An A+ for Makowsky’s Bad Education

I love when I find a screenwriter who captures the essence of a story and without any fluff, builds a well told narrative. Well this week, Mike Makowsky’s Bad Education came out on HBO and Mr. Makowsky, you made high honor roll!

Being a retired vet of the NYS Education’s Public School System, I can attest that Makowsky’s tale was spot on. Of course there’s no screenplay if you don’t have the right director and here newish guy Cory Finley filled the bill stylistically painting small town Long Island yearning to be as opulent as its Big Brother-Big Apple mover and shaker.

And talk about a perfect cast!!! Can we please sneak this in as a major motion picture contender and give Hugh Jackman a Oscar nomination? The guy is multi-talented and willing to take risks, so what do you say? Come on HBO, gather your inner Long Island chutzpah and stand up to Netflix! Equally great and already an Oscar winner, Allison Janney always nails her acting mark. Other solid performances came from Ray Romano, Geraldine Viswanathan (anyone in something called Emo the Musical sounds fun to me), Annaleigh Ashford (about to star in the next Woody Allen project) and last but not least, Pat Healy, I love this man and evidently Makowsky does, too, as he’s in another one of his movies, Take Me, which is not on my watch list. Makowksy’s one other IMDB listed movie for writing is I think We’re Alone Now with Dinklage and Gainsbourg, so yes please, sing me up for a future viewing of that as well.

Can’t recommend this enough!

I’d Buy a High Mortgaged House Just to be Mr. Roger’s Neighbor

Thank you Marielle Heller! As you did in Can you Ever Forgive Me (for which you personally weren’t nominated for direction, a shame) you’ve done it again here, once again with the forgiveness theme, in “A Beautiful Day on the Neighborhood”.

The story written by the team of Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster (both also writers for tv hit Transparent) did a perfect story telling job, absolutely nailing an angry journalist’s man vs. self wrestling match with his resentment toward his father.

The acting gave me close to a religious experience. Tom Hanks is our generation’s Jimmy Stewart and we are a better world with him in it. Marry Me Rhys (oops Freudian slip, Matthew Rhys) has the soulful face necessary to carry off inner turmoil and I assume accomplished his walk off home run away from tv land. Chris Copper finally got a roll to sink his teeth into again, after a long wait from his Oscar win from Adaptation. Susan Kelechi Watson is also superb as Matthew Rhys’s wife.

I’ve been harping on the importance of moving scene moments, atmosphere and music as of late (after the drought in The Irishman and Ford V. Ferrari) and much like Honey Boy, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood is the perfect, even a tad better, companion piece. I was producing tears by minute 10, reoccurring at minute 20, etc. Favorite scenes (not spoilers) The puppet in Mr. Roger’s NYC apartment scene, the Indian restaurant scene, Mr. Rogers swimming scene (Tracy Chapman’s “The Promise in the background…soooo pretty), the ending shot. Gorgeous, marvelous, bravo.

My conclusion comes from a gal (moi) who always loved the concept of Mr. Rogers (unconditional love), but in all honesty, always felt the show was a tiny bit awkward. BUT, this movie, my friends, I will gladly skip to see again.