Welcome back to my Home Movies! This week, we have two very different films fighting it out for top honors. There’s Penélope Cruz‘s Oscar nominated work in Parallel Mothers, as well as the supremely entertaining Scream sequel. Which one gets the top pick today? And what of another strong option in Jockey? Find out below…
The first Scream effort not to be helmed by Wes Craven, the film exceeded all expectations, including my own. By playing into its long in the making sequel status, as well as the modern world of franchise and legacy building, the movie works in a big way. In my rave review here on the site, I had this to say about it:
This might be a controversial statement, but I don’t think there has been a bad installment in the Scream franchise. Scream 2 and Scream 4 are legitimately great horror sequels. Scream 3 is the clear weak spot, but it’s still very solid and more than entertainment enough to recommend. So, there’s definitely a decent bar to clear with a new Scream. Luckily, this version, simply called Scream instead of Scream 5, is the best sequel in the series. Bloody, funny, reverential, but also willing to go in new directions, it’s everything you can hope for in a horror sequel. If this is the end of the franchise, it’s going out on a high note. If it’s new life, it’s a bold sign of what might be to come.
Clifton Collins Jr. getting a showcase is never a bad thing. Jockey allows the longtime character actor to shine. His work impressed me back at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and it remains impressive today. I spoke to Collins Jr. here about the performance. Give that a look, of course, but also take a gander at this bit from my Sundance review:
Jockey has a great performance from Clifton Collins Jr. at its core. He gives the film its heart and its soul. Fueled by the subtle joy that one gets at seeing a character actor shine, Collins Jr. elevates the picture. Without him, the movie would still be good, of course, but he’s able to give it that little extra edge. One might say it’s Collins Jr. by a nose, here (I’ll see myself out).
A late breaking Academy Award nominee in Best Actress, Penélope Cruz managed to make Parallel Mothers soar. The latest collaboration between her and filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is more evidence of their special relationship/ You can listen to me talk to Cruz here about the work, just before her Oscar nomination. As for the movie itself, I had this to say back at the New York Film Festival:
Parallel Mothers is a tale that seems simple on the surface, but has a lot going on beneath it. Sure, that’s not uncommon for Almodóvar, but here it’s even more deceptively simple than usual. Instead of being a detriment to the final product, the film utilizes that to its advantage, sneaking up on you. Whereas his last effort, Pain and Glory, didn’t always seem like it was following a smooth trajectory, here that is decidedly the case.
CSI: Vegas: The Complete First Season (TV)
Doctor Who: Galaxy 4 (TV)
Doctor Who: Tom Baker The Complete Sixth Season (TV)
The Handmaid’s Tale: Season Four (TV)
No Criterion releases today. Sorry! Stay tuned for more next week, including a new Criterion Collection release…