A Few Flicks Worth Burning the Midnight Oil

July 25, 2018|

By Samantha Barksdale

Once upon a time, I was a night owl. It was nothing for me to stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. doing schoolwork, watching movies, listening to music or reading a new book. In the last year, however, things have changed.

I’d like to believe the only reason is because I now have to be at work at 7:05 every morning, but I have a sneaking suspicion my age has a little something to do with it as well.

Lucky for me, it’s summer.

Summer means time off, naps during the day and a chance to stay up super late like I used to. This month, my reviews are dedicated to all things worthy of watching late night. Two a.m., here I come.

‘Wind River’

I read the Netflix description for this film several times before deciding to turn it on. Quite frankly, the description was pretty terrible. This is honestly one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, but I could have easily continued to overlook it.

Luckily, my husband said we should give it a shot. Thank goodness I married someone with great intuition.

Wind River is set on a Native American reservation in Wyoming. Jeremy Renner plays the lead character, Cory Lambert. While not Native himself, he is close to the community after having been previously married to a Native woman. The film starts with Cory picking up his son on the way to the reservation. The conversation he has with his ex-wife lets us know a terrible tragedy caused the marriage to end, and she is extremely protective of their son.

Upon reaching the reservation, Cory leaves his son with his ex-wife’s parents so that he can track the mountain lion he has been hired to kill. It is winter in Wyoming, and he soon finds tracks in the snow. Sadly, they are not the tracks of an animal, but those of a teenage girl from the reservation. Cory follows the tracks and finds her body, barefoot and lightly covered with snow.

Native Americans are all too often overlooked in the public conversation about racism, oppression and poverty, and crimes against them are frequently left unsolved. While not a truly a “true story,” Wind River is based on the many reports of violence against Native American women. This film does not preach, however. It draws attention to the subject by keeping you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Not only will you shout in disbelief when all is revealed, you’ll also be compelled to spend at least a few minutes considering the plight of an amazing group of people.

‘GLOW’

I’m an Army brat whose family lived on base in Germany. For those of you who don’t know, this meant we got three channels of American television, and one of my fondest memories is watching WWF wrestling each week.

Those were the days when you still thought it all might be real, and there was nothing like it. If only we’d gotten more channels, I might have known about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.

GLOW is very loosely based on the show of the same name that aired during the 1980s. This Netflix series does a good job of introducing the show and its inception, as well as obstacles the women faced trying to make it. Sure, it’s a little campy, but wasn’t everything in the ’80s?

While not necessarily one of my all-time favorites, GLOW is enjoyable. The episodes are only 30 minutes long, have just enough drama and feature extremely memorable characters.

I started watching at midnight and made it through about six episodes before I lost interest. I don’t know if I’ll make it to Season 2, but I’m definitely planning to watch a little more soon.

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