weekend watchlist: a couple of treasures for Pride Month

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First published June 18th, 2022, on Substack and Patreon.

Don’t spend hours scrolling the menus at Netflix, Prime Video, and other movie services. I point you to the best new films and hidden gems to stream.

Movies included here may be available on services other than those mentioned, and in other regions, too. JustWatch and Reelgood are great for finding which films are on what streamers; you can customize each site so that it shows you only those services you have access to.

When you rent or purchase a film through the Prime Video and Apple links here, I get a small affiliate fee that helps support my work. Please use them if you can! (Affiliate fees do not increase your cost.)


both sides of the pond

Pride Month continues! A wonderful way to commemorate the not-yet-completed, very-much-ongoing battle for dignity and respect for all the downtrodden, oppressed, and marginalized is with the glorious 2014 British film Pride. This is the based-on-fact tale of gay and lesbian activists in mid-1980s London who came to the aid of Welsh miners, who were engaged in a very long, very contentious strike against the UK government, which ran the mines and wanted to close many of them. (It’s very much analogous to the air-traffic-controllers strike in the US a few years earlier. Both strikes were seen as the beginning of the decline of the transatlantic middle class.) The cast is magnificent — Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy, Paddy Considine, Dominic West, and then up-and-comers Ben Schnetzer, Andrew Scott, and George MacKay. But best of all, this is one of those rare movies that gets absolutely everything right as it bursts with happy-tears emotion about solidarity, friendship, and smashing bigotry… and it might offer a blueprint for what feels like tough times returning again. (Read my review.)

US: streaming free for members on Prime Video; available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and Apple TV

UK: streaming free for members on Prime VideoBBC iPlayer (through July 2nd), Disney+, and Netflix; available for rent on BFI Player, and for rent or purchase on Prime Video and Apple TV


US

streaming hidden gem

Tomorrow is Juneteenth, the commemoration of the end of slavery in the US. The lovely 2020 drama Miss Juneteenth had its theatrical release curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, so why not give it a boost on demand? A sublime Nicole Beharie plays a single mom trying to make a better life in Texas for her teenaged daughter, partly via the titular beauty pageant, a win at which could give her a college scholarship and social opportunities she wouldn’t otherwise have. It’s a beautiful cinematic experience, delicately subtle and bursting with a gorgeous sense of place and character. (Read my review.)

for rent or purchase on Prime Video and Apple TV

Hulu hidden gem

Immigration is never not a contentious issue, perhaps because so many Americans have forgotten — or never knew — the trauma of their own roots as immigrants. In Farewell Amor, an Angolan man who has been living in New York for many years finally brings his wife and now-teenaged daughter to join him, and it’s… a difficult reunion. Writer-director Ekwa Msangi’s wonderful feature debut is plaintive and poignant, with exquisite performances from a beguiling cast, and ultimately hopeful. It achieves that rare cinematic feat of being specific and universal at the same time. (Read my review.)

streaming on Hulu; also available for rent or purchase on Prime Video and Apple TV


UK

new on streaming

Jim Broadbent is that most classic of English characters in The Duke: the affable crank. As this based-on-fact, set-in-the-1960s drama opens, he’s agitating for pensioners to be exempt from paying for their TV licenses; soon, he is *checks notes* stealing a famous painting of Wellington from the National Portrait Gallery. Where this delightful dramedy goes from there is an excursion into low-key culture jamming and fist-in-the-air raging against the machine. Also starring Helen Mirren as his longsuffering wife.

available for rent on BFI Player and Curzon Home Cinema, and for rent or purchase on Prime Video and Apple TV

new on Mubi

Another treat for Pride Month is the heartfelt documentary Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth. It follows the journey of Freddy McConnell, a trans man living in London, who has always wanted to be a father, and so he decides to give birth himself. If it sounds weird to your ears to attach “he” and “his” to “pregnancy,” then Seahorse is for you as much as it is for trans people to see their experiences validated as human and normal. This wonderful film is an important step along the journey we are all on to re-evaluate our narrow assumptions, expand our rigid thinking, and be more welcoming and accommodating of the full spectrum of humanity. (Read my review.)

streaming on Mubi; also available for rent or purchase on Vimeo


find lots more movies to stream at Flick Filosopher

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