New Flix

The Two Popes. Light fare. Tour-de-force from two legendary actors. Anthony Hopkins as the self-deposed Benedict and Jonathan Pryce who transforms into Francis. Sweet if mostly fiction.

The Report. Pedantic look back at the failed Brennan CIA-Cheney terrorist torture doctrine. And its coverup. Adam Driver good as the stalwart investigator. Annette Bening captures the stolid Senator Feinstein. However, more preachy critique than entertainment.

Marriage Story. A completely different Adam Driver shows up in this film. His multi-layered depth of performance as the husband in this bleak study of a marriage coming undone is worthy of its accolades. Scarlett Johansson is raw in her vulnerability.

None of the three outstanding. Each more about the acting than the stories. Barry’s girlfriend and Sheldon’s math teacher keep popping up.

First ObamaFlick Scores

If American Factory is any indication of Barack & Michelle’s talent for choosing great content, then they could have their own Network.

This first choice is a documentary about a Chinese glass company that takes over a moth-balled auto factory in Dayton, Ohio. The stories of both Americans who want to welcome the company for its jobs and the Chinese management and workers who come with it is astoundingly intimate. Access is based on trust of the local filmmakers through the ups and downs of a foreign entity taking over a community workplace.

A willingness to bond with each other’s cultures turns to a clash. Resolution is never complete nor easy. This is a must-see brilliant view of life in middle America and working-class China. Global realities. Bravo.