Eric Lawson’s newest book, “The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family and Defiance During the Blitz”, and “The Red Lotus” a novel by Chris Bohjalian, disparate times, but astoundingly on point in today’s Dystopian reality; what London and its people withstood during traumatic WWII, in light of present realities, elicits strong comparisons; “The Red Lotus” clairvoyantly address a global pandemic initiated by rats. As the novelty of isolation wanes here are a few “escapisms” guaranteed to distract:
“KING LEAR” (Amazon Prime); Anthony Hopkins, throws his crown in the ring with fellow “Learians”: John Gielgud, Lawrence Olivier, Ian McKellen et al; Hopkins’s contemporary interpretation brings to the fore William Shakespeare’s inimitable universality.
“A VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL” (Amazon Prime); Hugh Grant is staggeringly debonair, depicting English politician Jeremy Thorpe, tried for conspiring to kill his lover Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw), 1979; hard to duplicate a “sex scandal” (Profumo affair, 1961) like the British.
“VIENNA BLOOD” (Amazon Prime); juicy crime solvers “Dr. Max Liebermann”, a protégé of Sigmund Freud (deliciously depicted by Matthew Beard) and detective “Oskar Reinhardt”(Jurgen Maurer), sleuthing killers in 1900’s, Vienna. Latent antisemitism, bleeds at the core of this intriguing period piece.
“CODE OF A KILLER” (Amazon Prime); remarkable true story about the discovery of DNA; John Simm as doctor, Alec Jeffreys, plausibly portrays the man whose tenacity altered forever the criminal justice code; commencing in 1984, with the murder of a schoolgirl, the revelatory process is a study in scientific ingenuity.
Many of you, dear Subscribers, recommended “WHEN HEROES FLY”. I am in your debt. Israeli films, television series have become addictive over the years (see previous reviews), “Fauda”, “Prisoners of War”, “Srugim” have stunned viewers with their perspicacity, gut-wrenching reality, portraits of a people living on the edge; platitudes, nonexistent; filterless, they navigate each day as if it were their last…,…
“WHEN HEROES FLY” (Netflix) excavates the lives and demons of four veterans of the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict, 2006; scars are ripped open, friendships martyred, only to be resurrected in the jungles of Columbia; searching for a woman who binds them all. The protagonists, seasoned actors, performances are stupefying in their girth and mettle.