Joaquin Phoenix Sheds the Last of His Normalcy newsusface


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There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.

We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.

Disappointment Boulevard First Batch

Takashi Seida/A24

See: Beau Is Afraid

Beau Is Afraid is a three-hour Oedipal nightmare that twists, turns, dips, and soars at an unprecedented pace. Can we expect anything less from Ari Aster? Or Joaquin Phoenix, for that matter, who solidifies himself here as our weirdest actor?

Here’s Nick Schager’s take:

“Ari Aster was prematurely dubbed a visionary on the basis of Hereditary and Midsommar, two films that were (to put it kindly) steeped in cinema’s past. Yet he now convincingly earns that moniker with Beau is Afraid, a horror-comedy that’s unlike anything he—or anyone else, for that matter—has produced before.

A wildly surrealistic nightmare of primal and modern neuroses, the writer/director’s third A24 feature spends not a minute of its daunting three-hour runtime retracing others’ steps, instead diving deeply and madly into the mindset of its protagonist (and, by extension, its maker). Challenging in the most thrilling ways possible, it plays like a mind-bending Oedipal acid trip of epic proportions.”

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Skip: Mafia Mamma

Mafia Mamma takes the best premise anyone has ever thought of—making Toni Collette a mob boss—and spits all over it with dated humor, careless editing, and a wealth of other mistakes that turn this car crash into a pile-up. Oh Madonna Mia, indeed!

Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:

“On the sheer strength of its delightfully dopey poster alone, Mafia Mamma (in theaters Friday), was one of my most anticipated movies of the year. Really, what’s not to appreciate? Toni Collette—the titular Mafia Mamma in question—sits with an impish smirk on her face, sprawled out before a bottle of wine and a smoking gun. She is flanked by two tall, similarly gun-toting men, whose faces are cut off from the artwork. Who cares about them? This is about her: the suburban mom turned mafia don, who seemingly just shot someone dead and is so pleased that she’s celebrating with a glass of vino.

If you, like me, thought that this combination of things would surely result in brilliant cinema—and definitely not an unredeemable disaster that isn’t worth watching—it brings me no pleasure to tell you that you’re wrong. And that’s what makes it so puzzling. Mafia Mamma has all of the right ingredients, but director Catherine Hardwicke treats the complicated science of movie-making like an improvisational linguine dish rather than a delicate tiramisu. If you over-whip one ingredient, or mix two things together at the incorrect time, the sugary sweetness might still pack a small punch, but the consistency will be all wrong.”

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Philippe Antonello/Prime Video

See: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s final season sees the comedian navigating the success she’s chased for so long. Fabulous costumes, stunning production design, and lovely acting make a fitting adieu to a show that was always equal in style and substance.

Here’s Kevin Fallon’s take:

“I’ll miss the coats most of all. Okay, that’s a little glib. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel brings a lot to the table, and reducing it to its main character’s wardrobe is something that the final season actively comments on. But the coats! They’re so great! I’ll miss them on the sides of MTA buses, on subway posters, and in the ads that Amazon plasters across every single website I read when a new season is coming out. And I’ll miss sitting slack-jawed while watching them cascade down Manhattan streets that have been meticulously decorated to be period-perfect to the show’s early-’60s setting. While the idea of giving showrunners blank checks has gotten exhausting, there was something thrilling about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s production value—not to mention its proof that it is worthwhile to throw bags of money at shows that don’t feature superheroes and take place in Westeros or Middle-earth.

But beyond outerwear, what is Mrs. Maisel’s legacy? That’s something the show itself is overtly grappling with in its final season, which launches its first three episodes on Friday. It turns out that Mrs. Maisel becomes the success she always dreamed of. That’s not a spoiler, as it’s the clever conceit of this fifth, final season—the most fun I’ve had watching this series since its early, zeitgeist-seizing run. Those first three episodes begin with flashes to the future, where we meet Midge’s adult children and see how her incredible amount of fame and fortune affected them growing up.”

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Am I Being Unreasonable

James Pardon/Hulu

See: Am I Being Unreasonable?

Am I Being Unreasonable? lands fresh from the BBC and bounces between genres, each one done successfully, thanks to the talents of writer and star, Daisy May Cooper. Turns out, it’s not so unreasonable to be both gripping and hilarious at once!

Here’s Catherine Caruso’s take:

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started watching Am I Being Unreasonable?, streaming April 11 on Hulu. Starring and written by Daisy May Cooper, Am I Being Unreasonable? is a darkly comic thriller that explores the trials of parenting, the excitement of new friendship, and the ramifications of a guilty conscience. It doesn’t sound as funny or as wild as it is—but this six-part British series, which first aired in the U.K. last September, is a hilarious and unexpected ride from start to finish.

But while Cooper’s performance as Nic carries the show, the absurdity, intrigue, and idiosyncrasies of Am I Being Unreasonable? make it a huge success. Although the show never settles on answer to the question posed in the title, it successfully adds itself to the ever-expanding category of shows about messy, complicated women without falling prey to the staleness of traditional sitcoms. And it does this all without forgetting to make you laugh.”

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