[What Did Jaci Think? Late July]

Goodness, let’s get this up before I forget anything else about last month.

The Cakemaker is an assured feature debut about grief and the varied ways people connect around it. Thomas is German, the cakemaker of the title, and he’s having an affair with Oren, who regularly visits Berlin for work. When he learns Oren has died, he travels to Jerusalem. To say he seeks out Oren’s wife is overstating his conscious choices, but they do find each other gently, the pacing and complications of family and faith are clearly character-driven. Particularly moving for me were Thomas’ interactions with Oren’s mother. Mothers often know everything, and in this case it was certainly for the better.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a pretty fun night at the movies, but it could have used more Princess Margaret and less Superman. Like a lot of films it’s about 20 minutes too long, also I didn’t particularly buy the villain, I think Rebecca Ferguson deserves her own action franchise, & I would happily watch Liang Yang fight his way through anything and everything.

In home viewing, Old Acquaintance was a delight, starring Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins as childhood, well, acquaintances. They both become authors – one critically acclaimed, one popular – and the film follows a number of thorny issues around that, including the challenges in a straight marriage where the woman earns more than the man. It centered the women’s relationship all the way through, which, despite the title, I hadn’t really expected. My library had it as part of a 4 picture Bette Davis collection; maybe yours does too!

My favorite of FilmStruck’s Delbert Mann package is still probably Dear Heart but I was also thoroughly charmed by Marty, a filmed adaptation of a tv play also about actual adults finding love. I straight-up cheered at the end. Alone. In my apartment. I am a very cool person.

Finally, Fitzwilly was goofball fun, Dick Van Dyke as the butler and ringleader of a house full of thieves, all trying to support the lady of the house in the delusion that she’s still a woman of property. The lengths people will go to to protect an old white lady from reality are astonishing. Bonus points for baby Sam Waterston.