Movie Review: Call Jane

In 1968 if you needed to have an abortion – even if it were for life-saving medical reasons – you had to get the operation illegally, very often inside someone’s apartment, or a strip mall with a company that was protected by the Mafia, and by a person who in many cases had no medical degree. In those days, women died or had to be hospitalized with an infection because of the incompetence of the person who had no medical training. Then in 1973 the groundbreaking Roe vs Wade decision was passed, making abortions legal in this country. For almost 50 years women could receive abortions legally and safely. Then on June 22, 2022, Roe vs Wade was overturned after almost 50 years as the law in this country – making the new movie “Call Jane” much more relevant than it would have been if not for the Supreme Court decision this year.

Call Jane stars Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver and Kate Mara about a woman Joy, played by Elizabeth Banks who needed to get an abortion due to a heart problem. Unfortunately, no hospital was allowed to perform any abortions, for any reason, in 1968. So Joy went to a run-down apartment and had her abortion performed by a man who was not even a doctor. This doctor worked for an organization supported by volunteers and funded by the Mafia. Over time Joy becomes more involved with helping other women, eventually learning how to perform an abortion on her own from the man who did her abortion who was not even a doctor. All of this creates some very good scenes between Sigourney Weaver’s character and Banks as the problems – mostly financial and the risks involved became more prevalent as the story unfolds.

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this movie are a solid 80% and I agree with this rating for the acting and the importance this movie represents in US History.

Hulu Series Review: A Teacher

The new 10 part Hulu Series “A Teacher” is about a female teacher in high school, having an affair with one of her students – a story that has happened in recent history, far too often. This series does a very good job of showing the damage a short term decision based on emotion or rationalization can cause someone in the long term. In the case of a High School English teacher, Clair Wilson, played by Kate Mara – her short term rationalizations were that he marriage was failing, her student Eric Walker, played by Nick Robinson was 18 years old and they were in love. Clair’s long term penalty for having an affair with a student, was that she lost her job as a teacher forever, she was arrested, tried and had to go to prison and after she was released, she was never able to get a job again in any field.

Clair was never able take full responsibility for what she did, long after she was released from prison. During this entire story for Clair, it was always someone else’s fault, what she did was not that bad and this lasted all the way to the last episode in this series. This story is all about cause and effect, what is wrong is wrong, even if the student was over 18 and they were really in love.

The acting throughout this series is outstanding with both of the two main characters played by Kate Mara and Nick Robinson. I disagree with the mid-level 72% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and give this series a solid 80% rating.