“Nomadland”..now streaming on Hulu, this is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year and already winning awards. Frances McDormand could well win her 3rd Oscar, playing Fern, a woman who loses everything in the Great Recession, going on a journey through the American West. It’s just a gorgeous film, in terms of the acting, message and landscape. Rather than what you’d expect, an angry, dark movie about the down-and-out-forgottens, this is a celebration of the nomad experience and freedom from what most experience as everyday life. It’s a quiet film but so, so powerful and beautiful. I honestly can’t imagine anyone but McDormand in this role. David Strathairn has a much smaller role but in his own way, is just as commanding as a nomad who leaves the life, finding meaning in family. The film is a great reminder that we may not control everything that happens to us in life but we can control how we react to it.
“Truth To Power” ..a documentary about System Of A Down Grammy winner, founder and lead singer Serj Tankian. From a very early age, Serj learned how his grandfather survived, although was left blind as a 5 year old , in the Armenian Genocide. It became a driving force Serj’s life : get the U.S. to officially recognize this Genocide. All Genocides. Serj was on the path to becoming a lawyer, heading to take the LSAT test, the law SAT’s, when he had an epiphany that he really had no interest in becoming a lawyer, despite his parents’ push for education . It was music that made him happy. Tankian found a way to combine his passions. The documentary (available on virtual theater at Truthtopowerfilm.com) shows how Tankian actually helped inspire the peaceful , so called Velvet Revolution, in Armenia. Long before the Kardashians became the most famous Armenian-Americans, along with Cher, Serj was put there proudly putting his community front and center. This documentary takes you behind the man , behind the music and gives a solid history lesson as well. Where it does NOT go is tabloid territory. We learn nothing really about his wife and 6 year old. Serj Tankian joins me on “Sonstein Sunday” 7 AM this weekend.