What to Watch for Inauguration Weekend - OZY | A Modern Media Company


Because it’s the freakin’ inauguration weekend. What else are you going to do? 

By Libby Coleman

Season One of a (potentially) eight-season-long TV show begins tomorrow. Make sure to watch the premiere, which features a high-budget parade and a number of fancy balls. Man, does the plot move fast (multiple Affordable Care Act–related budget moves take place all before the season even starts).

Once the first episode is over tomorrow, there are two more days to watch other shows and movies. Here are our recommendations for inauguration weekend.

Southside With You

The Skinny

Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date is transformed into a romantic film, showcasing wit, vivacity and optimism. No, Michelle isn’t that interested at first, but by the end … never mind, we all know how it ends.

What to Say at a Party to Sound Smart

  1. According to writer-director Richard Tanne at Sundance (where the film premiered in January 2016): “We’ve heard from some pretty reliable sources that [the Obamas] are aware [of the film] … They are excited. And they are also a little baffled by its existence.”
  2. A little heavy-handed when young Barry makes a speech to his community about how they can overcome, no? Very on-the-nose references to Obama’s later speeches, don’t you think?
  3. Imagine the Donald-Melania version.
  4. When the film was released in August to wider audiences, Obama had a 51 percent approval rating. That means about half the country really didn’t want to see this movie. 


The Skinny

Weiner, which premiered at Sundance last year, documents how former congressman Anthony Weiner went from rising star to disgraced politician. Given Weiner’s influence on last year’s election (the reopening of the email probe began with alleged sexting), this one’s pretty great.

What to Say at a Party to Sound Smart

  1. CAA just signed the production company, Edgeline Films — are there more Weiner-like films in our future?
  2. Was this just an earlier chapter of scandals being an acceptable part of a candidate’s past? After the first time Weiner was caked in scandal, he was still able to run for mayor.
  3. Before Weiner, there was Gary Hart — the first presidential candidate to have his personal life raked through the mud.  
  4. Co-director Josh Kriegman was formerly Weiner’s chief of staff.
  5. At multiple points, Huma Abedin, Weiner’s now-estranged wife, tells her husband, whose campaign is tanking due to an unearthed bout of sexting, how “Philippe” is advising her on how she should stand by his side. Philippe is most likely Philippe Reines, often thought of as Hillary Clinton’s enforcer. Reportedly, Reines played Trump in a debate prep with Clinton this past campaign.


The Skinny

If you want to get away from it all and think about some other enemy, look no further than aliens who touch down on Earth. They speak a different language from humans, so Amy Adams, playing a linguist, has to decipher what they’ve come for. Are they enemies, or are they on a mission to do good?

What to Say at a Party to Sound Smart

  1. Arrival is based on a short story by Ted Chiang, a Chinese-American sci-fi writer. Interestingly, Chinese sci-fi is having a moment. 
  2. Adaptations are taking over Hollywood! As the adapted screenplay list grows, the list of originals seems to get shorter and shorter. 
  3. What do you know … China and the U.S. get along in the film and save the day. That’ll play well with the growing Chinese box office, right? Right!
  4. This movie is sure to encourage high schoolers to become linguistics majors in college. Not sure whether or not that’s a good thing.

The Apprentice

OK, OK, we take it back. But within the first 10 minutes of the very first Apprentice episode, Donald Trump drops two great words: “Big league.” Our two-word take: Must watch. 

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