Talking Pictures with Neil Rosen


Lady Gaga, Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio

Neil Rosen and fellow critics talk their favorite critics picks of the month and review new releases. Lady Gaga in House Of Gucci, Nicole Kidman in Being The Ricardos, Leonardo DiCaprio in Don't Look Up and many more!

AIRED: January 04, 2022 | 0:26:45

Neil Rosen: This week on Talking Pictures

with Neil Rosen.

We'll look at Paul Thomas Anderson's new film Licorice

Pizza, about young love in 1970s Southern California.

House of Gucci with Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, and Jared Leto.

The new satire Don't Look Up with Leonardo DiCaprio

and Jennifer Lawrence.

And Being the Ricardos, a behind the scenes look at

I love Lucy with Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem.

We've got all that and many more movie picks, coming up.

♪ [Opening Music]

I'm Neil Rosen and welcome to Talking Pictures.

It's our monthly critic roundtable show where

we debate what's worth watching when it comes to

new releases, hidden gems, and Hollywood classics.

Joining me today are Lisa Rosman from Signs and Sirens.

Hello there, Lisa.

Lisa Rosman: Hey, doll.

Neil Rosen: Bill McCuddy's here from Gold Derby.

Hey, Bill.

Bill McCuddy: Hi Neil.

Neil Rosen: And returning to the show, so good to see you,

Jack Rico from ShowBizCafe. Okay.

Let's get started with a look at several new films

in theaters, that are either in theaters, I'm sorry,

or streaming, beginning with House of Gucci.

And let's take a look at a clip.

> Do you want to be left in the dust?

Want to keep selling coffee mugs in airports?

Is that your legacy?

It's time to take out the trash.

Aldo and Paolo, they're poision.

They're an embarrassment to this company and

everybody knows it.

They have to go.

> Patrizia.

They are my family.

Neil Rosen: Bill, tell us about House of Gucci.

Bill McCuddy: Well, this should be called House

of Glamping because it's camp made glamorous.

This is the shocking, true story of the family

behind the most knocked off logo on the planet.

That's Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, and she marries

into the Gucci family with unbridled ambition and the

whole family starts to fall apart as does the legacy.

It triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal,

decadence, revenge, and ultimately yes, murder.

This is Falcon Crest or Dynasty in Italy with Adam

Driver, Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino, and Jared Leto in a

film that is never boring.

Directed with a Ryan Murphy flare by Ridley Scott who

made a better movie with Adam Driver this year

called The Last Duel. I say watch them both.

Neil Rosen: Lisa?

Lisa Rosman: I was so looking forward to this movie,

but it is for me 2021's most disappointing films.

Neil Rosen: No.

Lisa Rosman: It is both too campy and not campy enough.

And nothing about it merits 158 minutes on a

whole family of 1%'ers.

The writing is aggressively mediocre.

Even Irons and Drivers stumble,

which is saying a lot.

And those dumball accents are all over the place.

I would have loved this film if it was an actual Italian

movie made by someone like, I don't know, Sorrentino.

But this film is terrible.

Neil Rosen: Jack?

Jack Rico: Well, I'm pretty mixed about this.

I think there were parts of it that I really

enjoyed and there were parts of it that I didn't.

And like Lisa said, I was very disappointed because on one

end, they're offering you this Oscar pedigree, a legendary

director, a star-studded cast, it's in Italy.

It's the Gucci name.

What's not to like about this film?

And all of a sudden I'm watching it and it's an

unintentional comedy, two hours and 37 minutes long

that I couldn't really hold.

But then on the other side, you have Lady Gaga which

is arguably one of the most versatile talents we

have with our generation and she was mesmerizing,

but unfortunate, she just could not carry this film.

And I laughed, but I laughed for the wrong reasons.

Lisa Rosman: I wept. I did not laugh.

Bill McCuddy: Okay. So you got to Gucci knockoff.

Neil Rosen: First of all, Bill-

Bill McCuddy: Not happy with the knockoff.

Neil Rosen: I'm with you.

I love this film because it's really entertaining.

Look, the Gucci family is ridiculous and I

think director Ridley Scott recognized that

and makes part of the movie ridiculous as well.

