Thursday, April 29, 2021


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Mitchell is excited at Moving With Mitchell because he and San Geraldo have appointments for their first dose of the vaccine, so it occurred to me that I should mention 


The vaccine

didn't give me COVID

 didn't alter my DNA

wasn't made out of fetal cells

didn't contain a microchip

didn't cause grotesque side effects 

didn't cause anyone in my presence to become ill, sterilized, or grow 3 heads.

I still wear my mask when I go to the grocery store. If I need a booster shot in the future, I'll get it.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug 

Saturday, April 24, 2021


 Nomadland = beautiful                                   

Hillbilly Elegy = sad                                        

The United States vs. Billie Holiday dull      

Mank = trying

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 = exciting

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom = lush

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I'm pleased to say my word for Promising Young Woman is brilliant (2020; Rated R; I watched it on a DVD I received from Netflix during a free trial).

Promising Young Woman has five Academy Award nominations: Best Picture; Best Director (Emerald Fennell); Best Actress (Carey Mulligan); Best Original Screenplay (Emerald Fennell); Best Editing (Frédéric Thoraval).

This battle cry for women is a dark comedy-thriller that features Cassie (Mulligan), who dropped out of medical school because of a disturbing, distressing event. Now she works in a coffee shop with Gail (Laverne Cox, absolutely love her). One day a fellow student from medical school, Ryan (Bo Burnham, also excellent) stops by, recognizes Cassie, and manages to gain her attention.

This movie took me by surprise. I'd heard good things about it and really wanted to see it. It more than met any expectations I had. Look for some images in the film that suggest Cassie as saint or angel. I would have been pleased if it had also gotten a nomination for Best Cinematography and/or Best Production Design. Cassie in her parents' home often looks as if she's about to step into a pink, surreal world.

Carey Mulligan is so, so good. I've enjoyed her work for quite some time, and she reaches her potential in Promising Young Woman. Her flat, American accent and expressionless face stand in such sharp contrast to any change in speaking and expression that she reveals. 

These Academy Awards (airing Sunday night) are a big event for women. Only one woman has ever won Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker). Now we have TWO women nominated for Best Director: Chloé Zhao for Nomadland and Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman. The two also have writing and producing nominations. 

I would like very much to see this film or Nomadland win Best Picture, with the other winning Best Director. As for Best Actress, a win for Viola Davis, Frances McDormand, or Carey Mulligan will please me. 

I won't be able to write about the other nominated films I've seen before the awards are announced, but we'll have time to enjoy plenty of movies later on. I've seen some excellent movies, some that are good, and a few I don't like. I enjoy it when you provide your opinion of the movies in the comments. If you've seen Promising Young Woman, please don't share spoilers. The shock value is important with this film.

See ya at the Oscars!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, April 23, 2021


Nomadland = beautiful

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom = lush

The United States vs. Billie Holiday dull

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 = exciting

Hillbilly Elegy = sad

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My word for Mank is trying (2020; Rated R; I watched it on Netflix).

I eagerly anticipated the arrival of this movie. I expected it would be great. Then I found watching it was a trying experience. 

Mank has 10 Academy Award nominations (obviously some people liked it a whole lot more than I did): Best Picture; Best Actor (Gary Oldman); Best Director (David Fincher); Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried); and you can see the rest on IMDB or just Google it.

 Herman J. Mankiewicz (Oldman), a real person who was a successful screenwriter, has to finish a script for a little movie you might recall: Citizen Kane. His alcoholism tends to get in the way of his work. He also likes to apply his acerbic commentary to the folks in Hollywood. Oh, and he pals around some with Marion Davies (Seyfried, who's quite good). 

This movie doesn't work for me. If you watched it and loved it, then I'm happy for you. Please explain to me why I should watch it again and realize it's magnificent.

I suspect some bits of business (a liquor bottle falls from Mankiewicz's hand instead of a snow globe); the cinematography; the movie being in black-and-white; and of course, the make-up, hair styles, and costumes,  are meant to reflect Citizen Kane. But trying to be artsy doesn't make a movie a work of art. 

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug 


 Nomadland = beautiful

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom = lush

The United States vs. Billie Holiday dull

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 = exciting

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Yes, Academy Awards are presented on Sunday, so I have to quickly wrap up my posts about nominated movies I've seen.

You can see an earlier post I wrote about Hillbilly Elegy HERE (R; 2020; I watched it on Netflix). My word for this movie is sad because the characters have such difficult lives.

When Hillbilly Elegy came out, many expected Glenn Close and Amy Adams would be acting nominees. Glenn Close is indeed nominated for Best Supporting Actress.  Hillbilly Elegy is also nominated for Makeup and Hairstyling (Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew W. Mungle, Patricia Dehaney). I certainly understand the second nomination. It must have taken a lot of work to make Glenn Close and Amy Adams look unattractive.

