New Fauda trailer leads our midweek Jewishish movies and TV picks

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Elia Spinopolos / Yes Studios

DAN BUFFA, SPECIAL FOR THE ST. LOUIS JEWISH LIGHT

Season three of “Fauda,” the Israeli series about Doron (Lior Raz), the commander of a unit of undercover Israeli operatives and his team who work in the West Bank, made for some excellent nerve-wracking TV, and left us all wondering how the fan-favorite could top itself? Well, we’re closer to learning that truth, at least a little bit.

The first trailer for the new season is out and reveals a lot.  The show will be crossing new borders in 2022, and bringing what appears to be even higher production values and exciting new stars.

Still unhappy with “And Just Like That?”

Sarah Jessica Parker’s latest “Sex and the City” spin-off isn’t exactly thrilling critics or audiences. Complaints of a stale product abound, even if the series has more than a few hours left to go. If you’re on the bubble on Carrie Bradshaw’s latest chapter, turn a page to one of the Jewish actress’ films, “The Family Stone.”

The Christmas theme is a mere aesthetic for an authentic family drama. The acting is terrific across the board, and the film pulls more than a few laughs upon multiple viewings. Best of all, Parker plays against-type here as the uptight girlfriend of Dermot Mulroney’s prodigal son. The heartstrings will be tugged in the end.

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Attention, Maggie Gyllenhaal fans!

If you’re choosing to wait for her directorial debut to hit Netflix next weekend, catch a couple of the Jewish actress’ finest film roles. A fan of country music and redemption stories should give “Crazy Heart” some attention. Jeff Bridges was top notch as a fading musician who comes across a journalist in a small town on one of his gigs. The two start a relationship, one that reveals scars from each of them.

The movie packs a wallop emotionally, and Gyllenhaal’s fierce portrayal of motherhood (a common theme in her roles lately) stands out. It’s streaming on Hulu with a subscription and on Amazon for a small charge. If you’re hanging with the nieces and nephews who haven’t experienced a blockbuster jolt, “The Dark Knight” is an easy option. Watch Gyllenhaal play the romantic guitar string that strums a painful tune for Christian Bale’s Batman. Two films, big and small, each with their dent. Enjoy.

Pipe down Franco and just act

While James Franco tries to accept or deny what he did in relation to sexually-inappropriate behavior years ago, enjoy a couple of his make believe efforts. He’s pretty good at his day job, shining brightest in 2017’s “The Disaster Artist,” which was nominated for a screenwriting Oscar. The underdog story featured Franco and his brother, Dave, play aspiring actors. James’ performance as Tommy Wiseau, the epitome of cinema eccentricity, was a standout in awards season. The movie co-starred Seth Rogen, another prominent Jewish actor.

If you’re up for something lighter, and just as funny, catch Franco and Rogen in “Pineapple Express.” The 2008 comedy featured the duo as a pair of stoners who find that their unhealthy habit gets them into hot waters with armed drug dealers. Turn off the brain and enjoy.

Paul Rudd goes unfiltered on SNL

Before hosting his fifth “Saturday Night Live” show, Paul Rudd proclaimed to the audience that he was “extremely disappointed.” The Jewish actor was talking about the fact that he was speaking to an empty room. Due to the outbreak of the Omicron variant, the live studio audience was missing from last week’s recording. With Tom Hanks and Tina Fey standing beside him, Rudd said what the world is basically muttering under their breath. Check it out.

The show had two regular cast members and no musical performer but then again, do you really need anyone else when there’s Rudd. The Jewish actor has had plenty of hits recently, but take a quick run down his IMDB page and catch him in “Our Idiot Brother,” an underrated comedy from 2011. He’s the unfit yet charming brother who keeps messing with the lives of his three sisters, who love yet need him to restart his life. Rudd makes it all work, and the movie is quite an easy watch. Catch it on Netflix.

A grieving father, some medicinal marijuana, and a day off

ChaiFlicks always has fresh Jewish/Israeli content popping up on their site every day. It’s a good site to bookmark because it’s not just newer movies and shows becoming available, yet older gems as well. One that caught my eye on the main page was “One Week and a Day.” A story about a grieving father stealing medicinal marijuana from a hospice and inadvertently hanging out with his neighbor’s son. The father is estranged from his neighbor, so the irony rings loud and clear in this comedy that was nominated for 6 Ophir awards.

See you next week.