Movie Diary 5/20/2019

Late Night (Nisha Ganatra, 2019). Emma Thompson as a veteran talk-show host being forced out of her job, Mindy Kaling as the new writer bringing the show into the present day. A good ration of pleasant TV-style banter here, delivered with crack timing. Somewhere along the line somebody decided the third act needed higher stakes, or some bullshit like that, which is too bad. (full review 6/7)

Remember the Night (Mitchell Leisen, 1940). A long-overdue re-visit to an unusual film. The set-up comes from screenwriter Preston Sturges: Prosecutor Fred MacMurray takes accused (and guilty) shoplifter Barbara Stanwyck to his small-town home for the Christmas holiday. The elegant gentleness of Leisen’s directing makes an interesting match with Sturges’ livelier ideas, and Stanwyck makes you believe the unlikely situation.

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