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'Palm Springs' And 'The Old Guard' Seem Particularly Timely

I don’t know if it’s been this way for any of you, but sometimes it feels like I’m living the same day over and over right now.


I’M JUST KIDDING, I know it’s exactly the same way for you.


Coincidentally, two different movies were released last weekend that address exactly this feeling: one in a literal sense, one in a much grander, more existential way.


Palm Springs was a Sundance favorite picked up by Hulu. The movie stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti as two people who, Groundhog Day-style, find themselves continually re-living the same day. Impressively, Palm Springs finds a way to make this gimmick fresh—it’s never been done quite this way before. The two leads are terribly charming and work wonderfully together, and I laughed, loudly, more than a couple times.


The other movie almost couldn’t be more opposite in tone. The Old Guard, released on Netflix, is based on a graphic novel series that follows a small group of immortal warriors, led, in the movie, by Charlize Theron, picking up where she left off in Mad Max: Fury Road. Much of the action is excellently staged, if brutal, but director Gina Prince-Bythewood is even more skilled at the intimate moments—these are people who’ve seen death and depravity for so long that it seems the world is only getting worse, no matter what they do, and we feel that weariness in every scene.


And this gets to an idea present in both films: Nothing matters. Even for us it seems this way sometimes, let alone for someone stuck in an unending day or feeling the crush of eternity. And yet both Palm Springs and The Old Guard also have the answer—the small things we do now can have huge effects. Maybe we benefit ourselves, or maybe it’s not apparent for many, many years, but a tiny seed of good can grow to change the world.

Fletcher Powell has worked at KMUW since 2009 as a producer, reporter, and host. He's been the host of All Things Considered since 2012 and KMUW's movie critic since 2016. Fletcher is a member of the Critics Choice Association.