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Ides of February Reviews

First, a tribute to the great Canadian thespian Christopher Plummer who died at age 91 early this month.   One of the finest actors of his generation he had an amazing long career.   Thanks to my sister Yvonne for noting that his performance in the 2015 film Remember can be streamed on CBC Gem.   And do check out that platform for other content including excellent documentaries.             As Oscar buzz is building, Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland keeps gathering more accolades.   Check out this interview with her: https://deadline.com/2021/02/nomadland-director-chloe-zhao-searchlight-pictures-interview-news-1234684285/ .   And for more on principal actor Frances McDormand see: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/feb/14/frances-mcdormand-the-uneasy-star-who-cant-avoid-her-charisma .             What follows are some reviews from the vast content being added to streaming services. Collective (Romania/Luxembourg 2019, HotDocs at Home) A+ This outstanding documentary directed by Alexan
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Late January Post of Views and Reviews

              First a note that for pandemic delay reasons the Oscar nominations for 2020 will not be announced till March 15, with the awards ceremony delayed till April 25.  I am also going to hold off on my 2020 “best of choices”.  Except that my #1 drama is certain to be Nomadland which continues to earn plaudits.  (It’s the top choice of the U.S. National Society of Film Critics. For more see: https://variety.com/2021/film/news/nomadland-national-society-of-film-critics-1234881999/ .)             It will come as no surprise that global box-office earnings for 2020 dropped by some 80% ( https://variety.com/2021/film/box-office/box-office-final-revenues-2020-coronavirus-pandemic-1234879082/ ) and this year’s prospects  are dimmed by continuing shutdowns.  The shift to online streaming will continue.  Indeed the biggest spender on production Netflix aims to release a new movie a week this year and that’s not counting the flood of multi-episode series including on other platforms, a

First New Year Post of 2021

  With most theatres closed, streaming is increasingly the future of cinema. And the major platforms are investing heavily.  Annual spending by Netflix alone has grown to C$20 billion. I won’t compile my “best of 2020” list till later but number 1 is sure to be Nomadland , so as to why it speaks to the current moment see this commentary: https://www.indiewire.com/2020/12/how-nomadland-captured-the-essence-of-2020-1234606135/ .   If you are not already heartily sick of Christmas movies, Netflix has a Santa bag full.   Though sappy, The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two from Chris Columbus is a sporadically diverting sequel to 2018’s The Christmas Chronicles . Kurt Russell is the jolly purveyor of Christmas spirit with real-life partner Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Claus and oodles of hyperactive animated “elves”. Of course, Santa has a sleigh driven by reindeer, though a snarling snow leopard attacks Dasher so it’s not all sweetness and light. In addition, the kid/absent dad story carried over fr