Weekly Round-Up: Dec. 21-27, 2015


Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)- in theaters now

A perfect synthesis of the old and the new. I’ve seen it twice so far and will probably see it a third. Full review coming soon. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.



The Bishop’s Wife (1948)- TCM; streaming on iTunes and Amazon.

In this movie that’s basically a combination of It’s A Wonderful Life, Mary Poppins, and The Bells of St. Mary’s, an Episcopal bishop (David Niven) is trying to raise funds for a new cathedral and in the process has neglected his wife (Loretta Young) and young daughter (Karolyn Grimes). Heavenly being Cary Grant plays the angel sent to answer the bishop’s prayer for guidance, but the guidance he brings concerns things more important than fundraising. A sweet movie that captures the spirit of the holiday season. Cary Grant is as charming as ever. RECOMMENDED.



Top Hat (1935)- TCM; streaming on iTunes and Amazon.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers star in this textbook example of a mistaken identity story: a woman (Rogers) thinks the man who loves her (Astaire) is her best friend’s husband (Edward Everett Horton). Naturally, the film features wonderful dance numbers to songs like “Cheek to Cheek” and “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.” I doubt anyone watches Fred and Ginger movies for the plot, and I usually enjoy the absurdity of screwball comedies, but this one is almost too absurd. They’ve made better. AMBIVALENT.  

 What did you watch last week? How many times have you seen the new Star Wars? Let me know in the comments!


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