Movie and Series Recommendations and Reviews! Week 1
The Movie Maestro, Evan Wade!
First up is last year's Marriage Story, Netflix's latest Oscar contender starring Scarlet Johansson and Adam Driver. I'm not usually a fan of the annual Oscar drama's but this one took me by surprise. Similar in some ways to Kramer vs Kramer, Marriage Story tells the tale of an ugly divorce between two parents of a young boy. Stage director Charlier Barber (Driver) and his actor wife Nicole (Johansson) find themselves in the struggle of a deteriorating relationship as their career goals and personalities clash.
The film is set in present day, yet it manages to nostalgically feel like a classic family drama movie of the 70's or 80's, both visually and in it's writing and soundtrack. At least that's how it felt as I watched it. The performances from both Driver and Johansson are fantastic here, a great change from their usual blockbuster roles. I couldn't settle with who's side I was on for the majority of it! With an oscar winning performance from Laura Dern as the merciless divorce lawyer. Despite the film's high emotions it still manages to have some humour and nice moments and overall is a fun watch. If you haven't seen this one already, I'd say it's a must.
Next up is Ron Howard's 2013 Rush. A classic rival movie set in the 1970's in the golden age of formula 1 and based on the true story rivalry of McLaren and Ferrari driver's James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). Two driver's with the same dream of glory but with very different definitions of it. Hunt- a talented driver who loves to live in the spotlight (more like a rockstar than an athlete at times) and takes every race as it comes. And Lauda- a strict and calculated strategist who plans out his tactics and focuses completely on climbing his way to be the best. The relationship between Hunt and Lauda is explored brilliantly in this tense and thrilling bio-pic with some absolutely beautifully shot racing scenes.
Brühl's cold cutting performance as Niki Lauda is completely on the ball while Hemsworth's recreation of the charming James Hunt is near perfect as he brings some of his Thor cheekiness and ego in just the right amount. If you didn't catch this movie when it came out, or even just haven't seen it since, it's definitely enjoyable even the 2nd time.
Lastly is a very different pick. Netflix's 2016 series The OA. I don't know how many people I've recommended this show to at this stage. My girlfriend recommended this to me after she'd finished the first season and after some initial hesitance I was glad she did. I do have say this in advance however, unfortunately shortly after it's 2nd season, which only released in March last year, Netflix pulled the plug and cancelled it (to much uproar across twitter and other social media platforms). Having said that, I still think the first two seasons are worth watching. Especially the first.
I can't really say too much about the plot at all as literally saying anything would take away from it and it's way better to go into it blind. It's written by it's main star Brit Marling and her writing partner Zal Batmanglij (Yes, he actually has batman in his name) and also stars Jason Isaacs of the Harry Potter movies along side a bunch of lesser known but equally incredible cast of actors. I've never watched a show quite like this one and if Netflix don't come around to ever renewing it I don't think I will again. It's got an fantastic story that's beautifully told and tones of mystery and intrigue about it. The first season is mainly it's own story so I think it can still be enjoyed while knowing it doesn't make it past season 2. The level of creativity and story telling alone makes this show a must watch for anyone.
And that wraps up this week. Hopefully at least one of these suggestions will peak your interest. Be sure to come back next Thursday for something different.
Marriage Story, Rush and The OA are currently all available on Netflix.
Enjoy! And let us know in the comments if you've any feedback, or are looking for any specific recommendations or reviews. Lets put our Movie Maestro to work!!