Taking place as part of St. Ambrose University's celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the acclaimed documentary Hesburgh will enjoy two screenings in the Galvin Fine Arts Center on January 18 and 19, the film detailing more than 50 years in the life of Father Ted Hesburgh (1915-2015), America's most well-known Catholic priest and a prominent figure in America's Civil Rights movement.

My favorites of 2019, you ask? Oh, gosh, I have so many: the second season of Amazon Prime's Fleabag, with the divine Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the imploding of the fourth wall and Andrew Scott shaking things up as the definitive Hot Priest; HBO's Chernobyl, with its docudrama delivered as the most enraging of fright films; Netflix's John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch, with its insanely catchy songs and simultaneous salute to and parody of cherished children's programs … .

Oh, wait – we're talking movie favorites? Cool. 'Cause I can talk about those, too.

What are the criteria for movies that you consider your all-time favorites? Themes that continue to engage and affect you, sometimes in profoundly different ways, every time you return to them? Scenarios and jokes that still make you laugh after dozens of viewings? Über-familiarity, allowing you to vacuum your living room while a film is playing and not miss a thing because you have the dialogue committed to memory?

Marking the end of the first two decades of the 2000s, 2019 offered a number of perfect springboards for discussion about the state of moving pictures – all of them touched by the massive Disney empire.

In an experiment designed to combat awards-show fatigue and bolster sagging ratings for the telecast (and good luck with both those goals), the 92nd Annual Academy Awards ceremony will be held earlier than usual, with the 2020 Oscars airing the night of Sunday, February 9. That means that Oscar nominations will also be announced earlier than usual – at roughly 7:20 a.m. on the morning of Monday, January 13. And you know what that means: In making my annual nomination predictions, yours truly doesn't have to wait nearly as long into the new year to look foolish!

There are certain things you expect from any film or television version of Little Women: coltish enthusiasm courtesy of Jo; homespun wisdom courtesy of Marmee; buckets of tears, our tears, courtesy of Beth thanking Mr. Laurence for the piano and eventually succumbing to terminal illness. (I'm presuming that plot points from a 150-year-old novel can't possibly qualify as spoilers.) One thing you don't expect, however, is the unexpected, which turns out to be what writer/director Greta Gerwig's glorious, exceedingly original take on Louisa May Alcott delivers in spades.

'Tis the season of forgiveness, so I hope I'll be pardoned for this combined review that'll likely annoy two distinct sets of readers: Star Wars fans who couldn't care less about a furry stage sensation from the 1980s, and movie fans of all types who've been relishing the vicious, snarky take-downs of this year's (this decade's? this century's?) biggest movie fiasco and don't want one interrupted by any mention of Star Wars. Try as I might, though, I can't separate the experiences of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Cats quite as simply as I'd like – partly because I saw the two within mere minutes of each other, and partly because, when all was said and done, I had a better time at Cats. I'm guessing there will now be a few additional sets of readers whom I'll have to ask for forgiveness.

Sexual-harassment dramas aren't designed to be fun. Try telling that to my expression, however, as I grinned and occasionally giggled throughout Bombshell, director Jay Roach's and screenwriter Charles Randolph's fictionalized account of how longtime Fox News chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes was eventually brought down by his, and his network's, systemic mistreatment of women.

The best thing about Clint Eastwood's new bio-drama Richard Jewell is, thankfully, Richard Jewell himself, or at least the version of him as played, in a sensational breakthrough performance, by Paul Walter Hauser.

I loved Netflix's Marriage Story, and a day after seeing it, eagerly returned to writer/director Noah Baumbach's dramatic comedy for a second go-around. My verdict? It's a great movie. Just not an extraordinary one. And maybe, when all is said and done, not even a great one – merely, or rather “merely,” greatly entertaining.

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