And that's what I love about this.

I mean, I think I was absorbed with the story and the

over the top nature of this made me like it even more.

I mean, it's suspenseful, it's enjoyable.

The accents that you're talking about, it just

adds to this over the top nature of the whole thing.

Lisa Rosman: I wish that were true, Neil.

Neil Rosen: Jared Leto is hysterical.

Lisa Rosman: I love camp, but this movie is just boring.

It's just boring.

Neil Rosen: No, no, no.

I think, I can respect that you didn't like

the film, but I don't think you really realize-

Lisa Rosman: No, no, I get it, brother.

I get it. I know from camp. This is not camp.

Bill McCuddy: No, no. More mansplaining. I love it.

Lisa Rosman: I get it. Yeah, no, seriously.

You're Guccisplaining.

Neil Rosen: You weren't laughing at Jared Leto?

Lisa Rosman: No. I was like, Oy, when is this film over?

Neil Rosen: Gaga powers the whole thing. She's terrific.

I can't recommend it-

Lisa Rosman: I get it. You like it.

Neil Rosen: On my top 10 list of the year.

All right, let's move on and let's talk about,

Lisa, Licorice Pizza.

I think we will be on the same page with this one.

Lisa Rosman: Okay, ostensibly, this is about the mundo

bizarro courtship between a 15 year old entrepreneur who

played actually by the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman's

son Cooper, and a 25 year old woman who is trying to find

herself, who's played by the terrific musician, Alana Haim.

But really think of this movie is like Once Upon a

Time in Hollywood, the movie that maybe Tarantino would

have made, if he didn't swill so much Hollywood Kool-Aid.

It's by director Paul Thomas Anderson,

who is always amazing.

And this is his love letter to the early 1970

San Fernando Valley.

It's woven in with real historical details, like

the gas shortage and Barbara Streisand's hairdresser

boyfriend, Jon Peters, who's played unforgettably here by-

Neil Rosen: He's brilliant.

Lisa Rosman: He's amazing.

Neil Rosen: Peters was actually gave permission for-

Lisa Rosman: Oh I know.

Neil Rosen: Anderson to make them look like a jerk,

which is amazing to me.

Lisa Rosman: The appeal of the dialogue and the visuals and

the soundtrack is undeniable.

But I also want to be clear that there are

really problematic racial and sexual strokes here.

It's rendered with kind of have your cake and eat it

too wink, but it's still the white male gaze and there

are a lot of people who are upset with this film.

Neil Rosen: Jack?

Jack Rico: This is Paul Thomas Anderson's

American Graffiti, you know?

If you look at all his films, there's a sense that he's like

George Lucas, pre Star Wars.

And one of the great things I love about Paul

Thomas Anderson is the way he writes characters.

They all feel so real.

Like you could just Google them and there they are.

You could, you know, check them out on

their Facebook account. But they're all fictional.

And so he makes it so rich, these characters feel so

palpable that you're fully interwoven into the story and

that's what I love about it.

Neil Rosen: But the child actor Gary is not fictional.

The character in the movie is based on a real character

who was in the movie Yours, Mine, and Ours, who started

a waterbed company and who started all that stuff.

Lisa Rosman: It's fictionalized.

Neil Rosen: That's true. The girl is fictional.

Bill McCuddy: I'm a huge Paul Thomas Anderson fan and

I like a lot of this movie, but you mentioned that he

does characters really well and there are just too many

characters in this thing.

Lisa Rosman: That's what I love about it.

Bill McCuddy: I mean, Sean Penn comes along as supposedly

William Holden, but that's like a sketch that stops the

movie and does something else.

The same is true for Bradley Cooper.

I don't understand why some people get to be the real

actors they're playing and the real people they're playing,

and others like Lucille Ball and Ed Sullivan are renamed.

This is a big kind of exciting mess that I still

think people should see but just understand that it's

a touch long, it goes in a lot of different directions.

and it doesn't end as well as it begins.

Lisa Rosman: If only you were as forgiving of this movie

as you are of House of Gucci. I think you might be right.

Neil Rosen: I love this, you know?

And Paul Thomas Anderson is hit or miss for me.

