Snapshots - #35: Marshall, American Made, The Glass Castle

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The movies…
Marshall (♦♦♦♦): Black lawyer Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is entrusted by the NCAAP to defend a black chauffeur (Sterling K. Brown) in Greenwich, CT, who has been accused of rape by his white employer. As Marshall is not allowed by the judge as legal counsel because he doesn't hold a CT license, he engages, reluctantly on both sides, the service of Jewish insurance lawyer Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), whom, with Marshall's help, will have to acquire criminal defense experience in a matter of months. But as the case is tried in court, it becomes evident that it is anything but cut and dry. Powerfully acted by Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, and Sterling K. Brown in the leading roles, Marshall treads a fine line between inspiring legal thriller and drama. On both counts it delivers in spades. Based on a true story, with race and bigotry fueling public opinion, before the apogee of the Civil Rights Movement, this accused black man is doomed from the start. A full century…

Amour (♦♦♦½)


Georges and Anne are married and growing old in their apartment in Paris. Anne has the carotid blocked and must undergo surgery but after an unsuccessful procedure she returns home and suffers a stroke that paralyzes the entire right side of her body. Georges promises to avoid going to the hospital in the future and starts taking care of her but the growing demands of his wife’s sickness take a toll on both of them.

Amour is a very intimate film that occurs entirely in the confines of an apartment. Contributing to the intimate atmosphere of the film is the scarcity of actors, very few in the whole film, the same ones coming and going to and from the apartment of Anne and George.

The acting is superb, particularly Emmanuelle Riva as Anne and Jean-Louis Trintignant as Georges.

Amour is an unflinching portrayal of what is like to get sick in old age. It is a sad film with plenty of awkward conversations between the young and the old, because let’s face it, it’s not pretty to grow old. Amour is also a raw look at the intricacies of marital life and how taxing it is for everyone involved to take care of a loved one in their time of need.

Amour is profound yet manages to keep its topic grounded and in perspective. It doesn’t waver; it doesn’t avoid the uncomfortable questions that arise when people face those same situations. Amour also makes the audience wonder what one would do, there aren’t easy answers and Amour has an honest enough script as not to take the easy way out. The result is an utterly human film that deserves to be watched and treasured.

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