This is not a movie I want to watch multiple times, or even a second time, because it's so sad.

It's Close's fourth nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and she's been nominated four times for Best Actress. We'll hear a lot of speculation about whether this is her time to take home a little, gold man. And we'll find out on Sunday.

I've looked at ways to live stream the awards (I canceled DirecTV because I got sick of paying for it), so if you watch on Sunday, I'll probably be watching with you.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I've mentioned Franklin and Penelope's beloved Auntie Maureen who lives across the street (I giver her all the credit for Penelope's increasing confidence), but I haven't told you that she makes absolutely fabulous jewelry! 

Check out these starfish:

Maureen's prices are reasonable, especially considering the excellent quality of her work.  Earrings are $8 per pair, $15 for two pairs, $20 for three. You can see what she has available at Made with love earrings and more - Home | Facebook

When the holidays roll around, I wear nothing but Christmas earrings. I love to mix them up and wear four different earrings:

These necklaces are fun:

When I wear any of these earrings, I get so many compliments on them:

Go ahead, kids. Treat yourselves, or get a gift for a friend. Here's the link again:

Made with love earrings and more - Home | Facebook

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Sunday, April 18, 2021


 Nomadland = beautiful

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom = lush

The United States vs. Billie Holiday = dull

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My word for The Trial Of The Chicago 7 is exciting (2020; Rated R; I watched it on Netflix).

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 has six Academy Award nominations: Best Movie; Best Supporting Actor (Sacha Baron Cohen); Best Original Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin); Best Editing (Alan Baumgarten); Best Cinematography (Phedon Papamichael); Best Song (Celeste, Daniel Pemberton). 

Of the nominated movies I've watched so far, this one is the most conventional, in that it clearly manipulates one's emotions with an exciting trial, its interesting cast of characters, and an even more exciting conclusion that has the observers in the courtroom cheering. Aaron Sorkin, who also directs, is good at taking events with a factual basis and fictionalizing them so they're exhilarating.

In 1968, protests at the Democratic Convention in Chicago were led by Students For A Democratic Society's Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and the Yippies' Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong). Their activism led to charges against them and then an unfair trial presided over by the evil Judge Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella). Nixon was out to get them, but they had great pro bono representation and an assist from Ramsey Clark (Michael Keaton). 

I remember hearing about the Chicago 7, and then the trial, on the news every night, but I was too young to understand what it really meant. I learned more about it when I was older, and feel I appreciate it more fully because of this movie in spite of the fiction. Because the movie is good, I read about the facts of the case.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My word for Nomadland is beautiful; for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, lush; and my word for The United States vs. Billie Holiday is dull (2021; Rated R; I watched it on Hulu). 

The United States vs. Billie Holiday has one Academy Award nomination: Best Actress (Andra Day).

I wanted to like this movie. Andra Day's portrayal of Billie Holiday is good (she does her own singing), but it can't make the movie interesting.

The federal government wants Billie Holiday to stop singing Strange Fruit because it will make African Americans want their civil rights. They go after Holiday for narcotics use, and she has a rollicking affair with an agent. 

It's a true story, but the movie isn't focused.

I don't feel I wasted my time by watching The United States vs. Billie Holiday. I want to see as many nominated movies as I can, and this is one of them.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, April 15, 2021


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Those of us who are blogspot bloggers have received an email saying that in June, subscribing to our blogs by email will no longer be supported. 

If you rely on me to appear in your inbox, then I'm sorry, but I won't have a way to get there. You might want to click on the FOLLOWER button, or bookmark me. I hope I won't lose any of you because of this issue.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

In case you didn't see my update on Nomadland, it won British Academy Film Awards for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress.

My word for Nomadland is beautiful, and my word for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is lush (2020; Rated R; it had a limited release in theaters and is now available only on Netflix, where I watched it).

This movie is completely different from Nomadland, and I love both movies. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Actor (Chadwick Boseman); Best Actress (Viola Davis); Best Production Design (Mark Ricker, Karen O'Hara, Diana Stoughton); Best Make-up and Hair Styling (Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson); Best Costume Design (Ann Roth). 

It's 1927. Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) is late. She's supposed to be at the recording studio, but she arrives when she wants to arrive. No matter that the white executives want to control her. They can't do it. 

But the situation there is tense. Ma is not happy, and she becomes even more unhappy because of the behavior of her young horn player, Levee Green (Chadwick Boseman). Tension builds and builds and builds until it breaks.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is based on the play of the same name by August Wilson. It is so well written. I have yet to see Viola Davis give a performance that isn't astounding, and her portrayal of Ma Rainey is no exception. I confess I wondered if Chadwick Boseman was nominated at least in part because he passed away from colon cancer after completing this movie, but I certainly don't think that now. He more than holds his own against a number of veteran actors and is outstanding. 

