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Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce are excellent as Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas in HBO’s depiction of the notorious Senate hearings. Confirmation manages sympathy for both sides while telling the story with gripping, never overstated drama. Hill is shown as reluctant to come forward; Thomas fiercely maintains his innocence; Sen. Joseph Biden (Greg Kinnear) appears wary and insufficiently strong. As an endnote reminds us, the real winners of the confirmation battle were women in the workplace.
The Last Diamond
Simon (Yvan Attal) is a suave ex-con, still on probation but lured back into crime by the prospect of stealing a 137-carat diamond worth 40 million euros. It gets complicated when he begins to fall for the gem’s new owner, heiress Julia (Bérénice Bejo). Directed by French filmmaker Eric Barbier, The Last Diamond is a stylish, well-paced crime thriller with all the right ingredients: disguises, arcane expertise, elaborate schemes, duplicitous villains and a touch of comedy.
The Greatest Ears in Town: The Arif Mardin Story
Growing up in Istanbul in the 1940s, Arif Mardin was inspired by Duke Ellington to seek a musical career. The producer-arranger started at Atlantic Records in jazz but turned to pop after striking gold with The Young Rascals’ “Good Lovin’” (1966). Mardin produced hit records for Aretha Franklin, The Bee Gees, Hall and Oates and Norah Jones. This Grammy-nominated documentary includes interviews with George Martin and Quincy Jones along with memories from the man himself.
Outatime: Saving the DeLorean Time Machine
The DeLorean Time Machine is what people remember most from Back to the Future. A vehicle James Bond might envy, the decade-jumping muscle car patched together by crazy old Doc Brown went to pasture after the series ended. Driven around the Universal lot as a tourist attraction, the car suffered the wear of weather and the tear of souvenir seekers. Outatime is a fun documentary on the efforts by fans to put the pieces back together.