After Everything, Everywhere, All At Once swept this year’s Oscars, we saw an increased amount of circulation for it, and well, I was curious to see what all the buzz was about.
Evelyn Wang has a lot on her plate. She’s being audited for her laundromat business; she’s trying to throw together a party for her often difficult father, who’s visiting from China; she has a tense relationship with her own very American daughter, Joy; and her husband Wayman painted the wrong shade of white on the ceiling of the laundromat.
It’s a mundane life, and one that Evelyn doesn’t get a lot of joy from. But she soon learns that she lives in a multiverse of parallel universes and not all of the Evelyns, Waymans, and Joys live such an ordinary life. Complications ensue. . . .
This year, our theme is “Walk A Mile In My Shoes.” The idea that you can’t understand someone (and shouldn’t judge them) until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes is a pretty common sentiment. And research has shown that reading fiction is one way to really get such a walk going. So, that’s what we are going to do this year: use fiction (and some nonfiction when we just can’t resist) to take walks in someone’s shoes. We hope you lace up those sneakers and join our journey. For April, our theme is Neurodiversity, and we’re profiling books with characters whose brains work in unique ways. Thanks so much to Julie, Anna, and Kelly for helping me research this post!
This year, our theme is “Walk A Mile In My Shoes.” The idea that you can’t understand someone (and shouldn’t judge them) until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes is a pretty common sentiment. And research has shown that reading fiction is one way to really get such a walk going. So, that’s what we are going to do this year: use fiction (and some nonfiction when we just can’t resist) to take walks in someone’s shoes. We hope you lace up those sneakers and join our journey. For February, we’re going to be looking at a growing issue in Carroll County–homelessness.
Amanda’s life as an adult is about as far away from her childhood as it could get–and that’s exactly the way she likes it. After escaping her abusive upbringing in Korea at the hands of her mother, she’s built a life for herself on a very rural bee farm in America, where she raises her daughter, tends to her bees and chickens, and has studiously cut herself off from electricity, which she claims she is allergic to, and her Korean heritage.
On the surface, things are pretty idyllic for Amanda, except for the nightmares she regularly endures. But the sudden appearance of her long-lost uncle, with news that her mother has died and her ashes in tow, brings to the forefront a whole slew of issues. Not the least of which is the fact she’s pretty sure her mother’s ghost is now haunting her. . . .
I was curious about this movie because I saw it described as the horror version of Minari. I think that is a pretty apt comparison, though I did find Umma more uneven. That being said, I did enjoy Umma, and if you want to watch something horror-related for Halloween that isn’t particularly scary but is thought-provoking and chilling, this movie would be the perfect fit.
As I’ve written about several times on this blog, I have a great love for Westerns (books, movies, and TV). And recently when I noticed that the library didn’t have Ride The High Country, which is one of my absolute favorite movies in the genre, I remedied the situation by requesting we add it to the collection. Thanks so much to Julie for buying it!
In the early 20th century, stalwart but aging lawman Steve (Joel McCrea) is tasked with transporting gold from a rough mining town in the High Sierras. Accompanied by his irascible friend Gil (Randolph Scott), a green youngster (Ron Starr), and a feisty but sheltered bride-to-be (Mariette Hartley), the ragtag group quickly winds up with more trouble than they bargained for when they meet the girl’s future husband (James Drury) and his rough brothers. (You know they’re bad news when they include a young Warren Oates and L.Q. Jones.) Complications ensue. . . .
Stan (Bradley Cooper) is a drifter with his own share of secrets when he hooks up with a Depression-era carnival. But he quickly learns the tricks of the cold reading trade and becomes the barker to the show’s “clairvoyant” act. Despite being warned about how dangerous it is to toy with people in this way, Stan has much grander ambitions for his talents. That is, until he finds himself in over his head. . . .
Kelli recommended this noir horror movie to me (an adaptation of a 1940s noir classic), and I’m glad she did–I really enjoyed it!
It’s like The Mentalist meets Freaks meets James M. Cain, which is a combination that really works for me.
In the year 10191, the planet Arrakis is a harsh desert land, but it is rich in “spice” (maybe we can interest them in our spice club), so it has been a lucrative resource for the brutal Harkonnen, who exploit the locals and the land. When the emperor revokes Harkonnen rights to Arrakis and gives them instead to the duke of House Atreides (Oscar Isaac), an inevitable collision course is set, and complications ensue, including the fact that the duke’s gifted son Paul (Timothée Chalamet) may be the long-awaited messiah the people of Arrakis have been promised.
Viago has similar struggles to all of us. He misses the love of his life and has had a difficult time moving on. He wishes his roommates would do their dishes and other agreed-upon household chores. He sometimes has a hard time getting a bite to eat. He’s just trying to find his way in the world, one night at a time.
Oh yes and he and his roommates are centuries-old vampires.
Thanks to Kelli for recommending this delightful movie to me! It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed watching it. It’s perfect viewing as Halloween approaches.
It’s not often that a movie with a Northwest Arkansas setting generates Oscar buzz, but last year’s Minari not only did so but also won one (Best Supporting Actress for Youn Yuh-jung). As a result, I’ve been looking forward to reviewing the movie as soon as we received the DVD at the library, and I’m so excited to post this because it’s been one of the best new movies I’ve watched in a long time!
I’ve written on here before about being a Martin Scorsese fan. In recent years, Scorsese has moved away from the organized crime movies he became known for, and though I’ve enjoyed a lot of those movies, I’ll always have a soft spot for his iconic mob movies.Scorsese’s 2019 effort–The Irishman–generated a lot of buzz when it was being made. The buzz tended to be less about the movie itself and more about the process/circumstances surrounding the making of the movie. It marks Scorsese’s return to the organized crime genre, reunited him with two longtime collaborators (Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, the latter coming out of retirement), included his first collaboration with Al Pacino, employed de-aging effects to the cast, was released on Netflix, and clocked in at 3 hours, 30 minutes.
Much less attention was paid to the story the movie told, that of Frank Sheeran. A trucker who worked as a hit man for Pennsylvania mobster Russell Bufalino, he claimed to know the real story behind the 1970s disappearance of mob-connected union leader Jimmy Hoffa.