ET Obsessions: ‘Thoroughbreds,’ Bill Hader’s ‘Barry’ and More!
By ETonline Staff
Getty Images / Focus Features / HBO / Ecco
Here at ET, we’re obsessed with all things pop culture -- and here is what we’re most excited about this week:
Why We’re Obsessed With Making Obama
How did our 44th president ascend to the Oval Office? A new season of WBEZ Chicago's Making Of podcast series, which follows Making Oprah, sets out to answer that question by talking to the people who have firsthand accounts of how it happened. Host Jenn White takes listeners on Barack Obama’s journey from a community organizer in the South Side of Chicago through his bumpy rise in Illinois politics before setting his sights on the U.S. presidency. It can be difficult to remember everything we knew about the man leading up to the 2008 election, but Making Obama offers a comprehensive timeline of events while providing key insights into his journey. White also interviews the former president himself, who chimes in on each of these stages and doesn't shy away from also discussing the failures he experienced before reaching the White House.
Two upper-class teenage girls -- Amanda (Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke) and Lily (Horror It Girl Anya Taylor-Joy) -- rekindle their friendship after years of estrangement in order to plot the murder of Lily’s stepfather (House of Cards’ Paul Sparks). If that sounds like a coming-of-age movie turned into a nightmare, that’s fairly accurate. First-time writer-director Cory Finley takes his simplistic plot and amplifies it with witty dialogue and long, restless takes that places the audience right at the center of this slow-burning thriller. But make no mistake: this film is Cooke and Taylor-Joy’s all the way through. Whether it is Cooke’s tiny glimmer of emotion -- her character suffers from “feeling nothing” -- or Taylor-Joy’s inner darkness that slowly creeps its way out as the film progresses, both actresses are truly captivating. Though, for all their individual strengths, these two ladies really shine when they share the screen; their complex relationship carries the film through all its unexpected turns. Lastly, we would be remiss without mentioning the late Anton Yelchin, in his last performance before his untimely death in 2016. The actor lights up the screen with his minor but pivotal role, expertly navigating his creepy yet comical character -- a fitting farewell to an unforgettable actor.
Playing a depressed, low-rent hitman who stumbles into an acting class while on the job, Bill Hader completely sheds any memory of his many popular Saturday Night Live characters with the HBO series Barry. The new series, which is hard to pin down thanks to its meta humor and seriously dark twists, is easily the actor’s most unexpected turn. He excels at it. But Barry is not just a showcase for Hader; the series also lets Henry Winkler and Stephen Root shine in supporting roles as a pompous acting teacher and worried handler, respectively. Both actors round out Hader’s low-key performance with laugh-out-loud scenes on opposite sides of Barry’s life as a budding actor and once-reliable hitman. The eight-episode series, which takes unexpected turns with each new episode, premieres March 25.
Already optioned for a major motion picture to be produced by George Clooney with Scarlett Johansson set to star, Christine Mangan’s new psychological thriller is easily the most anticipated new book of March — and it’s the author’s debut novel. Set in 1950s Tangier, the story follows two friends — Alice Shipley and Lucy Mason — who are unexpectedly reunited after a year of absence from each other’s lives. But what starts off as a welcome opportunity to reconnect turns into a stifling situation that is compounded by the disappearance of Alice’s husband, John. At times recalling The Talented Mr. Ripley, the book has quickly become a must-read among critics and certainly will be at the top of everyone’s spring break or summer reading lists.