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Marsha on the Move: April 2020

This monthy web feature includes a collection of movie reviews and opinions from Marsha Gordon, President/CEO of The Business Council of Westchester.

Still from “The Plot Against America” (photo credit: Michele K. Short/HBO)
Still from “The Plot Against America” (photo credit: Michele K. Short/HBO)
Still from “The Plot Against America” (photo credit: Michele K. Short/HBO)

The Plot Against America (HBO)

In this very challenging time, allow me to deviate from my movie reviews so I can recommend something that you can tune into from home. This time, a television show: The Plot Against America. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that my niece works on the series. I have also always been a fan of Phillip Roth, the author whose novel this miniseries is based on. In fact, I read the book as soon as it came out years ago. So I was inclined to like this series from the beginning. However, as we know, not all great books translate to the movie or television screen. Luckily, this one has exceeded my high expectations.

First we are transported back to Newark, New Jersey in the 1940s, which is before my time and not exactly my place, but there’s still so much to identify with. Words like “backyard,” games of hopscotch, mothers screaming to come in to dinner… how familiar these things are to so many of us. The family, secular Jews, could be so many of our families (Jewish or not) – with similar values, dynamics and dreams. It tugs my heart because I lived it. The production’s feel, colors and clothing are so authentic, you just feel you are there. The actors truly embody the characters they are playing.

And of course the overall specter of anti-Semitism, and the fear (or reality?) of what could happen in our beloved country “if”… That’s as far as I will go to stay non-political, though suffice it to say that this show IS a political commentary.

All of this to say that I just finished the second episode… and can’t wait for the rest. I’ll be watching from home in the coming weeks. You can tune into this one as well, on HBO. In the meantime: stay safe and stay well.

 

Uncorked (Netflix)

This is a very sweet Netflix film about a young man’s journey to become a Sommelier. But it’s really about father-son relationships, and the shifting desires of the next generation related to “the family business” (many readers will relate to this, I’m sure). This includes the ability for parents to accept their children’s aspirations. It’s filled with family love, dedication and pride, as well as gorgeous scenes of Paris and yummy food (some great soul food!)… and, of course, the wine! This was perfect to watch before my Zoom cocktail party.  Cheers!

 

Last Tango in Halifax (Netflix)

Looking for your next Netflix show?  Check out Last Tango in Halifax. I found it to be absolutely delightful, funny, and slightly “soap opera-y.” It’s about a couple who re-meet after 60 years and fall in love … as well as the trials and tribulations of their (very sexual) daughters…and a myriad exes, babies, friends and more. It’s family dynamics at its best and worst and all-so-appealing. It was fun to watch with my dad during these days. For the record, he was the one identifying with the older couple ;).

 

Unorthodox (Netflix)

Thank you to so many who recommended that I watch Unorthodox.  I had read the book, but here is an example of a beautiful, and even more meaningful if possible, rendering of a girl who grew up in a restrictive, suppressive and emotionally abusive religious community – but finds the strength to escape to freedom and a new life. While I have a lack of tolerance for such communities, this series is enshrined in the realities of that culture, yet is really about the courage, determination and sheer chutzpah of this girl who found her identity as an independent woman. Along the way, she discovered her own very beautiful voice and the ability to begin anew. It represents a triumph and is an example of the human (and female) spirit to achieve joy in life. Enjoy on Netflix (and watch the post script after the series).

Dr. Marsha Gordon is President/CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. When she is not advocating for business, building the economy or creating job opportunities, you can find her at the movie theatre enjoying many different film genres.  Most of the time, her husband Eli is with her… except if it is football season or if it is a very slow, sappy movie.

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