A timely French film about Female agency
From the theaters to the streamers, the string of summery blockbuster-y content is still going strong. This is a good thing, all things considered, although apparently the means by which they are screened are still highly debated by some. Is Netflix a credible platform for films? Director Luca Guadagnino seems to disagree, but what do you think?
I hope you have a nice weekend.
OUR TOP TV SHOW OF THE WEEK
The first episode is new on Amazon Prime 🍅 rating: 90%
Gaslit, the critically acclaimed eight-part series from Starz, is now on Amazon Prime. It tells the real-life story of Martha Mitchell, a socialite privy to the dirty secrets of the Nixon administration. Her wild accounts and their eventual dismissal as delusions led to experts coining the term “the Martha Mitchell effect,” whereby a person’s accurate recollections are disbelieved by mental health professionals.
Julia Roberts plays Martha in a powerful and welcome turn, while Sean Penn is transformative as her husband, Attorney General John N. Mitchell.
OUR TOP MOVIE OF THE WEEK
Available to rent or buy starting at $5.99 on Amazon Prime Video 🍅 rating: 89%
Happening is about a young woman struggling to find safe access to abortion. It takes place in 1963 France, back when the act was considered a grave crime and major taboo, but it might as well have been set in today’s time.
Anne (Anamaria Vartolomei) is a bright student set to graduate and support her family, but an unplanned pregnancy gets in the way of her goals. She desperately tries any and all means to get rid of the child, even if it means risking her own life. Based on a 2000 novel of the same name, Happening is a quietly powerful film showcasing the importance of female agency.
Top picks outside of Netflix and Amazon Prime
You can now watch The Northman from director Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse) on Hulu. Led by heavyweights Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, and Anya Taylor-Joy, the intense film follows the Viking prince Amleth (Skarsgård) as he seeks revenge for his slain father.
If you’re in the mood for something lighter, Loot released its first episode today on Apple TV+. It’s a breezy comedy starring Maya Rudolph as a tech billionaire’s wife. The humor stems from her out-of-touch but well-meaning efforts to be more independent and charitable.
New titles worth your time
New on Netflix is Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area, a spin-off of the hit Spanish series of the same name. Inspired by the thievery that went on in Spain, the masked criminals in this iteration attempt to pull off a heist of their own by robbing the coffers of a newly unified Korea.
Also new on the streamer is the Stephen King horror IT, starring Bill Skarsgård as the iconically horrific clown, and Surviving R. Kelly, a revealing docuseries about the victims of celebrated singer and convicted sex offender R. Kelly.
Meanwhile, on Amazon Prime, the German film Emancipation, about a group of battered men, just arrived. Also new is the Italian film I Am Love, directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) and starring Tilda Swinton. Swinton plays a wealthy man’s wife who starts a dangerous affair.
Great titles that will soon expire
Some noteworthy titles are leaving Netflix soon. On June 30, the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the sci-fi romance Her, the indie roadie Into the Wild, and the classic coming-of-age film Stand By Me will all be leaving the streamer.
On July 1, the Spanish thriller Contratiempo, the war classic Saving Private Ryan, and the tender transgender drama Tangerine (ingeniously shot on an iPhone) are also leaving Netflix. The Social Network, the Facebook-based drama that catapulted Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield to mainstream success, expires on Netflix the next day, July 2.
Over at Amazon Prime, the Danish film Pusher, starring Mads Mikkelsen as a drug trader, and the Cuban film Viva, about a drag performer who reunites with his father, are expiring on June 27. On June 29, the Bosnian war film No Man's Land leaves the streamer. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2002.
Still on Amazon Prime, the following ‘90s classics are leaving on June 30th: The Accused starring Jodie Foster as an assault victim, As Good As It Gets starring Jack Nicholson as a lonesome novelist, The Joy Luck Club, which follows a group of Chinese friends growing up in America, and Rushmore, about an overachieving student who falls in love with a teacher.
Also leaving Amazon Prime on the same day are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Dallas Buyers Club, District 9, and Revolutionary Road. Inside Llewyn Davis leaves the next day, July 1st.
That’s all for this week. This edition of the newsletter will be back on Friday, July 1!