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My first reaction when looking at all the Oscar nominations this week was that I have a lot of movie-watching to do if I'm going to catch up.  I've seen exactly two of the 10 Best Picture nominees - "The Fabelmans" and "Top Gun: Maverick."  I have to be honest - I'm not feeling real motivated to see "Elvis" or "Avatar: The Way of Water," but I am looking forward to “The Banshees of Inisherin," “Everything Everywhere All at Once," “Tár," and “Women Talking."  (In fact, I'm planning on watching “The Banshees of Inisherin" tonight, and “Everything Everywhere All at Once" tomorrow night.

That said, the movie I want to recommend to you this week is one that isn;'t up for any awards, but that I think is really good - "Vengeance," on Amazon Prime Video, written and directed by BJ Novak.

"Vengeance" is a small movie - the protagonist is a New York-based writer/podcaster/blogger (I wonder why I like him?) who is completely self-absorbed.  He gets a call one night informing him that his girlfriend has died in Texas … but the problem is that he thought of her as someone he hooked up with, with no emotional connection.

Still, he travels to Texas for her funeral, thinking there may be the makings of a podcast in the culture clash … and then he discovers that the woman's brother believes she has been murdered.  Which sets him off on a journey through the Texas landscape that is both funny and revelatory.  Novak stars as the podcaster, with a strong supporting cast and an excellent Ashton Kutcher who may or may not have insight into the woman's death.

"Vengeance" is smart, with just enough twists and turns … and, best of all, it is a tight one hour and 45 minutes.

Check it out.

This may be my favorite trailer of recent days, for a new Eugene Levy series slated to begin shortly on Apple TV:

I've had a couple of wonderful South African wines this week - the 2018 Reyneke Vinehugger, which is wonderfully spicy, and the 2018 RockyLands Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend, which was rich and elegant.  Both are fabulous.

That's it for this week.  Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.