Maude Apatow shines: What to watch and skip this week in Jewish entertainment

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Dan Buffa, Jordan Palmer

Let’s talk about a few of the shows, television shows and other forms of entertainment news you should seek out this weekend.

Sundance film picks up distributor and release window

When you play well at the most popular film festival in town, a distributor or studio should be waiting outside the theater door with an offer. “Three Minutes-A Lengthening” was picked up by A24 (an entertainment company) and has a spring window release schedule already. Less than 24 hours after writing about the dazzling Sundance darling, it had one of the biggest movie award power players in the business. If you missed it this week at the festival, be on the lookout in the next two months for this hard-hitting documentary.

“Three Minutes” is about a small piece of footage from 1939 in a small Jewish community right before it was taken over by the Nazis. By finding out its origins and seeing what the filmmakers referred to as ghosts walking on the screen, Bianca Stigter’s film reminds us that people may be gone, but small pockets of time like the one found here keeps them alive in our memories. Mark your calendars.

“Dune” fans can head to Redbox

Jewish megastar Timothée Chalamet’s fall time blockbuster found itself on the prestigious Producer’s Guild nominees this week, which means its chances of being nominated for Best Picture skyrocketed. If you didn’t see it in theaters and/or don’t have HBO Max, you can stop by a nearby Redbox and pick it up. See what all the fuss is about.

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What NOT to watch: Tired HBO TV shows

Let’s discuss “And Just Like That.” Has there ever been a revived television show that gets more flack than the Sarah Jessica Parker-starring HBO series? After a long run and two movies, it came back and got bombarded out of the gate.

From Chris Noth’s offscreen troubles to the overly woke scripts, this one couldn’t get off the runway without being drowned.

Now add this week’s incident of a questionably timed Holocaust-themed joke on of all things, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Spoilers ahead, for those who have yet to watch the episode: Anthony (Mario Cantone), who recently split with his husband Stanford (the late Willie Garson), tells Charlotte (Kristin Davis) that he’s bringing a date, Justin (Matthew Wilkas), to her Shabbat family dinner that Friday. Justin is a man Anthony is excited about, in part because “he’s sexy, smart, always reading — he’s read everything that’s ever been published.”

But when they arrive at the dinner at Charlotte’s home, Charlotte mentions a challah. Justin asks if it’s a “Jewish dinner,” and then blurts out, “you know the Holocaust is a hoax, right?” Anthony immediately reacts by shouting “Get out!”

Just search #AndJustLikeThat to see all the Twitter-rage.

Move over Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gabby Giffords is coming soon

The late Supreme Court Justice legend received an Oscar-nominated movie (“RPG”) and a biopic made about her life before her death. That success has paved the way for another amazing female power story. Julie Cohen and Betsy West, the “RPG” directors, are almost finished filming their next documentary about the U.S. Rep from Arizona who survived an assassination attempt. Giffords was partially paralyzed by the event, but has persevered–even enjoying a late-in-life bat mitzvah in November.

The movie will be called “Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down,” and it will chronicle the 2011 assassination attempt that gave the Arizona Democrat a speech impediment and took nine lives including a 9-year-old girl, while showing how strong Giffords is today. Expect that to contend with “Three Minutes” later in 2022 for Best Documentary.

TikTok broadening people’s horizons about Holocaust

While the rapidly popular social media app allows you to make quick videos with material tailored to your needs, it is now also a history guide. In an attempt to reduce misinformation, a banner pops up when people search for Holocaust-related information. It will direct them to the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO. If you had spun the wheel and told me TikTok would be the social media app fighting the good fight for the Jewish community, you would have fooled me.

The changes to the app were announced on Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is celebrated yearly on Jan. 27 for being the day Auschwitz was liberated. This all comes about after a series of Jewish content contributors on TikTok noted how algorithms on the site can’t tell the difference between antisemitism and the education that helps prevent it. Hopefully, the new Holocaust banner will bring that to an end. We need information instead of bad information.

Maude Apatow shines on HBO’s “Euphoria”

Once known as the cute daughter of Jewish comedy director god Judd Apatow in “Knocked Up,” Maude Apatow is now knocking Hollywood off its feet with her own storm of entertainment.

Apatow certainly appears to share her father’s show business chutzpah. It’s that self-confidence that has helped her grow a devoted fan base on Twitter and take on dark, challenging roles on hit HBO shows like “Euphoria,” which is currently airing its second season.

Apatow may be a supporting player on the show, but her character Lexi Howard figures heavily into the plot of Season 2.

In the third episode, Lexi makes a huge change. After being called “a watcher” for the majority of her life, someone who is content to stand by and watch things unfold, Lexi takes control. As the character, Apatow really digs into the role of a high school student trying to make her mark on a twisted world, one with film. Check out the show, currently showing on HBO and HBO Max.