09Dec10:54 amEST

Sunday Matinée at Market Chess Cinemas

Despite only being three episodes in (with the fourth scheduled to air this evening), I can still confidently recommend Showtime’s mini-series “Escape at Dannemora,” starring Benicio Del Toro, Paul Dano, and Patricia Arquette. 

Each episode is directed by Ben Stiller, who shows his range in this project as the quintessential behind-the-scenes auteur. Clearly, Stiller transcends his image as simply an excellent comedic actor.

Incidentally, as a piece of fascinating trivia, two of the episodes were written by Jerry Stahl.

Stahl is a talented, veteran writer in Hollywood who has battled plenty of demons in his past related to hardcore drug use. His heroin addiction was actually the topic of the film Permanent Midnight (1998), in which he is played by...Ben Stiller. That was another project, by the way, where Stiller showed his range far beyond comedy. 

But back to "Escape at Dannemora,” Dano, Del Toro, and Arquette (as well as supporting actors Eric Lange and David Morse) all distinguish themselves as brilliant actors in their portrayal of the true-life escape by Richard Matt and David Sweat back in 2015. 

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