There are two arguments when it comes to a prequel. One is that it allows a formerly minor character to get a little bit of time in the narrative spotlight. The other is that it is a cheap copout by the studio. Instead of giving voice to new stories, they are relying on a known (and perhaps too reliable) IP.
Andor premiered last Wednesday on DisneyPlus. In short, it is a prequel of a prequel. Five years before the events of A New Hope, it follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as he becomes the rebel that we know him to be in Rogue One.
While getting on the bad side of bureaucrat Syril Karn (Kyler Soller), he joins the rebellions by way of Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) and Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona).
So far, the first three episodes have been released. The connective tissue between the boy he was and the man he has become is starting to come together in a way that feels right for the character.
My favorite character so far is Maarva Andor (Fiona Shaw), Cassian’s adopted mother. She is not blind to what is happening and though she does not appear to have one, she has a spine made of steel.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
New episodes of Andor are released every Wednesday on DisneyPlus.
In 1997, Driver burst into Hollywood in the film Good Will Hunting. Academically speaking, Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a genius. He works as a janitor at MIT and anonymously solves the math problems left on the black boards overnight. But Will has no direction in life and often finds himself in trouble with the law. When his anonymity is discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard), Will is offered a deal that could change his life.
Under the watch of Prof Lambeau, Will will not be facing jail time if he studies mathematics with the professor and spends time with a therapist. After several therapists flounder, Will finds himself in the office of Sean Maguire (the late Robin Williams). He also finds himself attached to Skylar (Minnie Driver), a Harvard student with ambitions to attend medical school at Stanford. Can Will sustain this new path in life or will he return to his old friend Chuckie (Ben Affleck) and the way he used to live?
This movie won all of the accolades and attention that it did for a reason. It is a brilliant film and just reminds the audience that sometimes we have to take risks, especially when new paths open up in life.
Mona (Minnie Driver) has only one goal in life: to win Miss American Miss. Mona’s home life is a roller coaster. The only steadying influence is her best friend, Ruby (Joey Lauren Adams). But there is one hitch to Mona’s dreams: her child. Contestants in the pageant cannot have children. Ruby agrees to pretend to be Vanessa’s (Hallie Eisenberg) mother so Mona can compete. When a reporter starts snooping around, Mona finds that the pressure to keep the facade up is building.
Can she keep the facade up or will the truth come out, ending her dreams forever?
This movie has an element of camp to it. But then again, the entire world is that beauty pageants is campy. While this movie does not require a lot of brain cells, it is still a fun movie.
The same year, Driver stepped into romantic comedy genre with Return To Me.
Bob (David Duchovny) lost his wife in a car accident. After his wife’s death, her organs were anonymously donated. One of the recipients was Grace (Minnie Driver), a woman who has had heart problems since she was a teenager. A year after his wife’s death, Bob receives an anonymous letter from Grace, thanking him for his wife’s heart. At the same time, Bob goes on a blind date at the encouragement of his friends. The restaurant they go is owned by Grace’s grandfather (the late Carroll O’Connor). Grace is their waitress that night.
Bob asks Grace on a date and she agrees. Their relationship start to move along, but she is not ready to tell him about the surgery and the heart that is not naturally hers. Will she tell him and what will the consequences be of the reveal?
As rom-coms go, this movie is starting to slide into the same old formulaic story. But it is the performances of the lead actors that keep the movie going.