One Day (Netflix 2024 British television series.)

February 20, 2024 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TV SERIES |

If you can be bothered starting this listless series, we recommend that you binge watch all 14 (!) episodes because once you switch off, you’ll never bother going back. To start with, the plot is suspense-free. Rich golden rich boy Dexter meets socialist Emma (a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and of another race) at a posh university. They go their separate ways until..! Whatever could happen?! Even this hackneyed story could be worth watching – Leo Woodall (previously seen in White lotus 2) is terrific as the languid upper-class Dexter – although he could do with…

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Dinner at Antoine’s (Frances Parkinson Keyes)

(1949). “Keyes” rhymes with “skies” not “keys”.  Being privy to arcane pronunciations is the sort of marker which separates those who are in New Orleans Society from those who are not. Only the former know that the sidewalk in 1940’s-50’s New Orleans is called the “banquette”. Only the former are admitted to Antoine’s Restaurant on St Louis Street without a long wait on the banquette, if at all. Orson Foxworth is certainly one of the former and, on a warm afternoon, is immediately lead into the special lunch room when he entertains his niece and several intimate friends. The layout…

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Ring the Division Bell

February 4, 2024 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | American Politics, POLITICS |

Recently, we were sent an interesting take by George Monbiot, published in the Guardian, suggesting the likely Republican nominee for U.S. President this year, Donald Trump, was “king of the extrinsics.”  Now we have expressed concerns about George before, but felt he deserved respectful consideration none-the-less. By ‘extrinsic,’ Monbiot did not mean a “basket of deplorables,” exactly. He wrote: “Some psychologists believe our values tend to cluster around certain poles, described as “intrinsic” and “extrinsic”. People with a strong set of intrinsic values are inclined towards empathy, intimacy and self-acceptance. They tend to be open to challenge and change, interested in…

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A Poor Thing Indeed

February 3, 2024 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Poor Things (Directed by “Yorgos” Lanthimos – 2023) What do Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” and M. Night Shamalayan’s “The Village” films have in common? They are the latter works of erstwhile promising directors. Lanthimos’s “The Lobster” is fabulous. As is the rightfully feted Night Shamalayan’s “The Sixth Sense”. Original, surprising and engaging works. After that, Shamalayan made the hold-your nose “The Village.” Lanthimos took a step down to the so-so “Killing of a Sacred Deer” and then nosedived. “Poor Things” is twaddle. Sadly, it looks like it’s all over for these two. “Poor Things” has beguiled critics with its steampunk, big-sleeved…

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Maestro

January 3, 2024 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, FILM, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Bradley Cooper – Netflix, 2023) Maestro is not a biopic of Leonard Bernstein, a popular and influential conductor, composer and musicologist. We do follow his career, but high and low points are marked by whirls of scenic grabs and musical snatches. The film’s focus is on Bernstein’s long and bumpy marriage to Felicia Montealegre, going from breathless first-flush intimacy, to star couple, to cold understanding, to a final tenderness. Whilst this renders the film a little thin, putting it mildly, it succeeds upon its chosen horizon. This is due to great turns by Bradley Cooper and, in particular,…

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