Despite the Oscars being so close, there have been very few good films released recently, so I decided to browse Netflix and see what might be worth your time watching there.
Fish Tank: If this came out now, it would be far more successful than when it was released 13 short years ago. Very much ahead of its time, this was the film that really brought Micheal Fassbender to international attention.
Fassbender plays Conor O’Reily, who is in a relationship with Joanne, mother of angry teen Mia, who is preyed on by Conor. So many phrases we learned in the last few years - gaslighting, corrosive control, predatory behaviour - are apt here. Brilliantly directed by Andrea Arnold, this is an incredibly uncomfortable film.
Into The Wild: I hated this movie when it first came out, finding the subject of the film, Christoper McCandless, incredibly selfish and arrogant.
It follows McCandless, a college graduate with a lot going for him, hitch hiking across America into Alaska where he knowingly walked into the wilderness essentially to his death.
Now in my mid-thirties, I’m not so confident you can put yourself in someone's shoes like that and be so confident what he did was a selfish choice. When I read the book this film is based on, it discussed his dwindling mental health and reflected rather subtly about the abusive relationship he had with his parents. The film could have done with a little more (I’d love someone to have another crack at it ). After a year of relative isolation I find McCandless far more sympathetic than before, and this is a very moving film.
Notting Hill: After the above two, we are allowed something fun, and I absolutely loved re-visiting it. The plot and it holds up well, but it is the screenplay that really impressed me this time round. The dinner party in particular is just a perfect scene. The actors bounce off each other so well and I do not think Julia Roberts has been better (Hugh Grant only better in Paddington 2 ).
Greta: This one is actually on the Netflix Top 10 right now, which is great, as I felt it was overlooked when released a few years ago. Directed by Neil Jordan, who I think is Ireland’s most successful director - depends on how you gauge success I suppose - this is a fun little thriller with Chloe Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert. Huppert is the reason I recommend it - one of best five or six actors in the world and does not do a huge amount in English. If you have never seen her on screen this is a nice little intro. (Then seek out Elle, my favourite movie of the last decade. Available on iTunes ).