Pleasant enough but never quite as emotionally gripping as a coming-of-age story about acceptance can be, Troop Zero scores a handful of memorable moments when…
Marianne Pearl as Marianne Pearl.
My paen to a new, browner America in the age of 300 million (below) was in part a satirical (though sincere) reaction to the non-story about whether a "real mixed-race actress" should play Mariane Pearl, the wife of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, instead of Angelina Jolie, who is reported to wear make-up that darkens her skin-tone. This is how far we've come from Jim Crow laws: race is everything and if you're an octoroon, you'd better have the credentials to prove it if you want a job as an actor!
Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl
In the current HBO documentary, "The Journalist and the Jihadi, Mariane Pearl herself describes her background: "I was born in Paris, my mother's Cuban, my father's Dutch, I'm a Buddhist -- all this exotic stuff." Angelina Jolie, however, has a French name and a French godmother (Jacqueline Bissett) but was born in America to the grandson of a Czech immigrant (actor Jon Voight) and a mother who is part American Indian (Haudenosaunee). So, do we really have to have a contest about who's more "mixed race"?
Daniel Pearl, meanwhile, was a Jew from Encino, a classically trained violinist who switched to country fiddle and then to journalism. Who the hell are they gonna get to play that?
ADDENDUM: Mariane Pearl role originally to have been played by Jennifer Aniston; Pearl's response to Jolie.
The 2020 Oscar nominations.
A review of Netflix's Dracula, from the creators of Sherlock.
A review of the new Netflix crime docuseries about former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez.
A collection of the reviews given our highest possible grade in 2019.