culture club

What to Watch: Oscar glory, Channing Tatum gets naked and a century of secret gay love

The Lost City

Whatever your entertainment needs, we got your back (and hopefully your mind) with Queerty’s weekly “Culture Club” column with some of the highlights of new releases, streaming shows, classics worth revisiting, and what to drink while you watch.

The Step Out: The Lost City

Hollywood’s return to the theatre continues with this all-star, big-budget farce. The Lost City follows a romance novelist named Loretta (Sandra Bullock) forced to make convention appearances with Dash (Channing Tatum), the dullard that doubles as the “cover model” for her books. When a wacky billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) suspects Loretta may actually hold the key to finding a lost archeological treasure, the author finds herself at the center of a kidnapping plot. That leaves Dash and her publicist Beth (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) to journey into the wilds of South America to rescue their friend.

The Lost City very much wants to channel the same mix of comedy and adventure that made a film like Romancing the Stone so entertaining. It never rises to that level, though Bullock, Radcliffe, Tatum and company all seem to have a great time here. Queer stars Bowen Yang and Patti Harrison show up in funny supporting parts, though Brad Pitt, in a brief appearance as a “fixer” gets the biggest laughs. It’s silly, ridiculous fun, enough to provide a couple hours of distraction at the multiplex. Oh, and Mr. Tatum does get naked, in case that offers any incentive to watch.

In theatres March 25.

The Event: The 94th Annual Academy Awards

Hollywood’s biggest night returns home to the Dolby Theatre, and almost to the full proceedings. Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall host this year’s Oscar ceremony, which also features a much better batch of nominees than last year’s snoozefest. Count on some sharp comedy from the show’s three leading ladies, as well as performances by Beyonce, Reba McEntire, and Billie Eilish, among others.

With queer stars Kristen Stewart and Ariana DeBoise both nominated in major categories, and with the homoerotic The Power of the Dog a frontrunner among this pack, queer viewers should have more than enough reason to watch. Invite some friends over, crack open the booze, kick back, and enjoy the show…not to mention the snarky fashion commentary from slightly-buzzed company.

Airs on ABC, Hulu+Live TV, YouTube TV and Fubo TV March 27.

The History: 100 Years of Men in Love

This curious documentary arrives courtesy of Emmy-winner David Millbern, as well as photography enthusiasts Hugh Nini & Neal Treadwell. Treadwell & Nini, a real-life couple, have spent decades combing photographic archives as far back as the 1850s to find examples of male couples.

But wait, you ask: how can they know the difference between two friends and two lovers? Much of 100 Years of Men in Love preoccupies itself with that question. Treadwell & Nini use a combination of historical research and body language to pick out the couples, observing the way two men have their hands on each other’s inner thighs, or have legs intertwining. It’s a beautiful tribute to gay men lost to history, and a though-the-keyhole glimpse at how clandestine same-sex love looked in eras past.

Streams on HereTV March 25.

The Stream: WeCrashed

AppleTV continues the recent trend of limited series about real-life grifters with this new series. WeCrashed recounts the story of WeWork, an upstart company that provided upscale, communal office facilities to freelance contractors. As conceived by founders Adam Newmann and Miguel McKelvey (Jared Leto and Kyle McKelvey), WeWork combined traditional workspace with activities more akin to college campus life. In addition to the daily routine, WeWork members had to take part in camping trips, happy hours, dance parties, and other social events with near-cultlike devotion.

WeCrahed details how Newmann and his wife, aspiring actress Rebekah Paltrow (Anne Hathaway), used their money and influence (Rebekah happens to be the cousin of Gwenyth Paltrow) to hype WeWork as the next big startup company. Of course, that also involved some shady business dealings on the part of the Newmanns, who tended to focus more on padding their own pockets and self-aggrandizement than on creating a stable company.

The crux of WeCrashed rests on the relationship between Newmann and Paltrow, and how their mutual insecurities and narcissism fueled their mania. Leto and Hathaway both give sensational performances: we can’t look away from their New Age, moneyed weirdness. For that matter, we also couldn’t quite decide to what extent the couple chose to use WeWork as a cash machine, or how much they actually believed the could, in their words, “elevate the world’s consciousness.” It’s a fascinating, funny, wildly addictive story, one fans of true crime and grifter douchebags (Anna Delvey, Elizabeth Holmes, Billy McFarland) shouldn’t miss.

Streams on AppleTV+.

The Screamer: You Are Not My Mother

Queer director Kate Dolan combines feminism and folklore for this creepy new thriller. You Are Not My Mother follows Char (Hazel Doupe), a young woman dealing with the disappearance of her mother. When said mom, Angela (Carolyn Bracken), returns, Char and her grandmother (Ingrid Craigie) can’t get past the feeling that something is very wrong. As Angela’s behavior becomes increasingly weird, Char begins to suspect an evil force has taken control of her mother. Much like The Babadook, You Are Not My Mother uses horror tropes as a metaphor for mental illness, and to good effect. It also announces Dolan as a talented and intriguing new queer talent on the rise.

In cinemas and on VOD March 25.

The Legit: Ann

Emmy-winner Holland Taylor brings her one-woman show to the Pasadena Playhouse. Written by and starring Ms. Taylor, Ann recounts the life, humor and career of former Texas Governor Ann Richards. Queer folk from Texas will no doubt know the history of Governor Richards and her penchant for snarky zingers. They’ll also recall how a silver spoon political wannabe named George W. Bush and his henchman Karl Rove launched a homophobic smear campaign against Richards (who was straight, by the way) that destroyed her political future. Holland scored a Tony nomination for her performance. You won’t want to miss this West Coast premiere.

Opens at the Pasadena Playhouse March 26.

The Sip: Rusty Nail

via Shutterstock

Political commentators often referred to Ann Richards as a tough-as-nails woman. With that in mind, we’ve selected this week’s featured libation: the rusty nail. Savory, sweet and very strong, it embodies everything we love about a woman such as Ann Richards, and everything we like in a cocktail too.

  • 1 1/2 ounces scotch
  • 3/4 ounce Drambuie

Mix in a high ball glass over ice and serve.

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