Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of September 6, 2021

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of September 6, 2021

Come From Away
Streaming on Apple TV+

With the twentieth anniversary of the 9-11 attack this week, a couple of high-profile projects are hitting the small screen. The first is this recording of the uber-popular Broadway show, Come From Away. Earlier this year, over a year after Broadway closed its doors for the pandemic, the original cast put on this performance in front of a socially distanced crowd in the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York, which will premiere on Apple TV+ on September 10. The story is set in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland on 9-11 as 38 airliners were diverted to their airport until the skies were once again cleared for travel and the folks on board could get to their original destinations. Playing the parts of the townsfolk, the passengers and the crews, all at the same time, the musical is full of wonderful tales about people coming together in the most desperate of moments, allowing their humanity to overcome their fears. It is remarkable that anyone would even come up with such an ambitious idea, yet alone green-light it, fund it and pull it off. This was the first Broadway show I was supposed to see before the lights went dark, so I was grateful to be able to take it in, even on a television set. And now that I’ve seen it this way, I’m even more excited to see it live in October when the North American tour swings back into gear. We’ve been so lucky to have so much terrific theater available to us during Covid, and Come From Away truly stands among the recent greats like Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and In the Heights. A

Rated PG-13 for some strong language and thematic elements
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%
Streaming on Netflix

The other high-profile 9-11 project this week follows Michael Keaton playing Ken Feinberg, the attorney responsible for setting up the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund which was developed to keep the airlines from being bankrupted by a class-action lawsuit after the attack. As a professor of law, he was brought into the project due to his unparalleled knowledge of what a person is worth when they are killed in a tragedy. But stepping into this role, with thousands of lives lost, the movie tries to show what a monumental task it was and how the formula could never be perfect. With only 2 hours, the movie oversimplifies everything, and it shows. It attempts to bring in a few family members who lost loved ones in order to represent the thousands of other stories out there, but the storytelling just doesn’t match up to the ambition and weight of the project. That being said, Stanley Tucci is excellent as the husband of a wife who died that day, and manages to make a little more sense of the overwhelming task that was the fund. Ultimately, there might have been a more complex and relevant story to tell here that Netflix managed to fit into a relatively short watch that just gets the basic points across. B-