Marsha on the Move: Golden Globes 2024

Business Council of Westchester President Marsha Gordon does more than bestow valuable resources and advice to local businesses. On her free time, she loves catching the newest movies. In this ArtsNews column, she gives her thoughts on her newest watches. In this special addition, we rounded up Marsha’s reactions to many of the Best Picture nominees, for both Drama and Comedy, up Golden Globes this weekend. The views in this column are that of the author’s and don’t directly reflect opinions held by ArtsWestchester or ArtsNews.

Killers of the Flower Moon

Truly believe I just saw this year’s major award-winner… Best Picture, Best Actors, Best Director… I had read the book years ago, and was so moved by this historical depiction of what occurred in the early twentieth century when the Osage Indians discovered oil on their land and quickly became overtaken by the greed and duplicity of white men. 

With such incredibly powerful and intimate acting by Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro; Lily Gladstone, who played an Osage wife; and many other great character actors, both Caucasian and Native American, the movie showed the evil intentions and lies how, sadly, innocent members of the Osage society were killed due to malicious planning to overtake their well-deserved wealth, earned from their land.  The pain caused was horrific, but there is great love here as well… despite poor decisions made, and actions taken, that result in dire consequences.   It is a deep and very important film and Martin Scorcese’s directorial genius pulled off a long movie while earning our rapt attention. Invest the time to learn about this history and to experience this incredible film.


BRAVO to Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan for so beautifully portraying a complex relationship between composer Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre. It was a relationship filled with love, anger, forgiveness, sorrow, joy, regret and fulfillment, and they were depicted in such a thoughtful and personal way. Bernstein was a genius in my opinion – a man of great musical gifts with a zest for a life that he wanted to live on all levels, and in his own way; a man who had it all while also hurting those he loved most, and yet they loved him as well. So somehow, through the hurt, it worked.

Yet Bernstein’s overachievements thwarted the ambitions of his wife, whose hurt was deep. This film is filled with Bernstein’s music, of course, but also very honest about the composer’s narcissism and the effects it had on others. And so, this is the story of this incredible woman as well.

When I was a little girl, I watched Bernstein’s young people’s concerts, which introduced the joys of classical music to young audiences.  I remember laughing with my parents about his “floppy hair.”  Had not thought about that for years. Yet, to this day, classical music is in my life. Violin is in my personal life and I hope to somehow pass that gift my parents (and Bernstein) gave me to my grandchildren.  And with it, the love for life that Leonard Bernstein, the Maestro, had. Bravo!


So much has been written about this movie.  All the accolades are true.  It is realistically and masterfully acted, and includes great visual effects (though I did not see it in iMax, it was still great) and excellent costumes, music and cinematography.

The historical period represented – the period of WWII and the lead-up to it; the communist movement in the USA and the aftermath that effected so many – has been approached from many angles and we have been absorbed in this period through film, theater and literature. But this perspective was through science and politics and, for me, that was the surprise of the movie. It’s also what I learned anew about this time period.  The film focuses on J. Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist who was director of The Manhattan Project, a program that yielded the research and development used to produce the first nuclear weapons.

The genius that existed in the world and in our country, the personal choices and the global consequences that weighed upon these brilliant minds, and the petty political maneuvering, resulted in decisions that changed the course of history. These are all parts of Oppenheimer’s journey. This is a multi-layered film, reflective of a most complicated time in our history, and it will result in many thought-provoking conversations.  That is the mark of an outstanding film.

Past Lives

Did you ever think about a childhood love and wonder “what would have happened if …”?  (Come on, let’s be honest: we all have!)

Past Lives approaches this emotion with tenderness, honesty and humor. Add in the fact that one love immigrated to Canada and then the U.S. and the other didn’t – so it’s an important insight into lives of those who leave so much behind … and also are able to move forward in different ways. And then the question of what version of life are we living?  To be truthful, the movie was slow moving , but lovely and certainly thought-provoking.


An engrossing, stimulating, well-acted, meaningful and heart-warming movie. How could it not be, with a cast that includes Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (who is also the director), Jason Bateman and the incomparable Viola Davis?

