Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Richard Linklater's Untitled New Film Pushed to 2016, Might Direct Jennifer Lawrence Movie Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) 'Steve Jobs' Joins Fall Festival Contenders as NYFF Centerpiece Gala: What's Coming Up and What's Not (UPDATED) Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Arthouse Audit: Is 'Phoenix' This Year's 'Ida'? 'Mr. Holmes' Stays Strong Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Friday Box Office: Sandler's 'Pixels' Gets Mixed Response, 'Paper Towns,' 'Southpaw' Not Far Behind Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Scott Foundas Explains Why He's Leaving Film Criticism--Again--for Amazon Studios Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Congrats to Monica Bellucci: She's Making History Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Broad Green Dates 'Knight of Cups' and Two More Releases Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema Watch: The Secret Ingredient to David Lynch's Disorienting Cinema First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal First Look: 'No' Director Pablo Larraín Channels 'Neruda' with Gael García Bernal Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Is 'The Revenant' the Most Hellish Shoot of All Time? Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Gabriel García Márquez Documentary Coming Soon (Trailer) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why I Can't Wait to See 'Crimson Peak,' Guillermo del Toro's Sumptuous Period Thriller (VIDEO) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Why Kevin Costner Paid for 'Black or White' (New Trailer, Sneak Preview Q & A) Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991 Gabriel García Márquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and 'Rhapsody in August' in 1991

WATCH: Andrew Garfield Hosts a Fantastic, Instant Classic SNL (VIDEO)

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood May 4, 2014 at 12:44PM

Here it is--a genuinely great episode of "Saturday Night Live." Bolstered by the measured goofiness of Andrew Garfield, this episode was inspired and consistent. There was nothing too experimental or wild, but it was SNL doing what they do best and hitting all of their marks and delivered some important satire.
1
andrew garfield snl may 2014

At last--a genuinely great episode of "Saturday Night Live." Bolstered by the measured goofiness of Andrew Garfield, this episode was inspired and consistent. There was nothing experimental or wild, but it was SNL doing what it does best and hitting all of its marks.

Emma Stone--Garfield's co-star in "The Amazing Spiderman 2" and his girlfriend in life--was around for the host monologue and made a lovely addition for the "Spiderman Kiss" sketch, in which the pair couldn't figure out what normal kissing looked like. Musical guest Chris Martin of Coldplay made a fun assist at the end. 

The cold open this week took its shot at Donald Sterling. Bobby Moynihan gave a worthy (almost unsettlingly creepy) performance as the sneering, wrinkled, unapologetic Clippers owner. Though it ended with a cheery "LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT," the conclusion of the short was that money is power and Sterling can buy off his consequences. A hard hit like this marks "Saturday Night Live" as a great force of satire. 

The best sketch of the evening was "The Beygency"--a fun pun that turned into a hilarious digital short about Beyonce's power over America. When a man criticizes her latest album, he becomes a fugitive. In honor of the resurgence of 24, Keifer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub made a well-timed cameo. The sketch was well-written, played, cut—and concluded, something that has never been SNL’s strong suit.  

"The Beygency" fell among a happy pile of great skits this week--a slight but hilarious bit called "Wing," which used a 1990s TV family drama aesthetic. Another sketch with a random premise (Oliver Twist!), shone because of Cecily Strong's performance as a down-on-her-luck jerk with a reality-TV-style bravado. And "Celebrity Family Feud" featured some deft quick impressions, particularly Kate McKinnon as Shakira.

Although Andrew Garfield's jocular energy helped to carry the show, Taran Killam should get separate congratulations for his carrying a big handful of different roles throughout this episode. He doled out some subtle one-liners as the director of "Spiderman," a secret agent in "the Beygency," and as the NBA commissioner. His impression of Russell Crowe, intoning recitative from "Les Miserables," was top notch.

This well-rounded episode is SNL at its best and confirmation that this "rebuilding" year is finishing up in style. 

This article is related to: SNL, Andrew Garfield, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Kiefer Sutherland, Television, Television, TV Reviews, Reviews, Video


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.