I love some of his movies like Boogie Nights.

And I hated like The Master and Magnolia. But this-

Lisa Rosman: Magnolia is amazing.

Neil Rosen: This is great.

First of all, the production design,

as you said, it's amazing. He really captures the 70s.

And look, I was pretty much the same age as that 15

year old kid at the time. I remember the gas crisis.

I remember when waterbeds were a thing, you know?

And I'm like, he really liked nails this.

The story was absorbing.

I was really into the relationship between the

younger kid who had the crush on the 15 year old-

Lisa Rosman: The 25 year old.

Neil Rosen: The 25 year old woman who doesn't even

know why she's hanging out with the kid,

you know, who's a child actor.

I thought this was one of the best-

Bill McCuddy: That's all of us. [laughing]

And by the way, if that was a 25 year old guy and a 15

year old girl, this movie never would have gotten made.

Lisa Rosman: No, you're right.

You're a hundred percent right about that. For sure.

Neil Rosen: Look, this is one of the best films of the year.

It's on a lot of top ten lists.

It will be on mine as well. Highly recommend it.

Sorry you don't agree completely, Bill, but

Lisa and I and Jack are on the same page.

All right.

Next up, Jack, tell me about, Don't Look Up.

You can look up in this television show by the way,

but the movie Don't Look Up.

Lisa Rosman: All right, Neil.

Jack Rico: Well, this is a movie that's on Netflix.

And what if you discovered that there was a comet

on a collision course to Earth and no one seemed

to care about this. That's the central premise.

Neil Rosen: That's the joke.

Jack Rico: That's essentially the joke.

And it's Adam McKay's, Don't Look Up, which stars Leo

DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill,

a star-studded cast and it's a satirical look essentially

at people's distrust of science today using climate

change as its subject.

Now for me, Leo, I've never seen Leo in a

character like this. He's very vulnerable.

The comedy that he has internally is fantastic.

But more than anything, I think it's the subversive

humor, the constant critical analysis that McKay has

in movies like Vice, The Big Short, and now here,

where I didn't know how much I needed to laugh

in the last two years.

And I feel like McKay always nails it, but with like

intellectual comedy and I really loved this film.

Lisa Rosman: You know, I think that Adam McKay needs to,

he needs, Will Farrell back to cut down on his smugness

because there are good points that are being made here.

These are obviously very powerful allegories, but

I mean, they're not nearly as regulatory as he thinks.

And he really like hammers us over the head with them.

And he toploads his big points so early in the game, that

for the rest of the film, you're kind of like, does

this have to be this long?

And the amazing cast, and the cast is amazing, and they're

all kind of in top format. I agree with you.

It ends up feeling like an embarrassment of riches.

I wasn't, I wasn't as convinced of this film as

you are, I have to say.

Neil Rosen: Bill?

Bill McCuddy: People in top form have to have a top form

script and great direction and I think we're sort

of on the same page here.

The tone deafness of this thing, and the way it kind

of falls flat for me is really not what Adam McKay

has done in the past.

I don't think this is as good as anything else he's done.

And I think it's so stuffed with people,

obviously, Leonardo wanted to play someone worried

about the environment.

The idea of a huge meteor coming towards the planet

is funny, but this is no Dr. Strangelove the way it's-

Neil Rosen: Well that's what he's trying to do.

Bill McCuddy: It's just not that much fun.

Lisa Rosman: No. And it's supposed to be a political

allegory about how we're not paying attention to things

like COVID et cetera, et cetera, but let's like, okay, we got it.

Neil Rosen: I'm mixed on this.

I thought the first 40 minutes were really good.

I mean, I sat there and I said, what a great idea.

And the fact that nobody, as you said, Jack cares about the

comet hitting and they're more interested in like a pop stars

relationship played by Ariana Grande and it just shows you

that, like, you know, there's so many parallels to like,

yeah, we don't care about the environment as you said, Bill.

We don't care-

Jack Rico: Leadership. President's don't care.

Neil Rosen: COVID.

Lisa Rosman: People buy lies. Yeah, we get it.

Neil Rosen: That's what the comparisons are and I

give him credit for going that particular route.

