Our On TV Tonight movie-buffs turned on Netflix for this useful list of the best movies on Netflix right now.
THE MYSTERY OF MARILYN MONROE: THE UNHEARD TAPES
Why you should watch: First up on the list are two documentaries on two women who had a lot in common, although decades apart. They were both hounded to addiction by being used by those surrounding them, eventually leading to their death. If only they had both had people they could trust and turn to, their circumstances may have been different. This documentary explores the mystery surrounding the death of movie icon Marilyn Monroe through previously unheard interviews with her inner circle as investigated by author Anthony Summers. 60 years after her death, Marilyn is still admired and remembered. She was a stunning, beautiful woman who just wanted to be loved for herself.
Director: EMMA COOPER
Why you should watch: This was a Best Documentary Feature Oscar winner in 2016. The most confronting and appalling part of Amy Winehouse’s story is how she was hounded by the media to the point of insanity. If there is any one circumstance that may have led to her addictions, which in turn led to her death, it is this, together with those who supposedly loved her. The judgement of various TV presenters was horrific. And, as her security minder says, she had no one in her family or inner circle she felt she could trust. At times it appears that all they cared about was the money she would bring it. Such a tragic story of a young woman with so much talent and so much more music to give.
Director: ASIF KAPADIA
Cast: AMY WINEHOUSE, SALAAM REMI, TYLER JAMES
RICKY GERVAIS: SUPERNATURE
Why you should watch: This live performance documentary is a little different as Ricky Gervais seems to be able to handle all the fame that has come his way, perhaps because he appears to find some amusement in every situation. Here he gives his take on the rules of comedy, spoiling his cat and debunks the supernatural, concluding that actual nature is super enough. If you love Ricky, you’ll like this one. If you don’t, then best not to go there, because you’ll be frequently offended.
Director: JOHN L. SPENCER
Cast: RICKY GERVAIS
Why you should watch: The critics were not so kind to this romantic comedy from Denmark. When a Danish chef travels to Tuscany to sell his father’s business, he meets a local woman who inspires him to rethink his approach to life and love. It is a little predictable, but the beautiful Italian scenery combined with the cooking of delicious food in a historical villa does make up for some of its shortcomings. Apparently, it was shot in only 19 days. Perhaps they should have taken a little longer.
Director: MEHDI AVAZ
Cast: ANDERS MATTHESEN, CRISTIANA DELL’ANNA, LAERKE WINTHER, ANDREA BOSCA, CHRISTOFFER JINDYL, GHITA NORBY
THE LAST PARADISO
Why you should watch: Staying in Italy, this drama is said to have been inspired by a true story that director Rocco Ricciardulli was told by his mother. Life is very bleak for those living and working in this village. Set during the 1950s, Bianca is a free-spirited young woman who dreams of love, justice and a better life, away from working for her tyrannical father in his olive groves. But when she falls into a forbidden relationship with the charismatic Ciccio, all she has hoped for comes under threat.
Director: ROCCO RICCIARDULLI
Cast: RICCARDO SCAMARCIO, GAIA BERMANI AMARAL, TERESA FIORENTINO, ANTONIO GERARDI, VALENTINA CERVI
Why you should watch: Firstly, this emotional drama from Mexico is beautifully shot in black and white and is a slow-paced tale so one can’t be in a rush. It is a semi-autobiographical take on director Alfonso Cuarón’s upbringing in the Colonia Roma neighbourhood of Mexico City. In 2019 it won Oscars for Best Director, Best Foreign Film and Best Cinematography. It tells the story of Cleo, a domestic worker who helps Antonio and Sofía take care of their four children in 1970s Mexico City. Complications soon arise when Antonio suddenly runs away with his mistress and Cleo finds out that she’s pregnant. When Sofía decides to take the kids on vacation, she invites Cleo for a much-needed getaway to clear her mind and bond with the family.
Director: ALFONSO CUARON
Cast: YALITZA APARICIO, MARINA DE TAVIRA, VERONICA GARCIA, FERNANDO GREDIAGO, JORGE ANTONIO GUERRERO
Why you should watch: Inspired by a story in Denis Diderot’s novel Jacques the Fatalist, revenge is sweet in this romantic drama of infidelity and passion from France… or is it? Madame de La Pommeraye, a reclusive young widow, begins a liaison with the lustful Marquis des Arcis, after he finally wins her heart. But after a few years of a happiness without flaw, she discovers that the Marquis is tired of their union. Madly in love and terribly injured, she decides to take revenge on him with the complicity of an unfortunate noblewoman and her illegitimate daughter Mademoiselle de Joncquières, who are not what they seem. The poor Marquis is unaware of the games being played which, if discovered, could ruin his reputation.
Director: EMMANUEL MOURET
Cast: CECILE DE FRANCE, ALICE ISAAZ, EDOUARD BAER, NATALIA DONTCHEVA, LAURE CALAMY
Why you should watch: Every kid at some stage in their life wants to be in a band. Hunter and Kevin are the only two kids who care about heavy metal in their high school. They desperately want to form a heavy metal band but fail to find a bass player. They do, however, find a girl adept at cello. If these three can settle their differences, work together, and stay out of trouble, they could win the upcoming Battle of the Bands. But for Hunter, staying out of trouble seems to be an impossibility. The soundtrack to this one is excellent if you’re into heavy metal. And, if you’re not, there is a heavy metal homework list from Hunter that you can access to get you started.
Director: PETER SOLLETT
Cast: ADRIAN GREENSMITH, JAEDEN MARTELL, ISIS HAINSWORTH, BRETT GELMAN, NOAH URREA, JOE MANGANIELLO
Why you should watch: This powerful film is shot in black and white. It is based on the book by Nella Larsen and is a directorial debut for actress Rebecca Hall. She also adapted the screenplay. Set in 1920s New York City, the story follows mixed-race childhood friends, Irene and Clare, who reunite in middle class adulthood and become increasingly involved in each other’s lives and insecurities. While Irene identifies as African American and is married to a Black doctor, Clare “passes” as white and has married a prejudiced, wealthy white man. An excellent film.
Director: REBECCA HALL
Cast: TESSA THOMPSON, RUTH NEGGA, ANDRE HOLLAND, BILL CAMP, GBENGA AKINNAGBE, ALEXANDER SKARSGARD
Why you should watch: This is a heart-warming, enjoyable film from Ireland where two roommates at an all-boys boarding school eventually form an unexpectedly bond. Ned is a social outcast; Conor is a star rugby player. With a new English teacher challenging students to find their own voices, the boys’ friendship is tested b y the rugby-obsessed expectations of others after one is found to be gay. Loved this one.
Director: JOHN BUTLER
Cast: FIONN O’SHEA, NICHOLAS GALITZINE, ARDAL O’HANLON, ANDREW SCOTT, MICHAEL MCELHATTON, MOE DUNFORD, RUAIRI O’CONNOR