If you want to watch an 8-year boy steal the show from Justin Timberlake: Palmer

Based on the previews and trailers, I had moderate hopes for this movie and it’s always a nice surprise when a film exceeds expectations. Palmer is one of those films. It’s not perfect, but performances by Timberlake, as Eddie Palmer, a recently released convict, Ryder Allen as Sam, a seven-year boy who enthusiastically identifies as a girl, and Alisha Wainwright as Maggie, Sam’s grade school teacher, give this movie legs. Allen, eight-years old in real life, is a joy to watch in his movie debut. Sam is unexpectedly thrust upon Palmer who is already facing challenges reintegrating into society and must decide what is best for the boy. Juno Temple (Sam’s wayward and absent mother, Shelly) and June Squibb (Vivian, Palmer’s kind grandmother) also deliver outstanding performances. Directed by Fisher Stevens.

If you are too young to know the story of civil rights crusader Fred Hampton

Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther, Get Out) gives a compelling performance as Fred Hampton, a trailblazer in the 1960s Black empowerment movement. At just 21 years of age, Hampton was a senior leader in the Black Panther party in Illinois and was known as a unifier. His ideas were viewed as radical by many and the FBI saw him as a threat. LaKeith Stanfield stars as Bill O’Neil, a small time criminal coerced by FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) to infiltrate the Black Panther party. Judas and the Black Messiah has six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (both Kaluuya and Stanfield). (Premiered on HBO Max. Still playing in theaters and should return to streaming by this summer).

If you want to see Owen Wilson like you’ve never seen him before: No Escape

This movie was recently in Netflix’s Top 10 Viewed list, so I checked it out. With Owen Wilson as the lead character, I was expecting action with a bit of light-hearted comedy: wrong. This film is frenetic and very intense. It doesn’t take long before the action starts, and it never stops. Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) works for a US-based water infrastructure company and takes his wife Annie (Lake Bell) and family on a new assignment in an unnamed county bordering Vietnam. Pierce Brosnan stars as Hammond, someone that always seems to be around at the right time—is he good or bad? You’ll have to watch to find out.

APT’s The Road Back : Spring Green is back in business

The announcement of APT’s 2021 in-person Summer Season was an emotional event here in Spring Green. And, from what we’ve heard, it was for you as well. So to start, we want to thank you for the support, the excitement and even the tears you’ve shared with us since then. Your emails, notes and social media comments make us so happy, and keep us going when challenges come our way (and they do keep coming). But today is for accentuating the positive, so thanks once again for being the best audience we could hope for.

Art from around the Valley: Oil painting of LWR off Highway 60

I’ve had a love affair with the Wisconsin River since I can remember. The river’s source begins at Lac Vieux Desert in the Lake District of Northeastern Wisconsin and travels 430 miles to meet the confluence of the Mississippi River, near Prairie du Chien. A while back I’d heard rumors of a re construction project on my favorite stretch of river road, Highway Sixty West along the Wisconsin from Gotham to Muscoda. This eleven-mile Scenic Highway is to me, the most magical section of the road with its curves and rock outcroppings which never lose sight of the river. A trip back in time to relax and leave the world behind for a while.

If you want to see what all the buzz is about: Promising Young Woman

Billed as a thriller, it’s more drama than thriller (although the conclusion is certainly suspenseful and builds to a crescendo). Deeply affected by the sexual assault of her friend Nina while both attended medical school, Cassandra (Carey Mulligan) launches a one-woman crusade to entrap and educate men (and women) on the gravity of their misconduct. Cassandra employs highly effective in-your-face strategies to drive her message home to those complicit in the sexual assault on Nina. Smartly done and a worthwhile message for all. Promising Young Woman has five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress (Carey Mulligan). Written and directed by Emerald Fennell. (Still in theaters, currently available for rental on online sources.)

If you’ve always been taken with Hollywood legend Audrey Hepburn: Audrey

An excellent, tastefully done documentary, the film chronicles the life of Audrey Hepburn from a young girl separated from her parents during World War II and suffering from malnutrition, to an overnight movie star, to her later years as the face of UNICEF. Lots of archival video and insightful interviews with family members, friends, and Hollywood associates. A worthwhile investment of your time.