The thing is after 40 minutes, there's nowhere

to really go with this.

You get the joke and I mean, there's just all this

extra garbage thrown in.

There's this Elon Musk type character played by Mark

Rylance with a weird voice, that didn't really work.

There's an affair that happens between Cate Blanchett

and Leonardo DiCaprio's character which I think was

just kind of like filler.

Look, to me, you know, there's a lot of stuff in

here that's just thrown just too much stuff in the

kitchen sink basically.

Bill McCuddy: The good news is if Tyler Perry

ever wants to be a morning anchor he's got the jobs.

Lisa Rosman: He was amazing in that role. He was good.

Neil Rosen: I recommend the movie even with its flaws,

considering how much junk there is out there.

At least this has something to say and it's interesting.

I just wish it was better.

Lisa Rosman: It's a Netflix movie.

Neil Rosen: Being the Ricardos is a drama

that takes us behind the scenes of the classic

1950s sitcom I love Lucy. Let's look at a clip.

> You can't have a pregnant woman on television.

> Why not?

> Because it's television.

We come into people's homes.

> Pregnant women often vomit.

> I know I could at any second.

> May I say something?

> Frankly, I can't wait.

> If Lucy Ricardo's pregnant the audience's mind

immediately goes to, how did she get that way?

Lucy and Ricky sleep in separate beds.

> We'll be pushing the beds together too.

> Oh no, no, no.

> I'm sorry, Dez.

We're going to have to put our foot down on this one.

You can't do it.

End of discussion.

Neil Rosen: Jack, tell us about Being the Ricardos.

Jack Rico: Well, Aaron Sorkin writes and directs this film

that stars Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, JK Simmons and

Nina Arianda, and the story centers around this one very

bad week on the production set of I love Lucy where some

personal and professional issues enter the production

that kind of threatens their career, the show, their

marriage, and, you know, coming into this movie,

it was interesting because there was a lot of controversy in

the casting of Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem.

She's Australian, he's Spanish, he shouldn't be

playing a Cuban. How is his accent going to be?

But I gotta, I have to say, they gave world

class performances.

And it was also interesting because Nicole and Javier,

a month, right before shooting, didn't want to do the movie.

They thought it was too big for them.

But then they gave these very powerful performances.

And I got to say, one of the things that I got

out of this was how I had this new appreciation

for Lucille Ball and the genius of the comedy of it.

And a lot of it, I had just had no idea.

So they became more three-dimensional and I was

just discovering the show for the very first time.

Neil Rosen: I was really looking forward to this

movie a lot and maybe I'm too close to the subject matter.

I'm a real big I love Lucy fan.

I've read a lot of books on it.

So I knew a lot of this stuff.

And look, I was cringing when I heard Nicole Kidman was cast

in this thing and I thought she did a really good job.

So did Nina Arianda who played Vivian Vance.

The whole cast is good. Javier Bardem.

Jack Rico: JK was great.

Neil Rosen: They're all great.

But Aaron Sorkin, the problem for me is, you know, by

the way, the attention to period detail is phenomenal.

That is the I love Lucy set.

Even the alley when they go out of the studio-

Bill McCuddy: All right, get to the bad part.

Neil Rosen: So what I'm going to try to tell you is that

for a sitcom, which is one of the funniest sitcoms in

the history of television, he went out of his way,

Aaron Sorkin, not to put one laugh or nothing funny

in this thing whatsoever.

And that was one of my problems with this.

It was just, you know, it's a funny show and there's not

piece of humor in this thing.

Lisa Rosman: On the surface, this is a perfect match

of material and director.

Given Sorkin's background in episodic television,

but actually I think he is the big problem here.

He can't resist his usual Sorkin explaining, especially

in topics like feminism, gag.

The historical figures here sound like all

his other characters in anything he's ever done.

And to me, the worst thing is, I agree with you, Neil.

He does a very big disservice to Lucy herself who is

written as sort of a joyless girl boss, whose humor he

seems to regard as totally mercenary, only turns

it on when she has to.

Neil Rosen: She's not funny.

Lisa Rosman: Nicole Kidman is actually surprisingly okay.

