Let’s face it, we are all starving for content during these trying times. Right now is the perfect time to get to those movies you’ve been meaning to watch. Netflix has an abundance of films worth spending your time on. While they have a lot of original content (more on that at a later date) they also have some wonderful films that you might you might not have seen before. I’m here to recommend five films from Netflix for you watch during your quarantine.
Her (dir. Spike Jonze)
Her is a strange, but ultimately beautiful film. Joaquin Phoenix stars as a lonely, hopeless romantic who falls in love with a computer operating system, played by Scarlett Johansson. That sounds like a bizarre concept, but Jonze’s direction is stellar, and the film never judges its protagonist’s quest for love. It is sweet, original and expertly written and directed. You can take away what you’d like from the film. You could perceive it as a director commenting on addiction to our devices. However, I urge to take it for what it ultimately is; a sentimental and deeply moving romance for the modern era. Also, Arcade Fire’s score is hauntingly beautiful.
The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
One of the essential directors of the 21st century took an embarrassment of riches in the acting department, and created possibly his best film with 2012’s The Master. The late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays a cult leader and Joaquin Phoenix plays a lost alcoholic. The Master weaves its way through a story of a lost soul, with brilliant acting. If you’ve watched any of Anderson’s previous films, and you haven’t seen The Master, it is essential viewing.
A Ghost Story (dir. David Lowery)
A Ghost Story is probably not something you want to watch if you’re looking for levity. David Lowery’s brilliant meditation on the passage of time, death and human existence will leave you feeling a bit uneasy. But, if you’re looking for something to challenge you as a viewer, this film is second to none. Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara give wonderful performances in a film that ultimately will make you feel something by the end. Lowery is grappling with some profoundly deep emotions with this film. It was one of my favorites of 2017, and a film that is gripping from start to finish. It’s the strangest film on this list, but ultimately the most unique and rewarding.
The Lobster (dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)
Yorgos Lanthimos’ films revel in the bizarre. His 2009 film Dogtooth tackles some very strange material. The Greek directors english language debut The Lobster doesn’t buck the trend of bizarre. Colin Farrell stars as a man looking for love at a mysterious retreat. The catch is simple; leave the retreat having found love, or turn into an animal. I know it sounds bizarre, but the film is oddly sweet. Lanthimos’ ambitious filmmaking style (highly evident if you’ve seen The Favourite or any of his films) is a treat, and The Lobster may just be the best thing he’s made.
The End of the Tour (dir. James Pondsoldt)
It may be hard to believe, but Jason Segel gives an Oscar-worthy turn in this movie as author David Foster Wallace. The movie follows a press tour for Wallace’s most well-known novel, “Infinite Jest”, and his interactions with a Rolling Stone journalist played by Jesse Eisenberg. The movie dives deep into fame, and the chemistry between Segel and Eisenberg is lovely. The End of the Tour is a very dialogue heavy film, but it revels in the uniqueness of its structure. It’s a film that is truly special and radiates a sense of sympathy for depression, and the messiness of journalism and fame.