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Not all of us are in love with Clea DuVall’s latest film, Happiest Season, which is a Christmas romantic comedy on Hulu starring Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Aubrey Plaza, and many more. Will and Abby take some time to review the latest “Small Axe” film from Steve McQueen on Amazon Prime Video: Lovers Rock. The whole gang joins the fun of The Twentieth Century, Matthew Rankin’s absurdist festival indie that might’ve stolen all our hearts. We also cover our mixed feelings on Alan Ball’s latest film since 2007, Uncle Frank, which boasts strong performances from Paul Bettany, Peter Macdissi, and Sophia Lillis. And last, Jon discusses Zappa, Alex Winter’s eclectic new documentary about the life of the infamous guitarist Frank Zappa.

Intro music: “By the Fireplace” by Aviary Day & Mark Generous

Show Notes:

  • 00:00:00 – Intro & Off-Topics
  • 00:08:55 – Will’s brief thoughts on Mank, Hillbilly Elegy, and Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions
  • 00:19:50 – Listener voicemails: What are the best and worst Ron Howard movies? Voicemail question for next week: Do you think Citizen Kane is really a masterpiece?
  • 00:25:55 – Happiest Season
  • 00:50:30 – Lovers Rock
  • 00:59:15 – The Twentieth Century
  • 01:18:30 – Uncle Frank
  • 01:31:55 – Zappa

Links to what we mentioned on the show: 

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Jon Negroni

Jon is one of the co-founders of InBetweenDrafts and our resident film editor. He also hosts the podcasts Cinemaholics, Mad Men Men, and Rookie Pirate Radio. He doesn't sleep, essentially.


  • TickTockTwo says:

    Citizen Kane is certainly a masterpiece for its time. To call it anything else is ignoring its impact on cinema, full stop. And to this day it remains a great piece of art. Best movie ever? Maybe for someone out there, sure. No movie is “best” for everyone.

  • Margot says:

    Ok, let’s settle this.

    Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis have so much chemistry.

    Kristen Stewart and Aubrey Plaza have ~all~ the chemistry.

  • Matthew B. says:

    Very much appreciate you three avoiding the Lovers Rock debate about “series” versus “film.” Wonderful review of a wonderfilm.

  • Chauncey says:

    I love that you started the show this week with some virtual cinema shoutouts! I’d love to add my own local theater out here in Vancouver. It’s called the Cinematheque, and it’s a true staple for our community. In addition to some indie films currently available for online viewing, they also have a fantastic selection of classics. In fact right now they have several great Fellini films like Roma and The White Sheik. If any fellow cinemaholics out there are looking for a “virtual film festival,” they should definitely look it up.

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