And Javier is wonderful.

But honestly, Lucy, I love her too and girlfriend

deserved a better biopic.

Bill McCuddy: I don't know, you guys, I feel

like it's not funny because there was nothing funny

about what was going on in their life that week.

Jack Rico: It wasn't supposed to be funny.

Bill McCuddy: It was only on camera that they lit it up and

that's the point that Aaron Sorkin is trying to make here.

Lisa Rosman: There's a difference between

joyless though.

Bill McCuddy: He's saying that the business of

making something funny is not all that humorous.

By the way, I laughed out loud at JK Simmons and all

of the stuff that he was doing with Vivian Vance.

I thought that was hilarious.

And I thought that there were a lot of good

lines that Desi got off.

The other thing that you didn't, if you didn't

know much about their background, Desi was a huge,

huge factor in this relationship and also in the

production of television. I enjoyed it.

I like anything Aaron Sorkin does so maybe I'm

grading it on a curve-

Lisa Rosman: Definitely are.

Bill McCuddy: But this is a candidate for

my top 10 this year.

Lisa Rosman: Lucille Ball was a person who had

a lot of vivaciousness and here she is grim.

Neil Rosen: We all had some ‘splaining to do on

the last movie so let's switch gears and Bill,

tell us about Belfast.

Bill McCuddy: All right, I'll try and 'splain

this one to everybody.

This is Kenneth Branagh's sort of real life story.

It turns out he was born in Belfast during the

tumultuous 1960s when Catholics and Protestants

had the same God but saw things from different pews.

Inside all of this is a little boy played by,

incredibly, Jude Hill, who's actually Branagh as

a kid, growing up around all of the turmoil that's

happening in Northern Ireland.

This unbelievable cast includes Judi Dench,

Jamie Dornan, and a radiant Caitriona Balfe.

It is shot in black and white to make us a little

more aware that Branagh has an agenda here.

And it's not a perfect film, but it is a portrait, almost

his Roma and I think it's one of the best of the year.

Lisa Rosman: Look, the strength is the weakness here.

To me, it's set in one of the darkest eras in Irish

history, and somehow it's warm and fuzzy and modest

in its scope and just about Branagh basically as a kid.

The cast is extraordinary.

And it's admirable, if a little showily shot.

I mean, hashtag Branagh.

But I just don't think this is a must see, although I

definitely think there's a certain swath of Oscar voters

who are sure to eat it up. [laughing]

Neil Rosen: Jack?

Jack Rico: You know, one of the things I really connected

with this film was the meaning of home and what home means.

I mean, they have to depart, but there was this one

great scene with Jude Hill where he describes exactly

why he doesn't want to leave the neighborhood.

And it really made me think about human union and how

that's slowly eroding in our world and how they fought so

hard to keep the neighbors, the aunts, the grandparents

together, but unfortunately the circumstances of life

have to push you out.

And how do you then cope with that?

And I think that Kenneth was, this was therapy.

This was therapy for him to do this film.

Lisa Rosman: Sure, we watched his therapy film.

Neil Rosen: I like the way Kenneth Branagh

tells the story through the eyes of a young kid.

I mean, sure, there are movies like Bloody Sunday and In

The Name of the Father that gives you an adult perspective

and an education, but this is like the kid is out there

playing with his friends in the street or flirting

with like a local girl and, you know, two seconds later

there's explosions and there's bullets flying and

there's people dying and, you know, they try to do the

family normal activities, like go to the movies.

They don't know what awaits them when they

leave the theater.

And, you know, they actually go to see Chitty Chitty

Bang Bang, but it becomes, this violence becomes just

kind of like a way of life.

And it's like, all right, well, do we just actually

leave here and go to London?

And I liked the fact that this whole thing is seen

through the eyes of a young, semi-autobiographical,

through the eyes of a young Kenneth Branagh.

This is one of the best films of the year and I think it's

really a good perspective and a really good film.

Lisa Rosman: Okay.

Bill McCuddy: Let's go get a pint.

Neil Rosen: Alright. I'm tipping something off.

I know you love this film.

Lisa Rosman: I do.

Neil Rosen: I do not. I'm tipping that off too.

