What’s on TV Friday: ‘XY Chelsea’ and ‘Alles Ist Gut’
What’s on TV
XY CHELSEA (2019) 9 p.m. on Showtime. In mid-2017, months after her prison sentence for leaking classified government documents was commuted by former President Barack Obama, Chelsea Manning summed up her motivation in an interview with The New York Times Magazine: “I wanted people to see what I was seeing.” Tim Travers Hawkins digs into the life of Manning, an Army analyst at the time she released the documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. This new documentary focuses on the period after her sentence is commuted. “Manning’s turbulent, remarkable story — including a troubled Oklahoma childhood with heavy-drinking parents, two suicide attempts and seven years in an all-male prison while transitioning to a woman — is a nonfiction filmmaker’s dream,” Jeannette Catsoulis wrote in her review for The Times. “Hawkins, however, seems content to hover on its surface, a decision that, depending on your viewpoint, feels either cowardly or humane.”
THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (1942) 10 p.m. on TCM. You’ve just directed your first feature film. Congratulations! It’s “Citizen Kane.” How will you possibly follow it up? Orson Welles’s answer to that question was this period drama, which chronicles the fall of a wealthy Indianapolis family at the turn of the 20th century. The cast includes Joseph Cotten, Anne Baxter and Tim Holt; Welles narrates. While the studio’s abundant cutting of the film was a subject of Welles’s chagrin (“Everybody they could find was cutting it,” he once said), it’s still considered a classic.
ALLES IST GUT (ALL GOOD) (2019) Stream on Netflix. The German director Eva Trobisch’s debut feature is an exploration of the effect of a sexual assault on one woman, as she tries to avoid letting it change her. Janne (Aenne Schwarz) attempts to carry on as usual after she’s raped by her boss’s brother-in-law — but the trauma seeps into both her personal and professional life. The movie won the award for best first feature at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland last year.
XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE (2017) Stream on Amazon and Hulu; Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes and YouTube. The third installment in the “XXX” action movie franchise is busy running and gunning; it could care less about adding a time-wasting “the” before the “return” in its title, thank you very much. The first 15 minutes contain a satellite crashing to earth, an armed robbery, martial arts, a shootout, a ski ride down a snowless mountain, longboarding and the line: “We need someone who can walk into a tornado and come out the other side like it was a damn gentle breeze.” That someone turns out to be Xander Cage, the government operative played by Vin Diesel, who is back in this movie a decade and a half after the “XXX” blockbuster.