What's making us happy: A guide to your weekend viewing
This week, we went to a no-booze festival, read about the American juvenile justice system, and solved mysteries alongside Natasha Lyonne.
Here's what the NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
I was late to reading Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. The minute I finished it, I was texting all my friends, "You have to read this book. It destroyed me. I hope it destroys you, too." It's just a beautiful story about two (going on three) friends who develop a gaming company. You can really see the amount of research that went into it about coding and all the different levels of what it means to run a video game company. But it's also about love. It's about Los Angeles, which is where I'm from, which I really, really adored. It's about identity, and the way you kind of figure it all out. ... I'm so happy and more fulfilled that I read it.
— Ella Ceron
The Oscar race
What's making me happy this week is the Oscar race. I know the Oscars don't matter. Having art compete against itself is an inherently ridiculous thing. Either way, I love seeing stories about people like Ke Huy Quan, the actor in Everything Everywhere All at Once. This is an actor who started out as a top performer in the '80s. Then, of course Hollywood was too racist to give him more opportunities, and he kind of disappeared. For him to come back with this great role in Everything Everywhere All at Once is just wonderful. He gave this great speech at the Golden Globes.
I'm also just here for the absurdities of the Oscar race, like seeing Cate Blanchett show up on Hot Ones ... I feel like now every actor who wants an Oscar should go on Hot Ones. I don't care who it is. Daniel Day-Lewis can come back from retirement. I need him on Hot Ones. I'm rooting for Ke Huy Quan. I'm rooting for Angela Bassett and Black Panther. I'm rooting for Michelle Yeoh. It's kind of like you don't support a team, you support the players. There are many players I'm supporting and rooting for at the Oscars.
— Marc Rivers
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
I recently watched the 2022 film Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. It stars Lesley Manville — which is extraordinary — then you realize that it also has Isabelle Huppert, which really feels like the film massively over-cast for what is really a relatively simple story about this woman who sees a Dior gown and decides that she wants a Dior gown. She's a cleaning woman, she doesn't have a lot of money, she's freshly widowed, her name is Mrs. Harris — and she goes to Paris. ... I think for a lot of people, it is just a little too twinkly.
Isabelle Huppert kind of starts off as the big-mistake-huge shot person in Pretty Woman, but eventually her personality is revealed. The movie is kind of a pure fairy tale. Because of the charm of the people who are involved, especially — Lesley Manville and Isabelle Huppert — I really did enjoy it. I think it is a gratifying exercise to experience a well-made film that is pleasant on purpose to watch. Even though a lot of the movie obviously comes out of grief (she's lost her husband, and there's a lot of grief among all of the people in the film), it is basically a happy movie. I was really in the mood for a basically happy movie, particularly as awards season comes around. A lot of those movies are not that happy. So two thumbs up from me for Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, which is now on VOD.
— Linda Holmes
More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter
by Linda Holmes
Aisha watched 18 Sundance films this week — here are her favorites.
PCHH contributor Carlos Aguilar has an annual thread of best picture nominees as Muppets, and you need it in your life.
And PCHH contributor Soraya Nadia McDonald is always a good read — check out her thoughts on the Oscar nominations.
Glen really likes Extraordinary on Hulu, and we'll be covering it on the show, so now's the time to dive in.
I don't know about you, but I'm very ready for Succession to come back on March 26. The trailer has arrived!
NPR's Teresa Xie adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" into a digital page. If you like these suggestions, consider signing up for our newsletter to get recommendations every week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.