Summer 2022: Recommended Movies, Streaming Series & Books - The Jewish Voice
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Summer 2022: Recommended Movies, Streaming Series & Books

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By: Howard Barbanel

Summer ’22 is seeing a return of vast swaths of the population to movie theaters – that bigger than big screen experience where you can shamelessly gorge on all the confections you’d probably never eat at home. Not all treats are at the concession stand, some are actual films worth seeing.

 

In Theaters Now: MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS

A thoroughly beautiful, delightful feel-good adult fairy tale with outstanding acting, writing and cinematography. You’ll be in love with this movie within the first 10 minutes. No special effects, nothing blowing up. Just a superlative story executed brilliantly. Based on a novel of the same name. Outstanding screenplay and excellent casting. Everyone in the cast is a character and clicks with one another perfectly. Set in 1957, the sets, costumes and scenery are spot-on and are in many cases exquisite. Half British, half French (with some subtitles here and there), entirely enchanting. Leslie Manville as Mrs., Harris deserves an Oscar for her role. The movie is so adorable even your teenagers will like it.¶¶¶¶¶

 

TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Top Gun: Maverick

This film could have been ridiculously campy, silly or even maudlin. Instead, it is a solid story with amazing flight and battle scenes along with Tom Cruise being the ageless Tom Cruise we all want him to be. Surprise plot twists that will have you on the edge of your seat. Something for everybody. Nostalgic and contemporary at the same time. Kudos to Val Kilmer for overcoming serious physical challenges – he shows in just a few minutes what a great actor he really is and bravo to the producers for going the extra mile to include him. Jennifer Connelly shows that 51 is the new 41. Worth seeing on a huge screen. ¶¶¶¶

 

Streaming Now: ANATOMY OF SCANDAL

Netflix

Anatomy of Scandal (Netflix)

Starring the luminous Sienna Miller in an English courtroom and bedroom drama which features dozens of twists and unexpected plot turns. If you’re not familiar with English legal culture, this is a great introduction to the genre. The high caliber (or calibre in the UK) of the written and spoken word will force most Americans to admit that the English really know how to speak English and maybe we speak American. Terrific flashback scenes and special effects that you won’t expect in a drama. Fabulous acting from the aforementioned Ms. Miller (easily one of the prettiest Brits in films) and Rupert Friend as Miller’s brilliantly arrogant and insipid husband. Michelle Dockery plays a lawyer to be reckoned with. Six one-hour episodes so this is not a not a huge commitment. Warning: no real happy ending here (this is not a fairy tale) but worth every minute despite that. ¶¶¶¶

 

BOOKS WORTH READING:

AFTERMATH: Life In The Fallout of the Third Reich

1945-1955

By Harald Jahner

AFTERMATH: Life In The Fallout of the Third Reich 1945-1955

What was life like in Germany after their defeat in WWII? This book thoroughly answers that question. Post WWII Germany is a period most are unfamiliar with. Mr. Jahner takes you into the belly of the beast, revealing all of the immense and in most cases deserved suffering of the German people at that time and how an obliterated country (cities in particular) and culture were rebuilt for the better out of the ruins. Very compelling, comprehensive and a fast read. Rave reviews and a big-time bestseller in Germany The English translation is so good you’d have thought it was written in English orginally. Pulls no punches, makes no apologies for German behavior and withholds no dirty laundry. Fantastic. ¶¶¶¶

 

THE BLACK PRINCE

By Michael Jones

The Black Prince – By: Michael Jones

THE RED PRINCE

By Helen Carr

Take a trip to 14th Century England with these two great biographies. First is “The Black Prince,” Edward of Woodcock, Prince of Wales (1330-1376) written by Michael Jones. Edward, the eldest son of King Edward III was England’s greatest medieval military leader, heroically and fearlessly crushing the French in key battles during the Hundred Years War. He died prematurely at 45 (before his father) so he never became king but left an indelible legacy on England nevertheless. Excellent, gripping writing that will put you right smack dab into 1360 and you’ll be surprised how similar politics, economics, pandemics and human nature then are to today. ¶¶¶¶

Next up us Helen Carr’s fabulous bio of The Black Prince’s younger brother John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, who lived a whole lot longer than his older brother and became a pivotal figure during the last years of his father’s rein and much of that of his nephew, King Richard II. Full of adventures military, diplomatic and sexual. Bottom-line: It’s good to be a prince. A brisk read. ¶¶¶¶

 

WINSTON CHURCHILL: BY HIS PERSONAL SECRETARY

Winston Churchill: By His Personal Secretary

By: Elizabeth Nel

Finally, let’s fast forward from England in the Middle Ages to England in World War II, Go get the short autobiography by Elizabeth Nel (Layton) who was personal secretary to Winston Churchill for five years during the war. Big parts of the recent Oscar-winning film “Darkest Hour” (starring Gary Oldman, see it if you’ve not yet done so. Outstanding) was gleaned from this book and the author is a major character in the film. Ms. Nel is the proverbial fly on the wall and in the soup for events major and minor during nearly every day of the war. Fascinating first-person stuff about personages high and mighty and Ms. Nel shares a very personal side of Mr. Churchill that most haven’t been exposed to.

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