22 July – Devastating, hard to watch, yet impeccably made docudrama recounts the worst terrorist attack in Norway’s history in the summer of 2011. At nearly 2 and a 1/2 hours, the film lags at times, but for the most part, is a compelling portrayal of the tragic events. Director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Captain Phillips, several of the Jason Bourne films, etc.) utilizes his hyper-reality style of film-making to dramatic effect in a film which is essentially divided into three parts. The first third of 22 July depicts the actual bombing of the Norwegian Prime Minister’s office in Oslo and the subsequent attack on the summer camp of the island of Utoya. In total, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people and injured hundreds more in the name of extreme Right-wing nationalism. The middle third of the film is the weakest, depicting the immediate aftermath of the incident on victim’s families, the defense attorney assigned to Breivik’s case, the government and others involved. The human element is present, but it lacks the immediacy and drama of the previous opening moments of the movie. It’s also a section that we’ve seen done better in films like Stronger (with Jake Gyllenhaal). Fortunately, things pick back up in the final third of the feature which focuses on the trial of Breivik, the fight of victim’s families to keep him from speaking in court, and the push for one victim to testify against him. Overall, 22 July is an excellent, but uneven production that shows the graphic effects of terrorism. The Norway attacks in 2011 have been called that country’s 9/11, but I would say they are more akin to the Oklahoma City bombings by Timothy McVeigh. This is a case of a homegrown terrorist, acting on a delusional political mission, who felt he was fighting in a larger ideological war. Due to the nature of the killer, his sequences are far more intriguing to watch than the stories of the victims, which may not have been the director’s intentions. Still, it is a quality overall effort and director Greengrass continues to make some of the best “based in real life” dramas in cinema. 22 July is available to watch on Netflix and a few select theaters.
The 2018 Emmy Awards for the best television has to offer were announced today and for the first time in 18 years, HBO did not have the most nominations. The network was beaten out by Netflix in that category. And for those of you who don’t watch much TV, here’s our breakdown of the nominees in each major category:
Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or TV movie
Antonio Banderas, “Genius: Picasso” – Zorro as a famous painter
Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” – he plays that guy that killed that fashion dude
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Patrick Melrose” – Dr. Strange plays an English snob (what a stretch!)
Jeff Daniels, “The Looming Tower” – the sidekick from the movie Speed takes on Osama bin Laden
John Legend, “Jesus Christ Superstar” – the singer of Ordinary People playing someone not so ordinary..
Jesse Plemons, “USS Callister (Black Mirror)” – that weird, bad dude ginger from Breaking Bad pretends he’s Captain Kirk
Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie
Jessica Biel, “The Sinner” – Justin Timberlake’s wife playing an A1 nutball
Laura Dern, “The Tale” – Rambling Rose takes on some lying foes
Michelle Dockery, “Godless” – A Downton Abbey dame takes on the Wild West
Edie Falco, “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” – Yup, Law and Order is still around and Falco plays the lawyer who defended true life psycho twins
Regina King, “Seven Seconds” – a grieving mom takes on corrupt cops
Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Cult” – yet another killer weirdo from AHS
Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish” – Iron Chef judge channels his inner Bill Cosby
Ted Danson, “The Good Place” – the Cheers guy as a heavenly guide
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” – that guy who wrote Seinfeld
Donald Glover, “Atlanta” – Lando Calrissian in the Dirty South
Bill Hader, “Barry” – SNL alum as a hitman
William H. Macy, “Shameless” – still playing poor white trash
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series
Pamela Adlon, “Better Things” – Louis CK channeling his humor through a single mom actress
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – she’s a 1950s Jewish stand-up comic; sure, so realistic
Allison Janney, “Mom” – The mom from I, Tonya as a mom on A, Sitcom
Issa Rae, “Insecure” – black gal who became a Youtube star; makes me miss Myspace
Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish” – Channeling her inner Phylicia Rashad
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie” – The Incredible Shrinking Woman and her friend Hanoi Jane
Outstanding lead actor in a drama series
Jason Bateman, “Ozark” – The Arrested Development dude gets all criminally serious
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” – The serious Diff’rent Strokes series; Brown plays Arnold
Ed Harris, “Westworld” – Doing a better job as a Man In Black cowboy than Matthew McConaughey in The Dark Tower
Matthew Rhys, “The Americans” – He plays a Commie, Pinko double agent
Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us” – a slow cooker of a role
Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld” – continuing the legacy of blacks and cowboys for a new generation
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series
Claire Foy, “The Crown” – The future Lisbeth Salander as the past Queen Elizabeth
Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black” – Haven’t we seen enough of her?
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” – The Lady In Red who makes babies
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve” – A Korean female agent in MI5? So far-fetched…
Keri Russell, “The Americans” – American Traitor!
Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld” – Host of The Truman Show with Robot Cowboys
Outstanding reality/competition series
“The Amazing Race” – shockingly still on the air
“American Ninja Warrior” – shockingly still on the air
“Project Runway” – shockingly still on the air
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” – shockingly still on the air
“Top Chef” – shockingly still on the air
“The Voice” – shockingly still on the air
Outstanding variety sketch series
“At Home with Amy Sedaris” – Who?
“Drunk History” – This one’s a bit of a blur
“I Love You, America” – Sarah Silverman trying to be funny
“Portlandia” – Sleater-Kinney chick and SNL guy hangin’ in Oregon
“Saturday Night Live” – less and less funny each year and yet, still nominated…
“Tracey Ullman’s Show” – wasn’t the Simpsons launched from this show?
Outstanding variety talk series
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” – The chick who insulted Ivanka Trump
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” – The dude that said to kill all the Chinese for a laugh
“Last Week Tonight” – That British guy who used to be on the Daily Show
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” – The Jon Stewart wannabe
“The Late Late Show with James Corden” – The car karaoke guy
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – The guy who makes fun of Donald Trump
Outstanding limited Series
“The Alienist” – Turn of the century boy prostitutes!
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” – Arrogant fashion designers!
“Genius: Picasso” – Strange art!
“Godless” – Cowboys and injuns!
“Patrick Melrose” – Hawty tawty English lads!
Outstanding comedy series
“Atlanta” – Who knew rappers could be funny? Oh wait, sorry Fresh Prince…
“Barry” – Grosse Pointe Blank ripoff
“Black-ish” – Cosby Show for the 21st century
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” – Seinfeld with more adult content
“GLOW” – Female professional wrestlers and their drama
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – Schtick
“Silicon Valley” – the good ol’ days before the tech bubble blew up
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” – Cult survivor readjusts to New York City’s cult of personality
Outstanding drama series
“Game of Thrones” – The Dragons And Tits Show
“The Handmaid’s Tale” – The Babymaker Show
“Stranger Things” – The 80s style Twilight Zone
“The Americans” – Double agents and paranoia
“This Is Us” – Fiery everyday life domestic soap opera
“Westworld” – Killer freakin’ cowboy robots!
The 70th Emmy Awards Primetime telecast will air on September 17, 2018.