WITH THE GOLDEN Globe Awards scheduled for February 28, discussions about the awards season have begun. Few films have inspired as much anticipation as the 2020 Nomadland road movie, starring Frances McDormand (Fargo) as a woman who loses her job and home in a recession and embarks on a journey to across the country in his modest van. A favorite of film festivals, Nomadland is hitting theaters today as well as on Hulu.
Hollywood and Oscar have a long tradition of recognizing and rewarding road movies. The 1934 Frank Capra comedy It Happened One Night won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Adapted Screenplay.
A generation later, the 1969 Easy Rider motorcycle adventure was hailed as a revolution in cinema. Arguably the biggest shake-up in Oscar history was when Art Carney defeated Al Pacino (The Godfather II) to win Best Actor for Harry and Tonto, a road movie about a displaced New Yorker and his cat. The 1991 Thelma and Louise Feminist Odyssey (9.45 p.m., TCM, TV-14) was arguably the most discussed film of its time.
Veteran actor Richard Farnsworth received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for the 1999 drama The Straight Story, about a Midwestern man who orders his horse mower to cross several states to visit his ailing brother ( Harry Dean Stanton). The Powerful Film was an unlikely collaboration between Disney and Blue Velvet director David Lynch.
Also released by Disney (Touchstone), 2000’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? even cites Homers The Odyssey as the source material. Co-directed by Joel Coen, husband of Frances McDormands.
Apple TV + launches the second season of its ambitious sci-fi / alternative story series For All Mankind. In this elaborate fantasy, the USSR beats America on the moon, setting off a space race that continues well beyond the 1960s.
Combining scripted performances with a skillful use of news footage, Season 2 moves on to another decade and begins with clips of President Reagan re-engaging the United States on great missions. This places mission control under the control of the Department of Defense. A third season of For All Mankind has already been given the green light.
Netflix begins streaming the 2020 satire I Care a Lot. Rosamund Pike plays Marla, a con artist who targets the elderly and convinces them that they have been declared mentally incompetent and placed under her tutelage. She takes more than she can handle when her latest victim (Dianne Wiest) is revealed to have some very powerful (and dangerous) friends.
Cooper consults a congresswoman on The Blacklist (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
Young cohorts brave freezing temperatures on Life Below Zero: New Generation (9 p.m., National Geographic, TV-14).
The Widower continues on Dateline (9 p.m., NBC).
The 1992 riots in LA changed the rules of the game as the Hip Hop documentary series Uncovered (9 p.m., FX, TV-MA) continued. Then: a move to Atlanta for some pioneers (10 p.m.).
As protests escalate against police brutality, Frank fights town hall on Blue Bloods (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
The Vaccine: Conquering COVID (10 p.m., Science, TV-PG) examines extraordinary efforts to develop a cure for the virus behind a global pandemic.
Like many films produced by Roger Corman, the 1978 Jaws-inspired shocker Piranha (2h00, TCM, TV-14) starred newcomers (director Joe Dante and writer John Sayles) as well as veterans, including Kevin McCarthy, Bradford Dillman, Barbara Steele and Heather Menzies, who played Louisa Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. Dante and Sayles would team up again in 1981 for The Howling.
Vital Intelligence falls into the wrong hands on MacGyver (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) … WWE Friday Night SmackDown (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … New variations on high heels and stocking up feeds are launched Shark Tank (8pm, ABC, TV-PG) … Improvisations on who’s line is this anyway? (8 p.m. CW, TV-PG), followed by a repeat episode (8:30 p.m., TV-14).
Payback on Magnum PI (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14) … 20/20 (9 p.m., ABC) … Penn & Teller: Fool Us (9 p.m., CW, TV-PG).
Late at night
John Oliver and Ingrid Andress are booked on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (11:35 pm, CBS, r) … Jimmy Fallon hosts Nicole Kidman, Cole Sprouse and Henry Hall on The Tonight Show (11:35 pm, NBC, r) … Kate Hudson, Dominique Fishback and Evanescence appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (11:35 p.m., ABC).
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Tenderloins and Baio visit Late Night With Seth Meyers (12:35 am, NBC, r) … Bill Gates and The Head and the Heart are set to appear on The Late Late Show With James Corden (12:35 am, CBS, r) ).