The Undoing is a murder mystery driven by the strangeness of the victim, a young mother, whom we get to know in the first of six episodes. In her scenes with Grace Fraser (Nicole Kidman), she seems to call out for understanding, help, and affection.
Jonathan Fraser, (Hugh Grant), is a suspect because he was the oncologist for the victim's child and had an affair with her. He is arrested and held on $2 million bail. The case seems open and shut, but Grace, Jonathan, and Grace's father (Donald Sutherland,) behave in unexpected ways.
As I write this, I've watched four of the six episodes. The suspects are multiplying and I'm eager to find out who done it, but I'm more eager to find out what would explain the things the victim does in those early scenes. The Undoing generates all the suspense of a traditional murder mystery without sticking to the usual formulas. It puts more emphasis on the characters than on the logistics of how the crime was committed.
One week in 2018, I checked the listings of movies, saw there was a new thriller called Searching, found the nearest theater showing it, and went with friends. Back then, we did that.
I was not particularly drawn by the idea that the story played out entirely on electronic screens. The hero (John Cho) searches for his missing daughter on her laptop, and later on a phone and through TV news broadcasts. We never see the characters directly. Mostly I hoped this gimmick would not get in the way.
For me at least, the gimmick adds a little to the suspense. Best of all, it's a good story. I cared about the teenager in distress, I was pulling for her father to find her. The dark twists the story takes in the second half were satisfying.
Writer-director Aneesh Chaganty has a new suspense film about a disabled, home-schooled teenager whose mother may not have her best interests at heart. Since theaters are not up and running, it debuts on Hulu today---Friday, November 20, 2020. The title is Run.
Based on Searching, Chaganty is good with parent-teenager relationships and he tells a good story. You might want to watch both Searching and Run this weekend, in either order.
The National Cemetery in the Presidio of San Francisco looks over San Francisco Bay to Angel Island and feels like the heart of this army post turned national park. .
Starting from the Main Post, with its barracks, Officers Club, and office buildings, housing of all kinds fans out over the hillsides: houses, duplexes, unit blocks, apartment buildings. To the west are the stables that were once home to the equine members of the cavalry. To the north is the strip of land along the bay that was once a busy military air strip .
In the center of it all is this resting place for veterans of the War between the States, the Buffalo Soldiers, War in the Phillipines, the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and more.
My family has no military history, and I am not a veteran, but this place fills me with awe. If being part of something larger than yourself means anything to you, it will affect you the same way.
After visiting the well-advertised exhibit of Frida Kahlo's personal effects at the de Young Museum, we wandered into a wonderful exhibit called, "The de Young Open." As described on the museum's website:
"Works of art in The de Young Open are hung 'salon-style,' installed edge to edge and floor to ceiling, which enables a maximum number of works to be displayed. The de Young filled the 12,000-square-foot Herbst Exhibition Galleries with 877 artworks by 762 Bay Area artists."
It was exhilarating to walk through room after room of paintings and one room of sculpture. Each room was devoted to a subject (portraits, landscapes, social satire, etc.) Because the exhibit was curated by a panel all the works were at least competent and some were inspired.
Over the years, I've enjoyed marvelous solo exhibitions---Salvador Dali, J. M. Turner, Elsa Schiaparelli, etc.---and shows focused on a theme such as Impressionism, Expressionism, and others.
To see this volume of work and such variety in a single visit is a different and wonderful experience.