Barry: Season 3, Episode 4 – TV Review

“All the Sauces”

  • Creator: Alec Berg and Bill Hader
  • Starring: Bill Hader, Sarah Goldberg, Stephen Root, Henry Winkler, Anthony Carrigan

Grade: A

Let’s take a moment to give some praise to Sarah Goldberg for her work as Sally. She’s produced plenty of awards-worthy moments throughout her run in Barry – even receiving a Supporting Actress nomination at the Emmys after season 2 – but “all the sauces” contains one of her finest moments to date. She spends most of the episode fretting about her speech at the premiere of Joplin, worrying if she’ll come across as inauthentic and poring over every last detail. But when Natalie giddily drops the news that the show has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, she quickly drops her prepared remarks and vacillates between being too choked up to speak and trying to get the words out. She wants so badly to stay on topic and promote the show, but after everything she’s been through, professionally and personally, she can’t help but contain her excitement. It’s a remarkable moment, and Goldberg makes sure we feel every bit of it.

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Senior Year – Movie Review

Senior Year

  • Director: Alex Hardcastle
  • Writers: Andrew Knauer, Arthur Pielli and Brandon Scott Jones
  • Starring: Rebel Wilson, Mary Holland, Sam Richardson, Zoe Chao, Angourie Rice, Jade Bender, Chris Parnell, Alicia Silverstone

Grade: C

There are two ways to play Senior Year, a comedy about a cheerleader who slips into a coma before her senior prom for 20 years and wants to pick back up where she left off. One is the bonkers 21 Jump Street way in which everything is heightened and anything can happen, sending up the same genre it’s clearly pulling from. The other method is to use the insane setup as a way to explore a character who had the best years of their lives taken from them, in a saccharine, rom-com way. Consider it a coming-of-age comedy in which the central character has technically already come of age. Unfortunately for first-time director Alex Hardcastle, he never fully commits to either type of film. 

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Pleasure- Movie Review

Pleasure

  • Director: Ninja Thyberg
  • Writers: Ninja Thyberg, Peter Modestij
  • Starring: Sofia Kappel, Zelda Morrison, Evelyn Claire, Chris Cook, Dana DeArmond, Mark Spiegler

Grade: B

Perspective is an important, understated tool when creating a film. In Ninja Thyberg’s directorial debut, she wields it like a knife. Specifically, Thyberg shows the ins and outs (no pun intended) of the porn industry from a newcomer trying to reach the top of the world. But Pleasure is more than a retread of Boogie Nights (more on that in a minute) with a female protagonist. The film is an unflinching look at the modern porn industry and the deeply rooted misogyny inherent in how it’s run. Of course, the film wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the committed performance of its lead, Sofia Kappel.

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Happening – Movie Review

Happening

  • Director: Audrey Diwan
  • Writers: Audrey Diwan, Marcia Romano and Anne Berest
  • Starring: Anamaria Vartolomei, Sandrine Bonnaire, Kacey Mottet Klein, Luana Bajrami

Grade: B+

A film about a woman’s search for an abortion could easily feel like a heavy-handed attempt at political relevance, but that is not what Happening is about. Rather, director Audrey Diwan’s sophomore directorial feature grounds its drama in its lead character’s dilemma. It’s no secret that reproductive rights have been a hot-button issue in America for decades, even after the passing of Roe v. Wade – ironically, I screened this film the night before the draft opinion was leaked that would essentially overturn the landmark case. That the film takes place in France in 1963 and still feels as prescient is no small feat.

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Barry: Season 3, Episode 3 – TV Review

“Ben Mendelsohn”

  • Creator: Alec Berg and Bill Hader
  • Starring: Bill Hader, Sarah Goldberg, Stephen Root, Henry Winkler, Anthony Carrigan

Grade: B

Even in an episode where the plot doesn’t progress significantly, Alec Berg and Bill Hader still manage to find room for some really great character development. Such is the case with “Ben Mendelsohn”, where the status quo largely remains unchanged from the beginning of the episode to the end. And that’s ok! For as exciting as it can be, not every episode needs to seismically shake up the world to feel like an authentic version of Barry

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Barry: Season 3, Episode 2 – TV Review

“limonada”

  • Creator: Alec Berg and Bill Hader
  • Starring: Bill Hader, Sarah Goldberg, Stephen Root, Henry Winkler, Anthony Carrigan

Grade: A-

Old habits die hard, and this seems to be the theme not only of Barry overall but in this week’s episode in particular. The lingering question after “Forgiving Jeff” was how Barry would handle the fallout of Gene discovering his true nature. Turns out, he’s gone off the deep end in a way we haven’t seen from him before, and the results are concerning, to say the least. And Barry’s not the only one who’s reverting back to old, bad habits.

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