No one enjoys looking in the mirror more than Hollywood, and no one does it better—as vastly entertaining show-biz movies like Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve, Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood can all attest. Now comes Mank, David Fincher’s loving and atmospheric re-creation of 1930s Hollywood.
It’s a rare treat to discover a film that appeals across the generations, but The Crossing is a perfect example. This movie is true family-friendly storytelling. Set in 1942 Norway, during the third year of the German occupation, this is a particularly poignant and uplifting tale of ordinary youngsters rising to the challenge of rescuing Jewish children during a brutal period of history.
Jews have lived in Ethiopia for centuries, but over the past decades, the majority have emigrated to Israel, most in the well-known airlifts of Operations Moses (1984) and Solomon (1991). Now some 140,000 are citizens. Those left behind in Addis Ababa and Gondar languish in dire conditions, vividly illustrated in the beautifully shot film.
Repetition mixed with monotony is not usually high up on Hollywood’s list of project themes, which is why Hulu’s Palm Springs was such a delightful surprise. The film stars Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother) as two apathetic California wedding guests who get stuck in a Groundhog Day-like time loop, forcing them to relive the couple’s special day over and over again. For a film that was shot in pre-coronavirus times, Palm Springs is surprisingly relevant.
This film is an insightful view into the life of a little-known luminary, replete with wonderful archival footage (not only of pre-state Jerusalem but also of his and his wife’s mime performances), whose legacy would otherwise be unknown to almost all of us.