Freeze Frame: “Tigertail” (PG), “The Quarry” (R), “Sergio” (R)

The Netflix original drama “Tigertail” is a low-key family drama about a strained father-daughter relationship. Chinese-American actor Tzi Ma, who may be best known for his recent role in “The Farewell,” plays Grover, an immigrant from Taiwan who can’t seem to make an emotional connection with his adult daughter Angela, played by Kristine Ko. In a series of flashbacks, we learn of the difficult decisions that Grover had to make before leaving Taiwan and of the lost love that left him emotionally stunted.


Partly in English and partly in Mandarin with subtitles, “Tigertail” is a very slow moving but subtly touching character study. Like the character of Grover, “Tigertail” can sometimes seem a bit distant, but it may appeal to patient viewers interested in its slow-burn depiction of an emotional culture clash.


A strong cast helps to prop up the oddly off-base thriller, “The Quarry,” now available on video on demand platforms. Veteran character actor Shea Whigham gets a rare lead role, portraying a mysterious criminal who murders a preacher and then takes on the man’s identity in a small south Texas border town. Michael Shannon is the local bigoted lawman who is rightly suspicious of the newcomer. The movie has a great premise, but never quite delivers on its promise and doesn’t build the suspense this story sorely needed.


Wagner Moura stars in the Netflix drama, ”Sergio,” the tragic true story of a celebrated diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello. The story focuses on the last few years of his life when he was the United Nations Special Representative for Baghdad during the chaotic US invasion in 2003. It’s obviously a labor of love and a fitting tribute, directed by Greg Barker who made a documentary about Sergio in 2009. While it’s involving,  “Sergio” episodic nature lessens its intended emotional impact.

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