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Amanda Glam
home : features : amanda glam
February 4, 2023

1/17/2023 9:55:00 AM
Amanda's Picks
Dead To Me: Amanda's pick for Best Series To Binge.
Dead To Me: Amanda's pick for Best Series To Binge.

I didn’t get to quite as many movies as I wanted to this year, mainly because so many of them didn’t make it to our area or came and went in a flash. Also, this was not the best year for the film industry with action movies and sequels dominating the box office. So, like many, I spent more time watching streaming movies and series. Here are my best and worst of 2022.
Best Movie By a Director of Bad Movies – If you’ve been reading Amanda for a while, you know that I don’t have a particularly high opinion of Australian director Baz Luhrmann. He gave us the bloated and ridiculous 3-D version of The Great Gatsby and the spectacularly awful Australia. But in 2022 he directed Elvis, an entertaining if imperfect biopic with a stand-out performance by Austin Butler as the iconic rock star. Elvis Presley is a larger-than-life personality who actually benefits from Luhrmann’s over-the-top style. Could it be better? Yes, but in Luhrmann’s hands it also could have been much, much worse.
Worst Movie By a Director of Good Movies – I am a fan of Director Noah Baumbach, but not White Noise, just out on Netflix. I don’t understand the awards talk surrounding this long, big-budget, boring, disconnected mess of a movie. Adam Driver, who was so good in Baumbach’s Marriage Story, comes across as stilted and aimless and Baumbach’s wife Greta Gerwig fares no better as a couple fleeing a toxic chemical event in their college town. They have no chemistry and I didn’t care what happened to them. Maybe Baumbach can get back on track by talking to Gerwig who scored Oscar nominations for writing and directing one of my favorite films of the decade, Ladybird.
Best Series to Binge – I couldn’t wait for the third and final season of Dead to Me on Netflix. The dramedy starring Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini takes a heartfelt emotional turn away from the murder mystery that drove the first two seasons. The storyline packs an even stronger punch because of Applegate’s recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I’m not big on binging but I zipped through all 10 episodes of Dead to Me in two days.
Best Reason to Go to the Movies – Steven Spielberg’s The Fablemans is as of press time, still in movie theaters. As I wrote in a previous column, Spielberg’s most personal film tells the story of how as a child and teen he turned to making movies to get control over an unpredictable family life. Stacked with great performances, attention to period detail, and a lovely score by John Williams, The Fabelmans is my pick for best movie of the year.
Best Movie About a Mollusk - Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is my runner-up for Best Movie of 2022, and it’s got a 99% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This stop-motion/live action/comedy/mockumentary is 89 minutes of pure delight and fun. And it made me cry! It is kid-friendly, smart, funny and life-affirming. You can rent it for $5.99 and it’s totally worth it.
Best Thing to Watch Right Now Fleishman Is In Trouble is an extraordinary series about Dr. Toby Fleishman’s (Jesse Eisenberg) quest to pick up his life after his marriage to Rachel (Claire Danes) breaks up and she disappears. It’s about lost love, parenting, balancing work and marriage and how getting everything you wanted isn’t always a good thing. Adapted by Taffy Brodesser-Akner from her novel, the writing is exceptional as is the acting. Danes should be a lock for an Emmy for her electrifying performance in episode seven. I watched in “real time” but all eight episodes are available now on Hulu.
Best Series to Watch While You’re Doing Other Things – I call this my “while” show, something I watch while I’m doing my laundry or while I’m organizing my sock drawer. Emily in Paris in its third season on Netflix, is filled with spectacular clothes and scenery but it is a trifle of a show that does not require one’s undivided attention (except when you need to read the subtitles). Emily has work and boyfriend trouble. Emily says “I’m sorry” for messing up again. My sock drawer wins.
Best Comedy Series on Network TV - You’ve finished Ted Lasso and watched Friends and The Office so many times you know the dialogue better than the characters do. Assuming you’ve listened to Amanda, and finished Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, head to ABC and Abbott Elementary. Amanda has already suggested you watch this critically acclaimed award-winning series created by and starring Quinta Brunson before. It’s funny, smart, topical, well-written with a terrific ensemble. Runner-up network comedy is Ghosts on CBS, with plenty of laughs and an ensemble that rivals Abbott.

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