Lisa Rosman: Big surprise.

Neil Rosen: Go ahead, talk about The Power of the Dog.

Lisa Rosman: Well, in this adaptation of Thomas

Savage's 1967 novel, Benedict Cumberbatch is

unusually handsome here, I have to say, as a man's man

rancher in 1925 Montana.

He basically spends the film antagonizing his

brother's Jesse Plemons new wife, who's played by

Kirsten Dunst, and her gay son, Kodi Smit-McPhee.

But this is directed by the great Jane Campion,

so what initially reads as a period Western is actually a

psychological thriller that toys with gender and sexuality

stereotypes and doesn't shy from the violence of this

country's history or the violence of people's emotions.

I have to say it is easy to get lost in the ravishing

visuals here and the impeccable performances,

but you have to pay close attention or you're going

to miss the breadcrumbs that lead up to its devastating

tsunami, very sneaky ending.

This film for me is as smart as it is beautiful, and

it is extremely beautiful.

Neil Rosen: Bill?

Bill McCuddy: Sneaky ending, or just complete head scratch?

Lisa Rosman: Again with the braintrust over here.

Bill McCuddy: You can say anything you want about us

getting it or not getting it.

It's a beautiful postcard on, Jane Campion does

incredible work here.

Some of the performances were even interesting, but I could

care less about this movie. I didn't enjoy it.

Neil Rosen: I'm with you brother.

I can't believe all the praise that's getting heaped on this.

Neil Rosen: I'm with you.

Jack Rico: First of all-

Bill McCuddy: It's the emperor's new cowboy hat.

Lisa Rosman: It's hilarious but untrue.

Neil Rosen: Couldn't agree more.

Jack Rico: Campion loves to explore the complexities

of humanity and she does this by displaying a

masterclass character study with Benedict Cumberbatch

on power dynamics and the toxic American masculinity.

And she wants to say, there ya go.

And she wants to say, why are people like this?

And at the end we find out why and I think that's

the wonderful part about seeing a Jane Campion movie.

Neil Rosen: Okay--

Lisa Rosman: Here we go. Break it down, Neil.

Neil Rosen: I couldn't agree with you more, Bill.

Okay, yes. It's beautiful to look at.

I'm not taking that away from the film.

New Zealand substitutes wonderfully for Montana.

Exactly. But it is boring.

I did not care about any of these characters.

The ending is so ambiguous I had to go to Wikipedia

afterwards and read what the heck happened at

the end of that movie. And I'm going really?

Is that what they're trying to say here?

Talk about subtle.

This goes beyond trying to be subtle. It's unexplainable.

I didn't connect to this thing on any level.

And this is the front runner for the Academy Award?

Lisa Rosman: Absolutely.

Jack Rico: It's arguably the best movie here.

Lisa Rosman: It's just a movie you can't watch

while reading your phone. Sorry. [laughing]

It's a movie you actually have to pay attention to.

Neil Rosen: I saw it on the big screen. I was bored.

Bill McCuddy: I agree with you and I made

you a little flower. [laughing]

Lisa Rosman: That's a reference to the

film for everyone who hasn't seen it yet.

Jack Rico: Great scene.

Lisa Rosman: It's a reference to the movie.

> Being here with all these lights shining on you it's

the closest most people ever get to being onstage.

You know, to their dreams.

> Not me.

> Not you.

I could see you want it.

> More than anything.

> Well, this is just a taste of things to come, Sandie.

Neil Rosen: That was a clip from Last Night in Soho.

It's Bill McCuddy's personal choice as we go

around the panel with our critics picks of the month.


Bill McCuddy: Writer, director Edgar Wright is always drawn

to the unusual and I'm usually drawn to what he's doing.

Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim, Ant-Man,

three of my favorites.

So it's no surprise that I was taken with what's essentially

a 70s feeling drive-in movie called Last Night in Soho.

It girls Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy are two

personalities of the same fashion student, living in

London in present day and in the swing in the 1960s.

Things get dark and then go over to the top with

the help of Dame Diana Rigg in her last performance.

Spend a night with these three.

It's the guilty pleasure that's going

on my top 10 list.

