By Nate Bloom
It’s a big week for Andy Samberg, 40 on Jan. 6, he’ll co-host the Golden Globe awards (“Ready for our Closeup,” p. 24). On Jan. 8, the new season of the PBS celebrity ancestry series, Finding Your Roots, begins and Samberg is one of the two celebrities whose ancestry is explored (the other is George R. R. Martin, the author of the Game of Thrones books). Back in August, a Roots press release dropped a big hint about this episode’s content: “Highlights include a search for Andy Samberg’s biological grandparents …” As I said in August, I gather, from this release, that either Andy’s (Jewish) mother or his (Jewish) father was adopted. My educated guess, based on a lot of clues, is that it was his mother who was adopted and I won’t be that surprised if she’s “biologically” Jewish (airs first on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 8 p.m., PBS).
AT THE MOVIES AND STREAMING
On the Basis of Sex is a bio-pic about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, and her late husband, attorney Martin Ginsburg (1932-2010). The film opens at the Maple Theater in Bloomfield Hills on Jan. 4th and the Landmark Main Art Theater in Royal Oak on the Jan. 11. The Justice and her late husband had a truly wonderful marriage. They fully supported each other in their home and in their careers. For example, Ruth saw her husband through a battle with cancer when he was in law school. Martin shared the childcare, housework and cooked most of the family’s meals. The Justice has often said her husband was not the typical ’50s-era man — he saw no reason why women shouldn’t be treated equally and he fully supported his wife’s legal career. The film’s climax comes when the couple team up in 1972 to argue, and win, a landmark sex-discrimination case. Felicity Jones plays Ruth and Armie Hammer plays Martin (the “gorgeous” Hammer is not absurd as Martin. Mr. Ginsburg was a very handsome man). By the way, the excellent 2017 documentary on the Justice, RBG, is available (for a fee) on all streaming services and free if you are a Hulu subscriber.
By coincidence, another film about an extraordinary Jewish married couple is now streaming. Netflix recently added the documentary Harold and Lillian: A Love Story (2017). Harold and Lillian Michelson were a legendary Hollywood couple. Harold was a top story board creator and often verged into being a major film’s unsung director. Lillian ran the best film research library in Hollywood. They came to Hollywood with nothing, but they held it together in the face of many personal and career obstacles. Like the Ginsburgs, a key to their success was their unflinching support of each other.
If Amazon helps fund a film, it often appears on the Amazon Prime Video streaming service not that long after it opened in theaters. This is the case with the film Beautiful Boy. It will begin streaming on Amazon on Jan. 4. As noted in “Ready for our Closeup,” a Beautiful Boy co-star, Timothee Chalamet, 24, is nominated for a best supporting actor Globe.