This is the story of Michael Jordan and how he came to be associated with Nike and the development of Air Jordans. It is a fascinating history of the evolution of sports marketing, and an incredible lesson in negotiation (so many of us talk about this skill in business!) – within a company, with other strategic alliance partners, with friends and, best of all, with a mother! I am sure the scene in which Viola Davis, who plays Michael’s mother, negotiates with Matt Damon for the contract she wants (don’t want to give any spoilers here) will be required watching for many classes on leadership. She is brilliant, fierce, determined, no-nonsense, and non-negotiable with her demands.  How much do all of us moms cheer for brave women like her, a role model for sure.  And most of all, her values and lessons to her son to do good and to make a difference with the gifts he has, including financially, have changed the lives of so many.

And watching the leadership of this corporation, we see risk-taking, courage and compromise. And we see those competitive juices that ultimately changed the landscape for how “the game” is played, and crested a new culture, using those opportunities for positive, philanthropic results as well.

So you see, there is SO much to this film… and most of all, thank you to the great Michael Jordan, who embodies a life well-lived.


I really couldn’t believe I was going to see Barbie. Yes, I had Barbies growing up. I remember my friend being jealous when I got the one with the red velvet gown, which became a lesson in jealousy from my mother! But most of all… I didn’t expect to absolutely love this movie as much as I did. I even left verklempt… and laughing, empowered and so appreciative of the movie’s intention, which we must all uphold!

This is an incredibly creative film.  The plot is not a silly Barbie plastic story. Instead, it a thought-provoking exploration of female – and male – roles in society. It also explores the creation of a culture of extreme gender stereotypes that ultimately ends with a melding of the “Barbies” and the “Kens,” this time with the Barbies in power.

It is also about innovation and entrepreneurship: it tells the story of Ruth Handler, the inventor of Barbie played by the wonderful Rhea Perlman, and the creation of this iconic doll and its place in history. It is also about a “real” mother and her daughter. The mother, played by America Ferrera, struggles with this relationship and turns to Barbie for comfort. The consequences are both challenging and impactful. 

Margot Robbie is the perfect Barbie, even when she is not… and shows that there is so much more to the “superficial” Barbie than what we grew up knowing. She is terrific.

And, of course, it is about Ken, played by Ryan Gosling who embraces the role with humor. It shows that men can search for meaning, too. Add in Will Ferrell as the not-really-so-evil corporate CEO…and Helen Mirren as the narrator, who brings us back to our reality with perfect words. Add to all of this wonderful singing, choreography, costumes and, of course, the dream house…

This is a delightful, creative, energetic and fun movie.  Take your daughters for sure, and your sons, too! (I loved the Dad sitting next to me wearing pink!) Brava to Director Greta Gerwig for this cinematic summer treat.

The Holdovers

Paul Giamatti, who I always adore, plays a curmudgeonly prep school teacher required to spend Christmas vacation “on call” at a high-end boarding school. As a result, he has predictable and totally grinchy interactions with the one student left, and a more compassionate interaction with the wonderful cook on staff, who lost her son to war. If that’s where this movie remained (which it did appear to for a while), it would be a yawn. But like a good holiday movie, the professor and the student learn about themselves and each other and leave with changed perspectives and lives. And of course, the grieving Mom adds humanity and love to these two troubled boy/men and sees possibility in her life ahead.

Photo credit: Oppenheimer (photo by Melinda Sue Gordon, Universal Pictures); Killers of the Flower Moon (courtesy of Paramount); Maestro (courtesy of Netflix); Oppenheimer (courtesy of Universal pictures); Past Lives (courtesy of A24); Air (courtesy of Amazon Studios & Warner Bros. Pictures); Barbie (courtesy of Warner Bros. & Warner Bros. Pictures); The Holdoves (courtesy of Focus Features).

About Marsha Gordon

When Business Council of Westchester President Marsha Gordon is not advocating for businesses in the County, she can be found at the cinema or theater. Her “Marsha on the Move” column appears monthly in ArtsNews.

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