SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — We'll be looking at three titles this week. Something for the adults, the family and those who have passion for Shakespeare and live theater (in an age where actually seeing live theater is still a rarity).
Considered by many as an Oscar contender, "Nomadland" is a quiet drama with striking visuals of the American West that follows Fern (Frances McDormand), a woman who takes on a nomadic life when the US Gypsum plant in Empire, Nevada shuts down. Having lost her husband, Fran now lives in a van that she has personally customized. She takes on seasonal work, never sitting in one place for more than a few months. She befriends fellow wanderers along the way. Forms deep friendships with those who, like herself, can't stand to sit still.
Last week the Utah Film Critics Association awarded McDormand with Best Lead Performance, Female. I suspect an Oscar nomination is just around the corner.
"Nomadland" has been showing on IMAX screens since the end of last month. The film is now transitioning into traditional cinemas and coming to Hulu for those who don't have access to a theater or prefer to keep their distance.
Where to watch: Theaters, Hulu
Flora & Ulysses
"Flora and Ulysses" is the story of Flora, a 10-year-old girl, who shares a love of comic books with her father. With her parents going through a separation, Flora isn't sure how she feels about comic books. She certainly doesn't believe in their optimism. When a robot vacuum accident nearly kills a squirrel, Flora jumps in and saves its life. Following the incident the squirrel, known henceforth as Ulysses, appears to develop superpowers. Maybe there's hope.
Clearly the film is aiming for a young demographic and those 10 years old and younger will undoubtedly be entertained. Adults? You might be pleasantly surprised. It's pleasantly strange and magical in a way that isn't annoying. (Full Review)
Where to watch: Disney+
All the Devils are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villain
My mother has attended the Utah Shakespeare Festival for decades. In the 1980s, Patrick Page was the main draw. The young actor spent six years at the festival (and appeared in a handful of plays at the Pioneer Theater Company in Salt Lake City as well). I can't tell you how often I heard my mom and her friend Kathy talk about Page. He was a demigod of the stage. He would later make his way to Broadway where he played Hades in "Hadestown." He was nominated for a Tony (and won a Grammy).
The point here is that Page is a phenomenal actor and his relationship with William Shakespeare spans decades. He's written a one-man show, "All the Devils are Here," that examines the way Shakespeare's villains evolved from standard tropes in his early plays into more complex individuals. It's a fascinating watch that sees the actor taking on numerous roles. Page's Richard III is tremendous and I'd love to see a full production of "The Tempest" with him as Prospero. Or as the title character in "Macbeth" (don't say it aloud). Honestly, I'd just like to see Page in just about anything.
It's a quick 80 minutes in length, well worth every minute. I'd prefer to see this live. That's not possible. This will have to do. It does quite nicely.
Where to watch: shakespearetheatre.org