Traveling via plane is a safe way to get to a faraway destination. But then there are accidents every once in a while that catches the attention and imagination of the world.
In March 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (also known as MH370) took off from the airport in Kuala Lumpur. The final destination was Beijing. The plane never arrived at its final destination. For nine years, the questions about what happened to the plane and the 239 souls aboard have yet to be answered.
The new three-part NetflixdocumentaryMH370: The Plane That Disappeared follows the existing breadcrumbs to try to understand exactly what happened. Interviewing family members, experts, journalists, and others leads the viewer down the path of various theories.
What got me was the emotion of the story and the heartbreaking tales from the family members who have yet to have a concrete explanation. Unlike Lost or Manifest, this is not fiction. These are real people who are hurting and desperately craving peace of mind.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
MH370: The Plane That Disappeared is available for streaming on Netflix.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when a woman accomplishes something outside of the traditional spheres of marriage and motherhood, there are two responses. The first is to downplay their work. The second is for a male in a similar position to claim to her achievement as his own.
Her experiments led her to the hypothesis that polio spreads through the human body via the blood. When an error by one of Dorothy’s teammates opens the door to a universal acceptance of her theory, she becomes the one who might be known as the one who “broke the back of polio”. This is the opportunity that Dorothy has been looking for. But there are also pitfalls that could sink everything that she has been working for.
This book is amazing. I am not shocked that Dorothy has finally been given her due after decades of silence. Like her contemporary Rosalind Franklin, the only reason that her name and the advancements she made have been “forgotten” is because of her gender.
What I liked was the emotional push and pull of the narrative. Though Dorothy was dedicated to her work, she also wanted to come home to someone at the end of the day. What we forget these days is that idea that women can have it all (even with its flaws) is a relatively new one. It is because of foremothers like Dorothy Horstmann that it is possible to have a thriving career while having a spouse/partner and children.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
The Woman with the Cure is available wherever books are sold.
The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).
*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the book and the television show Sanditon. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.
When we lose the one we love, getting used to the fact they are no longer is not easy. Some are able to eventually move on and open their heart again. Others remain lost in their memories and can only see through the lens of grief.
In Sanditon, Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd Hughes) is introduced to both Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) and the audience as a reclusive widower who is in need of a governess. After saving his tomboy daughter Leonora (Flora Mitchell) from being run over by a horse, Charlotte is offered the position. She is also in charge of his rebellious teenage niece, Augusta Markam (Eloise Webb). Instead of mingling with his neighbors and enjoying all that Sanditon has to offer, he keeps to himself.
Their relationship starts out as employer and employee. Alexander has not yet gotten over the loss of his late wife. Charlotte is still missing her late first love Sidney Parker (Theo James). It is nothing more than a business relationship. Charlotte is determined to remain single and earn her keep. Alexander’s main concern is his estate and the young ladies in his charge. But, as time goes on, they begin to open up and understand one another.
This opens the door to an attraction that becomes undeniable. It also reveals a secret and a previously unknown and scandalous connection to Colonel Francis Lennox (Tom Weston Jones). After they finally admit their feelings for one another, he pushes her away, leaving Charlotte heartbroken for the second time. Though Alexander has the opportunity to take back his decision, he chooses not to.
To sum it up: It takes courage to live again when the person you thought that you would be with forever is gone. It takes an equal amount of courage to love again. Unfortunately, Alexander chooses another route, breaking both his and Charlotte’s heart at the same time.
In Texas, five women have sued the state over its abortion ban. They are suing because they believe that the ban puts their life and the lives of their fetuses at risk. These women are my heroes. They are not just standing up for themselves and their families. They are speaking for all of us who are affected by arbitrary legislation that has more to do with the beliefs of a few than reality.
And finally, one of the major headlines of the last seven days is the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank. The most disconcerting offshoots of the story are the accusations that “wokeness” was the cause of the bank’s downfall. Instead of zeroing in on the real problems that were the cause, the right once again chooses to pick the answer that suits them.
Two major points have been part of the discourse around the bank. The first is the repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act by the former guy. Like the accident in East Palestine, all of this might have been prevented had the regulations remained as is. The second is the irony that the organization received financial assistance from the federal government. However, when they wanted the government to be hands-off, they got what they wanted. They can’t have it both ways. Either there are structures in place to head off a collapse or it is the wild wild west.
The plan was simple. Arthur was going to write and Marilyn was going to make the film during the day. At night, they would relax and enjoy being newlyweds. But as we all know, when we plan, our creator laughs.
She was being hounded by the press. Though Monroe and Olivier did their best to be professional, their mutual dislike was obvious. While across the pond, Monroe became interested in Queen Elizabeth II and eventually met her before returning to the States.
