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

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…

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him (♦♦♦♦)

A nice complement to the story of Eleanor is Conor's point of view. He is not coping well with the loss of their baby, but he is putting one foot in front of the other so to speak. Then, Eleanor blindsides him with news that she wants a break. She unexpectedly vanishes and he goes to share his father's apartment for the time being while he figures out his next move. Meanwhile, the restaurant/bar he owns is going under.

I enjoyed more this side of the story than her side. Eleanor's side had to be painstakingly pieced together. It was a nuanced performance by Jessica Chastain but at times the plot seemed sketchy. Conor's story moves along nicely and quickly, providing the missing pieces of the story we already know. Conor's father's perspectives on topics like love, aging, and loss, are refreshing and their dynamics, as well as Conor's complicated relationship with Stuart, his best friend, propel the story forward seamlessly.

I have a soft spot for James McAvoy. His performances of broken hearted lover boys are outstanding, and he plays that role here to a T.

James McAvoy (Conor Ludlow, Eleanor's husband), Jessica Chastain (Eleanor Rigby), Ciarán Hinds (Spencer Ludlow, Conor's father), Viola Davis (in a cameo as Professor Friedman), Bill Hader (Stuart), Isabelle Huppert (Mary, in a cameo as Eleanor's mother)


  1. Hi Carmen, I think you just educated me about this title. I remember seeing a trailer for one of this title at a movie but I didn't realize The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby had been broken into three separate films. Duh. I'm just getting that now. Interesting way to do it. Seems like overtime for the actors, right? I guess after reading your reviews perhaps the Him version might be a good one to see. I like the actors in it; it did seem fairly melodramatic when I saw the trailer but perhaps there is good reason for this.

    1. Yes, Susan, three movies around the same story but with two different points of view. I think her side is more complete but I liked his better. It moved along quickly and the tone was lighter. I laughed with this version, unlike with the other two.

  2. I had not heard of these films. Going to check them out for sure.

    1. Very good films, Judy. Lots of drama.


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