Two films worth seeing


Oh, yeah. The new Star Wars is just about out. But before leaping on board the starship Fantastic Nonsense and drowning in its swimming pool of soda pop, check out two docudramas also showing at your local film-plex.

The first is Trumbo. Here Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad) portrays the award-winning screen writer Dalton Trumbo, who put his career on the line by refusing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee. Cranston’s Trumbo comes across as brash, articulate and brave. Watch for his takedown of the bumptious John Wayne. Helen Mirren plays the witless LA Times gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. The film is a splendid dip into the ocean of realism.

Spotlight recounts the struggle of the Boston Globe to tear down the Roman Catholic church’s  cover-up of child abuse by priests. Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams plunge in to lead the team of investigators, battling the waves of resistance from the church. But for my money, the outstanding character is Liev Schreiber’s understated role as editor-in-chief Marty Baron.

Sorry about the continuing swimming metaphors.

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About aharmlessdrudge

Way back during the late Bronze age -- actually it was the 1950s -- all of us in high school had to take a vocational test to determine our interests and, supposedly, our future careers. I cannot remember the outcome, but I do recall one question that gave me pause. "If you were to win a Nobel prize, would it be in literature or in physics?" I hesitated over the question: although I enjoyed mathematics and science more than English class, I did have a couple of unfinished (and very bad) novels hidden away at home. I cannot remember what I chose back then, but the dilemma followed me to university, where I switched from mathematics to English and -- after a five-year stint in journalism -- back to mathematics. I recently retired as a professor of statistics. Retirement. What a good chance to revive my literary ambitions. I have finished a novel -- more about that in good time -- and a rubble of drafts of articles about mathematics and statistics is taking up space on my hard disk.
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