Sunday, September 26, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 30
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
ANOTHER ROUND
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021-)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-)
BINGEABLE: CLICKBAIT
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TITANS (2018-)
BLACK WIDOW
BLAST FROM THE PAST: CARRIE (1976)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BOSS LEVEL
CANDYMAN
GUILTY PLEASURE: BACHELOR IN PARADISE (2014-)
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
IRRESISTIBLE
LIMBO
MISHA AND THE WOLVES (2021)
NEW FLICKS: BLOOD RED SKY
NEW FLICKS: COPSHOP
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: SWEET GIRL
NEW FLICKS: VAL (2021)
NINE DAYS
NO SUDDEN MOVE
PIG
ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN (2021)
SOUL
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE CARD COUNTER
THE LAST BLOCKBUSTER (2020)
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE NEW MUTANTS
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
TV REVIEW: A WILDERNESS OF ERROR (2020)
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES (2021)
TV REVIEW: HELL ON WHEELS (2011-2016)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MARE OF EASTTOWN
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL (2020)
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: THE VOW
TV REVIEW: TREADSTONE (2019)
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WANDAVISION
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE KINGDOM (2007)

Mrs. America is dramatizes the historical 1970s battle over the Equal Rights Amendment

TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF FX PRODUCTIONS

TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA


Where is it playing?: Hulu

What's it rated?: TV-MA

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Mrs. America is a nine-part miniseries created by Dahvi Waller that examines the attempt to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) hailed by second-wave feminists Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne), Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman), Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba), Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale), and Jill Ruckelshaus (Elizabeth Banks) and fought against by conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett) during the culture wars of the 1970s. (Nine 43 to 54 min. episodes).

Glen: Based loosely on the events surrounding the 1970s-era failed attempt to ratify the ERA, which proposed a constitutional guarantee of equal rights regardless of sex, Mrs. America examines the personalities of the major players during this fascinating time. First posed back in 1923, the ERA seemed like it was almost a slam dunk for passage in the 1970s, but then along came Phyllis Schlafly (played with amazing nuance by Blanchett), who organized a cadre of conservative housewives to mount a grassroots campaign to defeat it. These women feared the ERA would take away women’s rights and perhaps make them eligible for the draft; remove protections regarding divorce, estate settlement, and alimony; and force women who wanted to be homemakers into the workforce. It sort of makes my head spin that this obviously just addition to the U.S. Constitution remains in limbo, all but dead. Crazy!

Anna Schlafly is the perfect picture of a stylistic, conservative housewife who was dutiful in caring for both her lawyer husband and their six children. If this depiction characterizes it correctly, she wasn’t even wholly interested in the ERA to start with, but when the opportunity came to be the poster child of all things STOP ERA, Schlafly jumped in with both feet. She is clever and cunning, well-to-do and charming—and the moments when we see her façade start to crumble are few and far between. While championing the rights of housewives to stay in the home, she herself starts to dream big about law school and future political assignments. The tug-of-war inside is real, and Blanchette is simply fantastic as the poised but passionate woman determined to shoo away women’s lib. This is a frustrating and wholly fascinating character for her to take on.

Glen: I also loved the dynamics between the feminist cadre. The younger ones think Friedan is too shrewish and politically unsophisticated. Yes, she ushered in second-wave feminism with her 1957 book The Feminine Mystique, but for firebrands like Gloria Steinem, Friedan is a throwback and doesn’t understand the changing political dynamics of the ’70s. Steinem and others fear Friedan will undermine their efforts to pass the ERA. Little do they know what a formidable foe they have in Schlafly. Of course, we know the outcome of this fight, and so far only five of the nine episodes have been released (six by the time you read this, as they come out on Wednesday nights), but this a compelling drama about political dynamics that are worth revisiting. It’s also very well made, with great performances, amazing sets and costumes, and a real feel for the era. 

Anna: The dynamics between both sides are really fascinating. Even within Schlafly’s group of women fighting the ERA there is division. When she suggests a name for the movement that includes her name and is shot down by the rest of the group in favor of STOP ERA, you can feel her frustration boiling under the surface of her very manicured demeanor. She had unsuccessfully run for Congress in 1952 and hadn’t seemed to get over the loss by the time she took on the ERA. She’s tired of being labeled as only a wife; she wants power she doesn’t have to share or give to her husband—yet the very thing she defends encourages that old-school thinking and behavior. These are tremendous performances from Byrne, Aduba, and Martindale along with many others throughout the series. It manages to be both infuriating and delicious. I love that they are releasing it in three-part chunks—you can binge a bit but still have the tantalizing task of waiting another week for more. Check this one out: It’s dazzling in every way it can be. 

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles streaming listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










Weekly Poll
What are the most important conversations to be having right now when it comes to policing?

We need to address how racial bias influences policing.
We should focus on funding the police so they can do their job.
Mental health is where our dollars need to go, both in and out of the police department.
As one Sept. 20 community input meeting attendee said, 'Let’s get back to the Old West and treat people like they should be treated.' (Interpret how you will.)

| Poll Results






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