Change does not happen from nothing. It requires the will to see it happen and the bravery to stand up against those who would prevent such change.
Radium Girls premiered in 2018. Based on a true story, it takes place in the 1920’s. Sisters Bessie (Joey King) and Josephine (Abby Quinn) are employed by American Radium (based on the real company U.S. Radium Corp). Their job is to paint watches and military dials with radium. In order to paint within the miniscule lines, they had to wet the brushes with their lips. When Josephine starts to get sick, Bessie starts to put two and two together. But when the company starts to push back, she realizes that getting justice is easier said than done.
The narrative is the classic underdog/working class vs. the big bad men who keep them down. Though the story is in the same genre as Iron Jawed Angels, Norma Rae, and Suffragette, I didn’t getting the same “yes I can” rush that I usually get with these kind of films.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
Radium Girls is available for streaming on Netflix.
Secrets, especially family secrets, have a way of coming out.
In the new movie, After the Wedding (based on the 2006 Dutch film of the same name which I have never seen), Isabel (Michelle Williams) runs an orphanage in India. In need of additional funds, she travels to New York City. Theresa (Julianne Moore) is the owner of a very successful media company and is interested in making a large donation to the orphanage.
But before Theresa can discuss the details of the donation, she and her husband Oscar (Billy Crudup) must walk their daughter Grace (Abby Quinn) down the aisle. Theresa invites Isabel to the wedding. Instead of it just being an enjoyable evening, it opens the door to a couple of difficult and emotional revelations.
Written and directed by Bart Freundlich (who is married to Julianne Moore IRL), this film is a story of family, secrets and choices. To be honest, I was a little underwhelmed by the narrative. The film tries to be dramatic, but does not reach the dramatic heights that the trailer promises. The narrative and what should be the big dramatic reveal was also a little predictable. Though I appreciated the gender swap of the main characters from the original film, it does not make up for what is essentially an underwhelming movie going experience.
For those of us of a certain age, the 1990’s invoke nostalgia for what appeared to be a simpler time.
The new movie, Landline, is set in New York City in 1995. Alan (John Turturro) and Pat (Edie Falco) are a married couple with two daughters: engaged twenty something Dana (Jenny Slate) and teenager Ali (Abby Quinn). The film starts out with a Norman Rockwell-ish image of a family who will soon be tested. Dana has been engaged to Ben (Jay Duplass) for a while, but it seems like their wedding day may not happen. Ali is the typical rebellious teenage girl. The drama really starts to ramp up when the girls discover that their father is having an affair and their mother struggles with the work/life balance that many women deal with.
This movie is refreshing and real. The characters that make up the family feel like any other family who love each other and try to make it work, despite their individual imperfections. It also feels nostalgic, not just because the film is set in 1995, but because it was just before computers and the internet took over the world.