Netflix also has a 31-minute documentary called Ma Rainey's Black Bottom: A Legacy Brought To The Screen. I recommend it. It helped me understand the costume and make-up choices.

I hope you have the opportunity to watch this movie and appreciate it as much as I did.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, April 9, 2021


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

That time of year has rolled around again. I watch as many Academy Award nominees as I can.

This week my choice was Nomadland (2020; Rated R; I watched it on Hulu, but it's available in theaters).

Nominated for Best Picture (the list of producers includes Frances McDormand and Chloé ZhaoBest Actress (McDormand); Best Cinematography (Joshua James Richards); and Director, Editing, and Adapted Screenplay (all for Zhao), Nomadland is the kind of movie that's beautiful without showing off. 

Fern's (McDormand) husband has died. They lived in a company house in a company town. She has to leave and has no job. 

So she buys a van she names Vanguard and takes to the road, living simply and working where she can. She meets others who are nomads, such as Dave, played by David Strathairn––the only other name actor in the movie. The rest of the nomads are played by real nomads, with Linda May as a standout.

Nomadland isn't filled with tropes. Fern and Dave become friends, but no big romance develops with him saving her. Fern has an opportunity to take a dog that someone else left behind, but it's not a drama with Fern saving the dog and the dog saving Fern.

Instead, Fern listens and learns from the nomads. Yes, the movie is about loss and loneliness, but more important, it's about the gain of human connections and the comfort of people helping each other.

Nomadland is a great movie. 

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Update: British Academy Film Awards have been announced. Nomadland won Best Film; Zhao won Best Director; McDormand won Best Actress. Nomadland deserves the awards.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When I moved to Florida I was surprised by all the lizards running around outside. 

Then I was really surprised when the lizards sometimes came in the house.

So I made a deal with them. If they didn't come inside, then I wouldn't kill them.

They didn't keep their end of the deal. So I sucked them up with the vacuum cleaner (not a good idea because they stink stank stunk), or I stabbed them with a fork.

Eventually I gave up and learned to appreciate the sight of a lizard sunning himself on a window sill or darting around the living room.

About a month ago, this guy turned up:

I took the living room curtains down to wash them, and there he was on the back of a curtain. I shook him off because I didn't want him fooling around in the washing machine.

He ran off to live in a closet in the foyer, but came out occasionally to torture Franklin and Penelope, who longed to remove his little lizard head.

Today, though, I found his corpse. Lizards usually like to die under the piano, but my lizard friend was right in the middle of the living room. We had become such close friends. He was a quiet companion. I tossed him out the front door.

Farewell, dear friend.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Monday, April 5, 2021


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Inspired by those of you who garden and/or have houseplants, I acquired some new plants. They face great peril and possible death in their journey with me. Get ready because this post will be a long one with lots of photos and some questions. I welcome your plant care advice.

The two rose bushes were here when I bought the house. I don't have to do anything to them. They bloom frequently.

A week ago I made additions to the backyard.

The petunias are cute. The lily is beautiful and gives off a great scent. I can smell it when I sit on the deck. I don't know if I gave the lily enough potting soil. It's not complaining so far.

If I do something different with the lily, then will it be happier? Should it be in a bigger pot? Would it like another lily next door for company or is it fine having petunias as a neighbor?

I didn't photograph two other additions that are next to the roses. I planted something I can't remember the name of, and also have some flowers described as DROP & GROW. So I dropped and  watered, but will they grow? 

If the stuff I planted comes up, I'll let you know. I might take photos of the dropped flowers so you can tell me what to do to make them grow. They didn't want their picture taken a few days ago.

I don't know what else to add to the backyard. I'd like to have some raised beds à la Two Men And A Little Farm, but Lowe's doesn't seem to have pre-built raised beds and I am definitely not good at construction.

I also want to add some pretty flowers to the front of the house. What grows well in the shade? I have flower boxes under some of the windows, but don't know what to put in them. Maybe they should wait until I have new windows.

Next, I now have houseplants. They are all supposed to prefer indirect lighting.

We begin with the orchid.

The pot it came in is a pretty lavender, but it's small. Should I re-pot it?

A plastic clip holds the orchid to the stick to give it good posture, but should I remove the clip and the stick? 

Would it prefer living in the front yard? 

Next, meet anthurium. Its red flowers (are they flowers?) coordinate well with the red pot. 

I'm not worried about it unless you tell me why I should be. 

Finally, we have bamboo, which advertises itself as a good feng shui plant.

I'm sure I should repot the bamboo, but how big should its pot be for maximum happiness? 

It came with pretty, decorative stones around it. Will I need to add more of those to a larger pot for its topmost pleasure? I can't imagine it would like plain gravel, but I don't want to pay for rocks, albeit attractive ones.

So many questions and concerns, yet I'm eager to bring more flowers into my life. I await your responses, Gentle Gardeners.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug