Movie Mom

Movie Mom


A Cancer Comedy?

posted by Nell Minow

Cable series about desperate circumstances do well because they put our daily lives into the sharpest possible focus. Somehow, they make characters who deal in drugs (“Weed,” “Breaking Bad”) or mental illness (“United States of Tara”) or even the compulsion to murder (“Dexter”) seem if not normal at least accessible. The latest addition premieres this week and the first episode (slightly edited) is available on YouTube.
Laura Linney stars in “The Big C” as a wife, mother, and teacher who has always taken care of others and colored in the lines who discovers she has terminal cancer. This causes her to think carefully about who she is and what she wants and needs. She had organized her choices based on having a lot of time. When she discovers that her time is limited, she tells a waiter, “I’m just having desserts and liquor.” She does not tell the people around her about her illness, but she begins to tell them the truth about other things. The cast includes Gabourey Sidibe of “Precious” as an outspoken student and Oliver Platt as an affectionate but needy husband. I especially like her interaction with her young doctor. Even he is relying on her for support because it was the first time he ever had to tell a patient she was terminal.
This may be a comedy, but it is no sit-com. It is an adventure with a woman trying to maintain some sense of control and achieve some sense of meaning. It is the way her diagnosis liberates her that makes the show bracing, provocative and yes, even funny.
Linney is one of the finest actresses in Hollywood and it is a treat to see her show us how a woman finds that the prospect of death makes her begin to understand for the first time what life really means.

The Big CThe Big C TV Schedule


Previous Posts

Christopher Orr on the Coen Brothers' "Miller's Crossing"
One of my favorite critics writes about one of his favorite movies in The Atlantic: the highlight of Christopher Orr's outstanding series on the Coen Brothers' films is his essay on Miller's Crossing. Whether you're a fan of the Coens or of this film or not, Orr's essay is a pleasure to read for it

posted 3:53:09pm Sep. 23, 2014 | read full post »

New on ABC: Black-ish
One of the best new shows of the year is Anthony Anderson's "Black-ish."  Anderson plays Andre "Dre" Johnson has a great job, a beautiful mixed-race doctor wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids, and a colonial home in the mostly-white suburbs.  But now that he has given his children a bett

posted 10:20:50pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

The Real Story: Tracks and Robyn Davidson's Long Walk Across Australia
Mia Wasikowska plays real-life adventurer Robyn Davidson in "Tracks," based on the 1980 international best-seller about her 1700-mile walk across Australia with four camels. A thoughtful interview with Davidson in The Australian describes her: Davidson is an enigma. With her patrician air, prim

posted 3:51:08pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: The Dancing Traffic Light
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB_0vRnkeOk[/youtube]

posted 8:00:15am Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

TrueSpark: Teaching Children and Teens About Character With Quality Films
I am honored to serve on the advisory committee for TrueSpark, which provides quality films and curricula for schools at no cost to use in teaching character. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/akEWIRfjnxk?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Parents and teachers who want to lear

posted 8:22:33pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.