Yes, it’s that time again, the weekend, and time to review the new movies and television shows that have been added to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. So let’s get started!
Hulu has some big additions this week, including Shoplifters, the 2018 Japanese drama from master director Hirokazu Kore-eda(Still Walking, Like Father, Like Son). This 2018 Palm d’Or winner is about a makeshift family of shoplifters, who live in poverty and are forced to steal to get by, and what happens when they take in an abused girl. It stars Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Mayu Matsuoka, Kairi Jō, Kirin Kiki and Naoto Ogata as some of the family members. This film not only won at Cannes, but also was nominated for Best Foreign Film, at the Academy Awards, and made the top ten lists of multiple publications, including The New York Times, Vogue, The Daily Beast and Variety, to name a few. And it gets an amazing 99% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.1/10 on IMDb. I’m definitely watching. Hulu has also just added Shrill, the 2019 series starring Aidy Bryant. Based on the best seller Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West, this show follows Annie(Bryant) through her life in the Pacific Northwest, working as a reporter and realizing as a fat woman, she’s just as good as anyone else, maybe even better. It also stars Lolly Adefope, Lukas Jones,Ian Owens, John Cameron Mitchell, Daniel Stern and Julia Sweeney and the show is produced by Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks. With such a wonderful cast and amazing material,it’s sure to be good, and Bryant gets great reviews for her performance, too. And, it gets a 7.3/10 on IMDb. Hulu has also added Free Solo, the 2018 Academy Award winning documentary from director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (Meru)and Jimmy Chin. It follows free solo climber Alex Honnold on his quest to climb El Capitan in Yosemite, without ropes or special equipment. It’s a thrilling and sometimes hair raising ride, for both the viewer and Honnold and his girlfriend Sanni McCandless, who questions what he does. It gets rave reviews, too, The Globe and Mail calls it “a jaw-dropper, both in what is documented and its visual impact,” and it gets a stunning 99% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.3/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Hulu has The Party’s Just Beginning, a comedy/drama written, directed and starring Karen Gillian(Doctor Who).In this film, Gillian stars as Liusaidh, a young Scottish woman, with a boring job, and a troubled life, trying to deal with the suicide, one year earlier, of her best friend Alistair. It stars Lee Pace, Matthew Beard, Siobhan Redmond, Paul Higgins and James Quinn and it premiered in the U.S. at the Tribeca Film Festival. And it gets a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.2/10 on IMDb.
Netflix has some big adds this week too, including Turn Up Charlie, starring and created by,along with Gary Reich, Idris Elba. In it, Elba stars as a D.J.,in need of money, who reluctantly becomes a nanny to his best friend’s( played by Piper Perabo) daughter. It also stars Frankie Hervey, J.J. Feild,Angela Griffin,Guz Khan,Jocelyn Jee Esien and Jade Anouka. It’s funny and raunchy and gets a 7.2/10 on IMDb. And Elba is always good. Netflix also offers, Triple Frontier, a 2019 action movie starring Oscar Isaac and Ben Affleck. Directed by J. Chandor, this movie centers on a group of ex-Special Ops soldiers, who decide to finally make some money in a heist of a Colombian drug lord. The cast also includes Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal and Adria Arjona , you might notice there aren’t many women in the cast, but there is plenty of violence, and a grim narrative. Not my kind of movie, it gets a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, but a 6.7/10 on IMDb, so if you want a shoot em up movie, this may be for you. A better choice on Netflix may be the newly added Girl, a Belgian drama from 2019. This one stars Victor Polster as a transgender teen, who gets the opportunity to dance with a famous dance academy, as a ballerina and is in the process of gender transition to female, but, of course, it’s not an easy process, and not everyone on board. The film also stars Arieh Worthalter, Katelijne Damen,Valentijn Dhaenens and Oliver Bodart and is directed by Lucas Dhont. There is some controversy with this film is that Dhont did not choose a transgender dancer to play Lara, but Polster is an excellent dancer and very sensitive in his portrayal here. And Girl gets an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.2/10 on IMDb. If you need some sci-fi, Netflix has added If I Hadn’t Met You, a Spanish fantasy series from 2018. In this series, Eduard, a man who lost his family in a car accident he blames himself for, gets a chance to be the first traveler to a parallel universe and to find a better end for his wife and children. It stars Pablo Derqui, Andrea Ros, Mercedes Sampietro,Javier Beltrán,Joel Bramona, Paula Malia and Muguet Franc. It gets an 8.5/10 on IMDb and has ten episodes available now. I am watching. And, finally, Netflix has A Separation, a 2011 award winning drama from Iran. Directed by Asghar Farhad(The Salesman), this movie studies a middle-class couple, who separate, who also have to deal with family problems, like caring for his father, who has Alzheimers. It stars Leila Hatami, Peyman Moaadi, Shahab Hosseini,Babak Karimi,Sareh Baya and Sarina Farhadi. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, the Golden Bear for Best Film and the Silver Bear for Best Actress and Actor at the 61st Berlin Film Festival and a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. And it gets a 99%(!) on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.3/10 on IMDb. I’m definitely tuning in.
Amazon, too, has some big movies added this week, including Colette, starring Keira Knightley. In this, Knightley plays Colette, the world famous writer, whose first husband forces her to write novels, to be published under his own name. She begins other relationships, which brings more controversy and more books. It also stars Dominic West(The Wire), Eleanor Tomlinson(Poldark), Aiysha Hart, Denise Gough and Robert Pugh and was directed by Wash Westmoreland. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2018, and gets an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.8/10 on IMDb. Amazon also has Garbo, the Spy, a Spanish documentary from 2009. No, it’s not Greta Garbo, unfortunately, but about Juan Pujol Garcia, who, as “Garbo”, worked as a spy for both the Allies and the Nazis, leading the Nazis to believe that D-Day would occur in Pas-de-Calais, not Normandy(it’s actual location). It’s a fascinating story, directed by Edmon Roch, where truth is stranger than fiction and it gets an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.3/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Amazon has Careful, the 1992 cult classic comedy directed by Guy Maddin. This tells the story of an alpine village in the 1800‘s, which is constantly on the verge of an avalanche, so they are always quiet and circumspect, which leads to a lot of repression and so zany behavior. It stars Julia Brown,Jackie Burroughs, Paul Cox, Kyle McCullough, Gosia Dobrowolska and Sarah Neville. It’s a satire about the supposed Canadian timidity and said to be an acquired taste, by TV Guide, but Time Out calls it “uniquely weird, subtly macabre, and utterly compelling.” And it gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and is definitely for adults only. You decide.
So sit back, relax and binge on classics old and new on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!