Netflix Nourishment: 56th Edition

Brandon Vick reviews Don't Look Up, The Lost Daughter, and The Unforgivable on the latest edition of Netflix Nourishment!

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When a comet is discovered and headed straight for our planet that’ll wipe out our entire civilization, it’s up to an astronomy grad student and her professor to warn/convince the rest of us. Good f’n luck! Writer-director Adam McKay’s latest is a political/societal satire that plays out like a horror-comedy circus that’s all too real. He nails a lot of things about the ridiculous reality we find ourselves living in; however, McKay also gets nervously close to turning this into a total mockery of itself, while feeling frivolous the longer we wait for the world to end. Out of a super star-studded cast, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill who make the most out of what they’re given. They almost single-handedly bring the laughs that this movie inarguably needs more of. Too many are trying too hard to be funny. Overall, the message is imperative, yet it’s delivery crashes and burns when aiming to enlighten and entertain.


Olivia Colman is spellbinding in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s compelling directorial debut that quietly, somberly, and honestly explores the complex corners of motherhood that’s rarely shown or discussed. Leda (Colman) unravels from within during what should be a relaxing beach vacation after seeing herself in a young mother named Nina (Dakota Johnson). This forces her past to come flooding in, leaving herself submerged in regret and shame from the choices she made when her daughters were little. There’s a bit of suspense when it comes to Nina’s menacing family, as well as some definite disturbing behavior that’s entrancing all over. Yet, what stands out the most is Gyllenhaal’s complete confidence in what she’s wanting to say from scene to scene about women and the suffocating expectations they are expected to live up to as wives and mothers. The payoff is admittedly a little weak, but the journey that gets us there is piercing and potent.


Sandra Bullock shows off her dramatic chops once more in a compelling performance as Ruth – a woman who’s released from prison after serving 20 years for killing a cop. Picking up the pieces of her life, she hopes to reunite with her younger sister who’s in foster care while setting out on her own personal path of redemption. Regrettably, Bullock, along with her co-stars Viola Davis, Jon Bernthal, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Rob Morgan, aren’t enough to overcome this contrived and nonsensical story based on a British miniseries. Between Ruth desperately wanting to connect with her sister, her attempt at opening up to a work pal, and the sons of the murdered cop seeking revenge – there’s A LOT going on and director Nora Fingscheidt can’t turn any of these plots into something emotionally enthralling or empathetic. We’ve seen these films before that focus on individuals doing their time and fighting for that pivotal second chance. Though, I can’t remember the last time one’s had such a stellar cast yet is a struggle to sit through. It’s lacking in every possible way.

Brandon Vick is a member of The Music City Film Critics’ Association, the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and the star of The Vick’s Flicks Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.

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