Lisa Rosman: I also really love Wright and I thought

this movie was gorgeous, very stylish, but also very

unsubstansive and what is with the gotcha ending?

Not a good ending.

Jack Rico: It's a modern day Hitchcock thriller.

It has violant.

Neil Rosen: Oh please. To compare this to Hitchcock?

Bill McCuddy: Maybe De Palma.

Jack Rico: Anya Taylor-Joy is wonderful and mesmerizing.

I had so much fun with this.

Neil Rosen: Okay. The set design is great.

It captures the swinging 60s of London.

The first half an hour is good and then it devolves into this

horror movie and the tunnel shift does not make any sense.

And it's a terrible horror movie.

Bill McCuddy: Come on. It's no Power of the Dog, huh Neil?

Neil Rosen: I don't care how good the beginning was,

it becomes so out there and crazy, no.

Lisa Rosman: Moving on. Moving on.

Neil Rosen: It's a mess.

Lisa, what is your pick this month?

Lisa Rosman: Mine is Parallel Mothers.

It's Pedro Almodóvar's latest, and it reunites him with

the delicious Penélope Cruz.

She plays a single photographer whose baby

is swapped at birth with a a teenagers.

So you can imagine, insert the writer director's charismatic

soap operatic twists that he shows in all his films.

But this one has a very important addition.

It's his first film ever to directly address the

brutality of the Franco regime and he does this with

the kind of power and heart you'd expect from Almodovar.

This is one of my favorite films of the year. It really is.

Jack Rico: It's a powerful film that captures the

heartbreak of loss of a child, especially from

a mother's perspective.

And it also really talks about the Franco regime

and how not many American movies really captured that.

So Almodóvar's saying, look, I'm going to give it to you,

there are still family members that are still missing.

So there's a major social commentary in this film

that you don't expect.

So Almodóvar, once again, just provoking the audience.

Bill McCuddy: Why is Penélope Cruz's name not coming up

in any best attributes?

Lisa Rosman: I agree with you. She's amazing.

Bill McCuddy: She's left out of the

conversation completely.

Lisa Rosman: For some reason people aren't seeing

this film and they should.

Neil Rosen: Almodóvar is great.

He's a brilliant director. This is really good.

What's your pick this month, Jack?

Jack Rico: Well, my favorite movie of 2021 is Pig that

stars Nicholas Cage and it centers on this famous

chef who lives alone in the wilderness and has

his truffle pig stolen and it's the fear of going

back into civilization to recover this pig.

Surprisingly this movie is very violent.

A great commentary on the shallowness of the

cuisine industry today.

Unexpected surprise and one of the best movies of 2021.

Lisa Rosman: It is a really tender, raw meditation on

love and loss and honestly, it was so raw that at

times it was hard to watch.

Jack Rico: Yes.

Bill McCuddy: Jack, you live in the middle of nowhere.

Do you have any, you have any lifestock that

we don't know about?

Jack Rico: Not yet. Not yet. But soon.

Neil Rosen: Well, my pick this month is a SciFi

romantic comedy from Germany called I'm Your Man.

Maren Eggert plays Alma, an archeologist, who in

order to obtain funding for her research, reluctantly

agreed to participate in a very bizarre project.

For three weeks she's required to live with and

evaluate a humanoid robot named Tom played by Downton

Abbey's Dan Stevens, who was designed to be the

perfect partner for her.

Tom is tailored specifically to every one of Alma's

character traits or desires and her needs.

Problems is, Alma just wants to get through the three

weeks to get research money, initially treats Tom as a

simple piece of machinery and doesn't want to deal with

his aim to please attitude.

Now, if this sounds like a silly sitcom to you,

I assure you it's not.

Both actors are excellent and the film offers some

food for thought about love, loneliness, and relationships.

I think that you should check this out.

And speaking about being out of time-

Bill McCuddy: Yeah, have we been here for three

weeks listening to that? Are we part of an experiment?

I'm curious.

Neil Rosen: I want to thank our guests, Bill McCuddy,

Lisa Rosman, and Jack Rico.

Thanks for joining us.

We'll see you next time on Talking Pictures.

♪ [Closing Music]


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