This month’s off-grid streaming service’s recommendations include several titles that are a bit wilder than the months before, as if the streamers recognize that we’re clinging to the walls here and wanting to provide appropriate auditory and visual accompaniment. But don’t worry – we also have period dramas, a charming indie romantic comedy, and a moving bio-documentary about a true legend.
Stream it on Hulu.
In this baffling sci-fi, psychological thriller and body horror stew from writer and director Brandon Cronenberg, Andrea Riseborough stars as a hitman who executes his marks by taking control of the body and the body. spirit of a loved one. For her latest job, killing a corporate bigwig, she “owns” her potential son-in-law (Christopher Abbott), but getting out of her body proves to be a challenge in itself. Riseborough and Abbott put on top-notch performances, playing and swapping distinct personalities (and playing several points in between), and Cronenberg proves to be a master of creating baffling, often disturbing imagery.
Maybe Brandon Cronenberg comes naturally from his skills. Her father is revered genre filmmaker David Cronenberg (“The Fly”, “Videodrome”), who hasn’t directed any feature films since that ruthless Hollywood satire. (Maybe he lets his son take over the family business.) It’s more of a full-fledged comedy than expected from the elder Cronenberg, but not in a conventional sense; the jokes are black and born out of twisted comic sensibility, but viewers who can get on his wavelength will be richly rewarded. The cast is stacked – Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams and Carrie Fisher all show up – but the star of the series is Julianne Moore, with a delightfully over-the-top performance as a declining diva.
‘Dog Eat Dog’ (2016)
Stream it on Hulu.
The rave reviews Paul Schrader garnered for his 2018 Oscar nominee “First Reformed” all seemed to praise this film’s modesty and restraint; In retrospect, maybe he needed to get that movie out of his system first. Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe – none of whom are known for their screen reserve – star in this adaptation of the novel by criminal-turned-author Eddie Bunker. They chew on the landscape like a pair of clumsy ex-opposites who dig in way too far when a kidnapping job goes awry. The tone is uneven and the characters despicable, but the image’s wild, irreverent, peek-a-boo energy is eerily irresistible.
The second remake of Bob Clark’s vacation horror classic takes considerable liberties with the source material – and it’s all the better for it. Co-writer and director Sophia Takal, who put a feminine touch to the De Palma-style psychological thriller with her 2016 film “Always Shine,” fully embraces the conventions (and even the clichés) of slasher narrative, but places them within inside a larger and layered conversation about violence and misogyny. Yet she delivers the genre’s products as well, wrapping the image with tense suspenseful sequences and directing it to a heart-wrenching and deeply satisfying conclusion.
‘Only God Forgives’ (2013)
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Ryan Gosling reworked with his “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn for this neon-infused revenge thriller, which pushes the mix of house art and exploitation from the previous film to the absolute limit. The results turned out to be decisive – on purpose, as Refn seems determined to see just how extreme violence and arched style his audience can handle. But there’s something refreshing about the film’s dedication to its singular vision, and Kristin Scott Thomas’ lyrical performance (as Gosling’s mother and worst influence) is a huge gamble that pays big.
“ The night surprises us ” (2010)
Post it on Amazon.
Tanya Hamilton’s period drama would make an ideal double feature film with one of HBO Max’s latest offerings, “Judas and the Black Messiah,” steeped in Black Panthers history, the civil rights movement, and dilemmas. ethics of police informants. Anthony Mackie – in a role well suited to his simmering fury – stars as a former panther who returns to his Philadelphia neighborhood after his father’s funeral, to find his past to haunt him. Hamilton builds the film as one great short story, with joint lives in progress and backstories revealed only under duress, and she pulls top notch performances from Mackie, Kerry Washington and “The Wire” albums Wendell Pierce and Jamie Hector.
‘The One I Love’ (2014)
Stream it on Netflix.
Who Said Mindsets Have To Be Big Budget Sci-Fi Epics? Director Charlie McDowell and screenwriter Justin Lader didn’t think so; here, they build a psychological thriller out of nothing more than two people on a weekend retreat. Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass play the role of the couple in question, a married couple who, at the suggestion of their therapist (Ted Danson), try to isolate themselves from the world and solve their problems. But their surroundings elicit oddly atypical behavior from the two, leading to a series of bizarre twists and unexpected revelations.
Post it on Amazon.
Prime Video subscribers struggled to miss Pawel Pawlikowski’s marvelous drama ‘Cold War,’ which the service acquired and promoted to three Oscar nominations in 2018 – but they may have missed Pawlikowski’s previous feature. , which won the Oscar for best foreign language film three. years earlier. And like its successor, it’s a black-and-white period drama whose stylistic austerity and understated control give way to heart-wrenching emotions and a sly sense of humor.
‘Hello, my name is Doris’ (2016)
Stream it on Amazon and Hulu.
“Big Sick” director Michael Showalter has warmed up for the laughter and the heart of this film with this delicate adaptation of Laura Terruso’s short film “Doris & the Intern”. Sally Field, in an all too rare contemporary leading role on the big screen, is a marvel as the main character, an aging, dotted office eccentric who develops a painful attraction to a young hipster colleague (Max Greenfield of “New Girl” ). The “Harold and Maude” vibes aren’t accidental, and like this movie, “Doris” doesn’t mock its characters or wink too broadly at its premises; they are lovely and friendly people, and you find yourself shooting for their (eventual) happiness.
‘Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice’ (2019)
Stream it on HBO Max.
Documentary directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (“The Celluloid Closet”) lead this biographical profile of the incomparable pop star, and the career in which she has done just about everything: rock, pop, country, operetta, folk music , pieces. It’s based on her memoir, and she tells much of her own story, in vivid detail and with good humor (and occasional helpers from friends and collaborators of stars like Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt and Don Henley) . The footage from the archival performance is thrilling – the film not only talks about the power of her voice, but shows it – but it’s more than your standard pop-doc, delving into the cunning of navigating the dominated world. by Ronstadt’s men, and the pain of losing his ability to sing publicly after his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. It’s a tragedy, frankly, but she doesn’t treat it that way, and neither do the filmmakers. She seems grateful for the fun she’s had, and her energy and good humor are infectious.