One of the most decisive moments in life is being faced with the ever-growing options on Netflix! So, I’ve compiled a little list of films and TV shows that I think will definitely be worth your time.
Get Me Roger Stone (1h 41m):
This 2017 documentary centres on Roger Stone: the man seen as a focal character in the creation of Donald Trump as a political figure by encouraging him to join the race for presidency. As expected, it’s not a particularly light-hearted documentary; however, it does provide a very interesting profile on Stone. The documentary comes at a time where political tension is high with the election of Trump being under an increasingly bold spotlight. Trump even features to praise Stone’s character, while others have remarked him to be a treacherous and corrupt political strategist. It’s chilling to see Stone’s ‘win at all cost’ mentality and how he has just embraced the hatred people have for him. His steely expression is maintained even in the final moments when asked how he feels that some viewers may loathe him. He responds with a composed and calculate stare: “I revel in your hatred because if I weren’t effective you wouldn’t hate me.” That phrase alone seems to embody everything he has and continues to stand for.
The Get Down (Part 1 – 6 episodes and Part 2 -5 episodes):
Set in New York during the 1970s on the streets of the Bronx, Baz Luhrmann has created an ambitious drama. Lurhmann was the core creator, but numerous directors were also brought on-board to direct episodes, leading to a range of stylistically different episodes. The coming-of-age story follows a group of teenagers during the rise of hip-hop culture, while disco is dying out. This extravagant show doesn’t shy away from strong visuals and a soundtrack which compliments this. However, it is a disappointment that Netflix cancelled the show, but it seems The Get Down was the most expensive project that Netflix has embarked on. Because the show didn’t bring in the same viewing numbers as ‘Stranger Things’ or ‘Orange is the New Black’ it is somewhat expected that they ended the project. The last episode does bring about finality, but the characters and the style are so enjoyable that you can’t help but wish for more.
Hunt For the Wilderpeople (1h 41m):
This was one of my favourite films of last year, and the fact it is now on Netflix is bad news for my productivity! Taika Waititi’s film set in New Zealand is a comedy-drama focusing around Ricky Baker, a trouble-maker, and his foster uncle being the centre of a national manhunt. These two opposite characters find common ground when living rough in the New Zealand bush, while they try to escape the police and child welfare officers. The film perfectly encapsulates the hilarity of the whole situation; making even a funeral scene comical. Waititi is sure to be a director coming into the spotlight with his new film ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.
The Great Beauty (2h 21m):
This Italian drama-comedy is incredibly compelling with the portrayal of Jep (Toni Servillo), recently turning 65, who believed he was content with his own lifestyle. But after an unexpected visitor arrives at his doorstep, he begins to realise that maybe he wasn’t completely fulfilled after all. Rome is celebrated with stunning scenery hosting lavish parties and vibrant nightlife. This film offers a banquet of stunning imagery of ruins and streets that Jep wanders through, coming across numerous characters from all different walks of life; all offering a new perspective. You can’t help but admire the swiping camera movements as we are transported through lively parties and the sights of Rome. The sense of un-fulfilment is poignantly melancholic; showing a man who is wondering what more he could have done with his life. Paired with the nostalgic reflection of Italian culture, this film is a beautiful depiction of love and loss. Even the credit sequence is masterfully formed.
what. (1hr) and Make Happy (1hr):
Finally, what. (2013) and Make Happy (2016) are stand-up specials from Bo Burnham. At an hour each, they are perfect to watch in a de-stressing break which will involve a lot of laughter! I constantly go back to Bo’s performances, it’s logical to watch ‘what.’ first, but both offer this hilariously satirical and self-deprecating style of comedy. Even if you’re on your 3rd or 23rd watch, there are still small elements and jokes that had previously passed you by. This just adds to my already infinite love for his dark comedic abilities. Burnham doesn’t pander or offer easy jokes; he’ll have your attention from the very start with his masterful understanding of the comedy of today.