Michael Stuhlbarg in 'Call Me by Your Name': How is a presumptive Oscar contender underrated? It's no secret that what Hollywood deems significant seldom carries much weight across the bulk of the country, which is a shame for a movie playing in relatively few theaters. And while the film's romance between Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet also deserves its many accolades, Stulhbarg's portrayal of Chalamet's father may be most deserving of a wider audience, particularly with consoling words to his son that arrive with such beauty and breathtaking care that Frank Ocean called him his "new dad."
Intakt Records: Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, this small but determined Swiss record label is coming off a landmark year of inventive jazz and improvised music that from top to bottom has featured boundary-pushing artists. In addition to some terrific 2017 releases by a trio led by saxophonist Chris Speed, a duo of saxophonist David Murray with pianist Aki Takase and a knotty group called Borderlands Trio that features pianist Kris Davis, the label has functioned as an eclectic barometer of new, free directions in music on these shores and theirs — no passport required.
The Golden Globes' 'protest': In the wake of the many sexual misconduct allegations that rocked Hollywood in 2017, this weekend's kickoff to the award season was planned to be marked by the symbolic gesture of women wearing black on the red carpet. Though the optics here could at least provoke further conversation, the act unfortunately feels empty in the face of what continues to be a male-dominated industry, and the idea was further diluted with recent word that some men will also be wearing black to show solidarity. Although it's a nice sentiment, what color do men usually wear at these things?
Snoop Dogg's 'Merry Munchie Meals': If you're in Long Beach Jan. 18-25 you can get a taste of the cultural shift that's coming with California's legalization of marijuana by sampling Jack in the Box's collaboration with Snoop, who has been known to partake in such things from time to time (corporate partnerships, that is — oh, and weed too). If successful, the $4.20 festival of fried things (available at three locations; pot is not an ingredient) reportedly will expand statewide in one of the many commercial shifts sure to come, but it seems worth mentioning that salty, gloriously greasy fast food was a munchie meal long before Snoop's brand got involved.
Follow me over here @chrisbarton.