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Series: The Loudest Voice
5 stars plus ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Russell Crowe is utterly brilliant as Roger Ailes, the long-time Chairman of Fox News, in this seven-part series. His make-up, as an older, obese man is completely convincing. Sienna Miller does a great job of playing his supportive and naïve wife. Aside from the story itself, it will be a real eye-opener for anyone who thinks that news stations do not have a political agenda, and do not have every intention of influencing and moulding how the public thinks (and votes).
There is no doubt that Ailes was a revolting, sexist, racist, manipulative, self-absorbed, elitist douchebag of the highest order, who engaged in sexual harrassment of his staff; he was eventually fired by Rupert Murdoch following sexual abuse claims by many former and current employees, thought it seemed to me that one or two of the women intentionally slept their way up the career ladder, rather than being sexually abused. But I daresay it was all a lot more complicated than we saw in these seven episodes.
Anyway, it's terrific, and I was engrossed all the way through. Highly recommended.
Film: El Camino
5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The spin-off film from Breaking Bad, showing what happened to Jesse Pinkman after he drove away in the finale. You do need to have seen all of Breaking Bad to enjoy this, btw - it's like the last bit of the story. Aaron Paul is terrific as Jesse, and there is a great scene with him and Walter - a flashback, because of course Walter died at the end of the series. If you loved Breaking Bad as much as I did, it's unmissable.
Dark Humour/Drama Series: Mr Inbetween
5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Love this! Scott Ryan is the creator and star - it's an Australian series set in Sydney, about Ray Shoesmith, who is a 'fixer' for the owner of a lap-dancing club that is heavily involved in the underworld. He is also a hired killer, but the other side of his life is touching and 'normal' - he has a great relationship with his eight-year old daughter and his brother, who as motor neurone disease; Ray takes great care of him. In the first episode he meets Ally, a paramedic, and they fall in love, but she has trouble dealing with the violent side of his nature. I've watched both seasons, and hope it carries on, because it's really great. Highly recommended.
Series: A Confession
4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
True story, starring Martin Freeman, about Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher who investigates the case of the missing Sian O'Callaghan. When the killer is found, he confesses to another murder - but Fulcher has a great deal of trouble proving it. The TV series is about the families, and what happens to Fulcher as a result of it, and the methods he used in extracting the confession. Freeman is as excellent as ever, and if you enjoy TV police procedurals, you'll love it.
Comedy Series: Living With Yourself
4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Follows the story of a man who, after undergoing a mysterious treatment that promises him the allure of a better life, discovers that he has been replaced by a cloned version of himself. Amusing and entertaining. I found his wife massively irritating, though.
Netflix Film: In the Shadow of the Moon
4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Serial killer, time travel - stars a fairly down at heel cop with a heavily pregnant wife, starting in 1988. It's good, entertaining, and the unravelling of what the plot is all about is not apparent at all. Held my interest throughout; not particularly memorable but worth watching.
Series: On Becoming a God in Central Florida
3.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐
I hovered between 3.5 and 4* for this - loved it at first but after episode 3 it hasn't held my attention so much. Kirsten Dunst is terrific as a bereaved wife who gets involved in a pyramid selling scheme. Set in the late 80s or early 90s, I think, though there has been no definite date. Worth giving a go :)