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Some Noteworthy Films

Instead of a book review, how about some other genre? I am not a big binge-watching person; however, I have devoured a few shows/movies that I think are worth sharing:

Maid: a limited series on Netflix that shines a light on the disruptive patterns of economic disparity, domestic abuse. Alex (Margaret Qualley) hoped to enter a college writing program she was accepted into until she became pregnant. After fleeing from her abusive partner, we follow her saga as she navigates, living in a domestic violence center while trying to put her life back together. This series offers a realistic assessment of the people and bad choices that often contribute to the spiral we observe in so many people trying to build their lives. I appreciated the diversity of the cast that the filmmakers attempted to make, even though Stephanie Land (the real Maid) said most of the people in the Pacific Northwest who she interacted with were White. Nick Robinson (Sean) and Anika Noni Rose (Regina) had solid performances. I think that Andy MacDowell completely nails her performance as Paula), and deserves every nomination that comes her way.

Fantastic Fungi: this documentary on Netflix may change your life. It may reveal the secret of saving humanity and our planet. I love mushrooms on my pizza. That is the extent of what I knew about fungi until five years ago. Besides the medical healing powers that fungi offer, we are only on the cusp of discovering life-changing properties.

In the second half of the documentary, the filmmakers explore the use of “magic mushrooms” (aka Psilocybin). As someone who works closely with cancer patients, I have seen first-hand life-altering experiences through the power of Psilocybin. Think about this: some patients who have used Psilocybin after one, two, three uses have been able to stop taking their long-term depression medicine. Imagine what the pharmaceutical industry thinks about this…

The Lost Daughter: If you will delve into a slow, dark saga for two long hours, you won’t regret it (if you are into slow, dark indie sagas). Leda (Olivia Colman) is a forty-seven-year-old professor who has rented a flat for the summer on an isle of Greece. She becomes somewhat obsessed with another American family, also vacationing on the beach that she spends her days reading. The American mother, Nina (Dakota Johnson), is over her head with being a mom and not sure it’s worth it in the end. Leda can fully understand Nina’s despair because she is a mother and holds a dark secret from her past. This movie evokes the feeling some moms (I’m being conservative) feel about the performative nature of motherhood and perfection. Jessie Buckley gives a standout performance, as does Ed Harris. Full disclosure: I am a massive fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal, writer, and director of this film). On Netflix.

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