A week ago, in talking with Jason R. Gray about Upstream Color, we celebrated how Netflix has opened up so many doors to seeing and experiencing movies we wouldn’t otherwise know exist. This week’s list includes many such films.
Adored by critics (94% on Rotten Tomatoes), this Chinese noir murder mystery won two major prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival, including the Golden Bear (Best Picture), beating out The Grand Budapest Hotel, among others. The film also saw its lead, Liao Fan, pick up the Silver Bear for Best Actor in his role as the suspended detective who is investigating the murders.
Dancing Arabs (or A Borrowed Identity) is about a gifted Palestinian Israeli boy whose best opportunity lies in an elite Jewish school. There, his identity is challenged as he struggles to adapt to his Jewish environment while also falling for a Jewish girl. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 88%.
Just in case you can’t make it out to the theatre to see Creed, Netflix has you covered with that other Sylvester Stallone boxing movie.
Speaking of Sylvester Stallone boxing movies, check out our coverage of the Rocky franchise.
I remember talking to Jason Dickson back in the Battle Royale episode of the podcast and he pointed out to me why I got so burnt out watching Hannibal. “Has they ever made a joke?” he asked and I couldn’t come up with an answer.
While the show is certainly engaging and shocking and stylish, you can only take so much stone-faced tooth-clenching before your bingewatch starts to lose steam.
My first glimpse at the marketing for Home was the preview short Almost Home. At the time, I judged it to be silly, strictly-for-children nonsense and I have no inclination to be proven either right or wrong.
My knowledge of fashion begins and ends with about three seasons of America’s Next Top Model. That will likely change with Iris, a documentary about fashion and design icon Iris Apfel. While I may not catch every instance of influence that Iris had on the world, at the very least, I can look forward to a movie about a woman who is simultaneously sharp and old-woman adorable, and who radiates positivity in an industry burdened by a reputation for snark and backstabbing.
I’m sorry to end on such a gloomy note but of all other titles listed above, none is more universally acclaimed than Leviathan (99%, Certified Fresh by 117 critics on Rotten Tomatoes). It tells the story of a Russian man who faces the demolition of his hand-built home when a local politician decides to take over the land. Considering the synopses from both Rotten Tomatoes and Wikipedia include the word “tragic” in the first sentence, this may prove to be an awfully dreary way to spend 140-odd minutes.