I enjoyed the book. Morgan bring the narrative and her subjects to life in a way that made me feel like I was with them during the experience. What she does exceptionally well is revealing the real women beneath Monroe’s Hollywood facade. Though she was strong and smarter than many thought she was, she was also beset by her troubled past and low self-esteem.
The only issue I have is the title. I feel like it does not mesh well with the story. If it was me, I would have emphasized the making of the film in addition to meeting the Queen.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
When Marilyn Met the Queen: Marilyn Monroe’s Life in England is available wherever books are sold.
When life hands us lemons, the only thing we can do is make lemonade.
In the 2008 film, Sunshine Cleaning, single mother Rose (Amy Adams) is in a bind. She wants to send her son to an expensive private school to ensure that he gets a good education. But it is not within her financial means to do so. She starts a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service with her sister Norah (Emily Blunt).
Norah is to Marianne Dashwood as Rose is to her elder sister Elinor. Rose is determined to succeed. But she knows that it will not be easy. Especially when she is working with Norah and their father, Joe (Alan Arkin).
This movie is charming and adorable. It speaks to the ingenuity that kicks in when all seems lost. It also has two female lead characters in which romance takes a back seat to getting by on their own two feet.
The news doesn’t always have to be serious. Sometimes it can be funny.
Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me has been part of the WNYC and NPR schedules since 1998. Currently hosted by Peter Sagal, it is part interview show and part comedic news program. Both panelists and contestants are quizzed about the latest headlines while laughing along the way.
I’ve listened to the show a couple of times. It’s entertaining, but not enough to keep me coming back for more.
We all lie at least once in a while. It’s part of being human. However, there is a difference between a little white lie and consciously lying all of the time.
The new Randy Rainbow video is out today. Entitled Life’s a F***ing Fantasy for Santos – A Randy Rainbow Parody, it combines “Jolly Holiday” from Mary Poppins and The Seekers 1966 hit, “Georgy Girl“.
This is the roasting that George Santos deserves. His growing list of fibs and falsehoods has long since become a problem. The fact that he disturbingly refuses to admit the truth makes his exit from Congress all the more necessary.
One of the ways a country’s values can be judged is the legislation.
In Tennessee, a new law may allow marriage clerks to deny licenses based on that person’s beliefs. In short, a public servant (whose salary comes from our tax dollars), can tell a tax-paying citizen that they have no right to marry. If this person was a clergy of a specific faith and was using that as a context, their reasons are understandable (even if one disagrees with that decision). But a clergyperson’s paycheck comes from their congregation and not from the public.
Meanwhile, Walgreens has decided to not sell the abortion pill in twenty states. This is nothing more than a corporation bowing to the wishes of a minority. Granted, the right could accuse the left of the same thing. However, when it comes to medical care (which is what abortion is), that’s another story.
And finally in Arkansas, comes a double whammy from Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (former mouthpiece from the previous administration). The Youth Hiring Act of 2023 allows children under 16 to work without a permit. We know how this is going to go. Those forced to go to work (instead of school) are poor, immigrants, and people of color. These jobs (as in the past), will likely be dangerous, low-paying, and life-altering.
She also signed a bill that allows anyone who received gender-affirming care as a minor to sue a medical practitioner once they turn 18. Though it will not be enforced until this summer, the statute of limitations is good until that individual turns 33. This is a tactic that Republicans often use. By deputizing the person on the street, they keep their hands clean.
Just another day in America and another reason to vote them all out.
Marriage is hard. It requires compromise, understanding, and sensitivity to your spouse/significant other’s flaws.
The new play, The Wanderers, by Anna Ziegler follows two Jewish couples (one semi-secular and one religious) and a movie star. Abe (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Sophie (Sarah Cooper) are married and have two children. Both are writers. But while Abe is successful, Sophie’s career is floundering.
Esther (Lucy Freyer) and Schmuli (Dave Klasko) start out as Hasidic newlyweds. Though all seems well in the beginning, they start to emotionally drift from one another. Schmuli is happy to continue with the traditions that he grew up with. But Esther is eager to expand her world.
The narrative is brought together by an email correspondence that Abe has with actress Julia Cheever (Katie Holmes). Though it starts innocently enough, their relationship becomes deeper than expected.
Set in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, this play is fantastic. Though these characters live in a specific neighborhood and live a specific lifestyle, their stories are universal. It’s about trying to find yourself and knowing that in doing so, you may have to break with everything and everyone you love.
What the playwright does especially well is to humanize the character. With antisemitism on the rise, it is easy to create a 2D stereotype. By making them human, she (hopefully) opens the door to a conversation about what we all have in common. She also brings (much-needed) attention to Jews of color, who are often ignored or pushed aside.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
The Wanderers are playing at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre Laura Pels theater in New York City until April 2. Check the website for tickets and showtimes.
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