his garage. Amazing performance.

·      “The Dreamseller” – A disillusioned psychologist tries to commit suicide until he strikes up a friendship with an unlikely savior.

·      “The Sense of Wonder” – A widow with two children almost crushes a man with her car. He has mental disorders (unlike us), and her caring for him helps both of them.



Favorite Actors

·      “Peace, Love and Misunderstanding” – Jane Fonda as hippy

·      “My Old Lady” – Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, Kirstin Scott Thomas

·      “A Family Thing” – Robert Duvall, James Earl Jones

·      “The Magic of Belle Isle” – Morgan Freeman

·      “Nomadland” – Frances McDormand


Personal choices, we know. Most are on Netflix or Amazon Prime, a few on Hulu. Some might cost a couple of bucks, or you can skate by on a week’s free trial. Enjoy! And please send us your suggestions.



  1. We would have to add to your documentaries list: MY OCTOPUS TEACHER. Highly recommended.

  2. Over the pandemic years, we have obsessively watched many interviews with visual artists about their work on the Louisiana Channel and Art21. A favorite is Rachel Rose's explorations of her film installation "Everything and More." Piecing together fragments, you will have to imagine the finished film since it is not available to stream or see anywhere. This work was created for a limited-engagement museum installation at the Whitney. We think it's unfortunate that we tend NOT to think about film as being tethered to spaces we must visit in person to experience.