Have you ever wanted to hear Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons voice a god-like blob in a stall of a bathroom in a rest stop area? Well do I have a movie for you! It’s called Glorious and I watched it a few days ago and still don’t know what it was about. Ryan Kwanten plays a down-on-his-luck type who stops at a rest stop, gets hammered and finds himself locked in a bathroom. He hears a voice (Simmons) and the voice tells him he needs him to do something or the world will end. Yeah it’s pretty out there. The bulk of the movie is Kwanten alone in the bathroom talking to Simmons who explains what he is, how fate brought them together and what Kwanten needs to do or everything ceases to exist. It’s odd to say the least. I think I kind of liked it though. It’s just weird enough to keep you watching and Kwanten is fine in the role. I don’t know if it makes a lick of sense, but I can see it gaining a cult following.
Another single location film is The Apology. It stars Anna Gunn, Linus Roache and Janeane Garofalo. It’s Christmas time and Gunn is hosting Christmas for the first time in 20 years. Her daughter went missing and her life drastically changed 20 years ago, but she decided to have family over. Garofalo is a neighbor helping her out. Roache shows up unexpectedly after many years away. He was formerly married to Gunn’s sister (who they never show) and she is surprised by his arrival. Of course there’s more to all these people and it snowballs (pun intended) into a “how far are you willing to go” type situation. Gunn is good, but I liked Roache a lot. I don’t know if it’s something I’d watch again because once you know the truth there really isn’t any surprises to it. But for a film I knew nothing about it’s a solid enough drama to give a view to.
Third we have Aftertaste Series 2. I binged this 6 episode Australian series in one night. They are roughly 30 minute episodes so it’s an easy watch. It’s about a former celebrity chef, his niece pastry chef, his sister getting married all living under one roof. He’s trying to get used to life outside of restaurants until an incident at the wedding causes him and the niece to have to do community service cooking for the homeless. The niece had moved to London and returned home for the wedding and then their estranged mother/grandmother shows up as well. Each character has their own personality and even if you haven’t seen the first season (I honestly don’t remember if I had), it’s an easy enough watch. I found myself laughing at every episode especially the episode where they have to cook for a fundraiser. I enjoyed it enough to keep watching future seasons. If you like shows like Delicious, you’ll dig this.
Next we have All Eyes Off Me which I will be honest, I didn’t see the point of it. It starts off at a house party with people talking about having abortions as we do nowadays. Then it is about a young couple experimenting in bed and a dog walker. It’s set in Israel so I guess it’s to show that young people are similar no matter where in the world they are, but I’m quite removed from my teens/20s that I genuinely don’t care about these types of movies. I didn’t particularly care for coming-of-age stories when I was coming of age. I don’t relate to these people nor did I at their age. I’m sure others will have a different response to the movie and will find it timely and important, but I was bored with it and just didn’t care about these people.
Last we have A Bag of Marbles about a Jewish family in France during World War II. The family must leave their barber shop and home to escape the Nazis who just entered Paris. The two youngest boys set off to meet their family in the free zone. The story is predominantly about the boys trying to survive and find their family and I thought the two young actors were very good. The youngest was especially good. They get put in one place and say they are Catholics from Algiers. They get jobs to survive all while searching and hoping to reconnect with their family. It’s a pretty powerful story helped by the performances. It’s based on a true story about the actual family. I quite liked it.