Archives for posts with tag: Zoe Chao

You remember the Bill Murray movie that Julia Louis-Dreyfus did where she’s the control freak mom/professional on a family ski trip to Austria when a controlled avalanche triggers an emotional earthquake? Unfortunately, Murray is not in the offbeat “Downhill” (2020). Will Ferrell is in it, playing the aloof husband mourning the loss of his own father while losing the grip on his remaining family bonds. The chemistry between Louis-Dreyfus and Ferrell is so authentically bad it’s hard to want them to be together. Murray and another actress (Julianne Moore?) could have rescued this pointedly depressing script – maybe – but why bother?

I know someone’s going to call “The High Note” (2020) Dakota Johnson’s ode to arrogant, privileged millennials, but I’m not. I’m going to appreciate Tracee Ellis Ross as an aging diva, a performance that sees the character’s caricature and takes a tiny, baby step back from it. Her hapless personal assistant wants to be a record producer and we enter a Masquerade-style plot as Johnson tries to achieve it. But instead of a copout, it’s a solid base supporting some of the more ambitious writing I’ve seen in a while, with twists and layers and surprises I didn’t see coming.