Thursday, December 16, 2021

Feel Ali's deep 'Swan Song' on third day of Movie Christmas 2021

So many movies, so little time. I mean, who's really counting, but more than a megaplex full of cinema will debut between now and Christmas Day. Hence, for each of the next 10 afternoons -- Dec. 16-25 -- visit by 6 p.m. (ET) and (hopefully) find a little something about a film currently playing in or close to surfacing at a theater (or streaming service) near you. It's our "12 Days of Movie Christmas," and it continues here right now.

The more that's written about "Swan Song," including the major plot giveaway on the Apple+ site, the more your viewing experience likely will diminish. That being said, even the title of the film, which is carried front to back by Mahershala Ali, one of the seriously special actors of his time, probably speaks volumes, although you might discover a few more interpretations after watching it all.

The first scene itself is a doozy -- on a futuristic train -- where Ali's Cameron Turner meets a nice woman named Poppy (played by the ever-appealing Naomie Harris, now better known as "Moneypenny" from the recent James Bond movies), and their brief exchange becomes as quietly lovely as it gets.

Ah, but oh my, there's personal danger afoot in those next few segments, one of which introduces Glenn Close, as a distaff type of Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Phil. She's kinda creepy, too, which just might be an essential personality trait when only three, though apparently wealthy clients have given her new and outrageous expertise a try. 

Just watch it and (perhaps) weep on how the moving Ali doubles down on it all. Somehow, a Frank Ocean version of "Moon River," Henry Mancini's Oscar-winning Best Song from "Breakfast at Tiffany's," helps hold it together, too.

("Swan Song" opens Friday in select theaters -- such as the Cedar Lee in Cleveland Heights -- and streams on Apple+ the same day.)

Rated "R" by MPAA: for language; 1:52; $ $ $ out of $5 

Coming tomorrow (Day 4 of Movie Christmas 2021): "The Lost Daughter"

And, if you missed Days 1 and 2: "Nightmare Alley" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home"

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