Yes, there’s some good new stuff to stream online, at Hulu, Netflix and Amazon! So let’s get started!
Hulu has some good foreign television dramas, added this week, including The Split, a 2018 BBC drama. this series is about a family whose business is divorce law, all working at the family firm, until one sister leaves for another firm, which isn’t too popular with her family. It stars Nicola Walker as that woman with Stephan Mangan, Fiona Button, Annabel Scholey, Barry Atsma, Stephen Tompkinson, Meera Syal, Anthony Head and Deborah Findlay also starring. This show, coming from BBC One, has a wonderful cast, and great guest stars, too. It’s a witty, edgy drama, with lots of actors you’ll recognize from other BBC series. And it gets a 7.3/10 on IMDb. Another new foreign series on Hulu is Deutschland 86, a German/American thriller. This show is a sequel to Deutschland 83, which is also available on Hulu, here, you may want to watch that first, but both are stylish and tense tales, of a man going undercover in West Germany(and other countries) for the DDR(East Germany). Jonas Nay stars as that mole, with Maria Schrader as his aunt, and boss, Ulrich Noethen, Florence Kasumba, Sylvester Groth, Sonia Gerhardt and Lavinia Wilson also starring. These are well acted, tight series, with English, as the principal language, no subtitles! And Deutschland 83 gets an 8.2/10 on IMDb, and it’s successor gets a 7.6/10 on IMDb.. Watch both if you like cloak and dagger drama . Also, new on Hulu, is Far From the Tree, a 2018 documentary from director Rachel Dretzin. Kind of a companion piece to the book of the same name by Andrew Solomon, this movie looks a parents and children with differences, either biological, like dwarfism or autism, or ethical, like a mother whose son committed murder. It’s a beautiful, eye opening movie, that gets an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.7/10 on IMDb. Hulu has also added October Gale, a 2015 Canadian thriller starring Patricia Clarkson. It’s the tale of a grieving widow(and a doctor), intent on going to the remote mountain cabin her husband loved alone, and, of course, finding trouble there. It also stars Scott Speedman, Tim Roth and Callum Keith Rennie and is directed by Ruba Nadda. Okay, it’s a little predictable, and it gets a 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. But it’s got Patricia Clarkson(and Tim Roth), great scenery and the heroine isn’t always crying or shrinking in fear. and it gets a 5.2/10 on IMDb! I’m watching. And, finally, Hulu has added Kusama: Infinity, the 2018 documentary from director Heather Lenz. This is about artist Yayoi Kusama, now 89, a sculptor, painter and performance artist, who, Lenz argues, never got her due recognition. She was recognized and encouraged by Georgia O’Keefe, claims Andy Warhol was her imitator, and fell into relative obscurity in the ’70’s and ’80’s. And it gets a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Netflix, too, has some interesting additions this week, including Sex Education, with Gillian Anderson. This new British series is a bout a young man(played by Asa Butterfield), whose mother(Anderson) is a sex therapist, and he uses her valuable advice to his high school friends, and to increase his popularity at school. He and a friend go on to set up a clinic at school for their unique problems.The series also stars Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, Connor Swindells,Kedar Williams-Stirling, Alistair Petrie, James Purefoy and Mimi Keene. It’s edgy and fun, kind of raunchy and gets an 8.5/10 on IMDb. Netflix has also added The Last Laugh, starring Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss. Chase stars as a retired talent manager, who, after meeting up with Dreyfuss,a comedian and his old client, convinces him to hit the road again. This movie has an amazing cast, including Andie MacDowell, Kate McCucci, George Wallace, Lewis Black, Richard Kind, and Chris Parnell. It only gets a 5.3/10 on IMDb, but I’m tuning in for the treasure trove of my favorite comedians and actors. Another international TV series has been added to Netflix— When Heroes Fly, a 2018 drama from Israel. In this tense and compelling series, four friends from the army, who fell out after service in the 2006 Lebanon war, reunite to find an old friend they thought dead, in Colombia. The cast includes Tomer Capon(Fauda), Ninet Tayeb, Michael Aloni, Nadav Netz, Moshe Ashkenazi and Vanessa Chaplot. This show won the inaugural Canneseries Festival last April, and gets a 7.9/10 on IMDb. And Netflix has also added Solo: A Star Wars Story, from director Ron Howard. Starring Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo, this is the story of his youth and how he became friends with Chewbacca. It has a pretty spectacular cast, with Thandie Newton, Donald Glover, Joonas Suotamo(Chewbacca),Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Paul Bettany but it didn’t fare well at the box office. I have not watched this myself, as I am a Star Wars classicist, and feel they’ve gone a bit too far with this one. But it gets a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes,and a 7/10 on IMDb. You can decide for yourself.Netflix also has The Monster, the 2016 horror film from director Bryan Bertino(The Strangers). This movie features a mother and daughter, with issues,on a road trip, when they have a late night collision with what they think is a animal, disabling their car. Things get worse from there.It stars Zoe Kazan, Ella Ballentine, Scott Speedman, Aaron Douglas and Christine Ebadi. The trailer was too scary for me to get through, but Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 80%. Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter called it a “fully realized depiction of elemental fear and desperation” and April Wolfe of LA Weekly said “it’s reminiscent of the classic monster movies of the ‘30s and ’40s.”And, finally, if you need something a little more cheerul, Netflix offers Pahuna, the 2018 Indian movie. It’s about three children, fleeing unrest in Nepal, and separated from their parents, having to survive by their wits. It stars Ishika Gurung,
Anmol Limbu,Manju KC, Saran Rai, Binod Pradhan, Uttan Pradhan and Banita Lagun. This film won Best Film(Jury Choice) at the Toronto Film Festival and gets a stunning 8.5/10 on IMDb. I’m watching that.
Okay, there aren’t a lot of new additions on Amazon this week, with one notable exception, Informer, a BBC One thriller. This six-part series is about a young second generation British-Pakistani,Raza(played by Nabhan Rizwan),forced to act as an informer for a counter-terrorism group. It also stars Paddy Considine, Bel Powley, Fehinti Balogun, Sharon D Clarke, Reiss Jeram and Arinzé Kene. It’s a tense, character-driven show and gets a 7.8/10 on IMDb. And don’t forget, tomorrow, Amazon is slated to have Eighth Grade, Bo Burnham’s 2018 comedy about being thirteen, and how Kayla(played by Elsie Fisher) survives that and graduating from Middle School. It also stars Joshua Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan and Fred Hechinger. And it gets a 99%(!) on Rotten tomatoes, but I’m not giving you the link yet, because Amazon will charge you $4.99 now(at least), so wait for the link until January 13(tomorrow). And finally, Amazon has added The Madness of King George, the 1994 classic directed by Nicholas Hytner. This masterpiece focuses on the period in the reign of King George III, when he began to show symptoms of a serious mental deterioration, causing a scramble for the helm of the country, among his heirs. Nigel Hawthorne plays King George, and the movie also features Helen Mirren, Ian Holm, Amanda Donohoe, Rupert Graves and Rupert Everett. It won two BAFTA Awards, including one for Nigel Hawthorne, for Best Actor, and an Academy Award for Best Art Direction. And it gets a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes.
So relax and binge this weekend, on good movie, new and old, on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime!