Flash Questions, trailers, recommendations, and special series presented on the weekends by our video production team
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The Woman in the Window (dir. Joe Wright)
With three Oscar-winning actors in the cast, this film by Joe Wright (Atonement) will without a doubt make it to no.1 on the Netflix Top 10 after its release. The story sounds somewhat familiar – a woman witnesses a murder from her window; the screenplay written by actor and playwright Tracy Letts (the Pulitzer Prize for the play August: Osage County) raises the issue of the agoraphobic protagonist’s mental health and the suspicion with which society views those suffering of various mental illnesses.
The Woman in the Window comes out on Netflix on May 14.
Welcome to Utmark (created by Dakur Kári)
Icelandic director Dagur Kári (Noi Albinoi, Virgin Mountain) tries his hand at television productions with Welcome to Utmark. This eight-episode drama takes place in the far north of Norway, where the surrounding wilderness is seen through the eyes of the new teacher working at the local school in this small border town whose name is featured in the title. The protagonist will soon discover that the only person in this town that might act as a grown-up is a 12-year-old girl, and the strange inhabitants will offer her more than bizarre experiences.
Welcome to Utmark will be available on HBO GO starting with April 18.
Four Good Days (dir. Rodrigo García)
Selected last year at Sundance and with a long-delayed premiere due to the pandemic, Four Good Days shows Mila Kunis in an atypical role, that of a drug addict who wishes to enter a detox program, but for that she must show that she can stay clean for four days. And who should the young woman turn to for this challenge if not her estranged mother, Molly (Glenn Close, nominated for an Oscar this year for her role in Hillbilly Elegy)? Obviously, the premise invites the two protagonists to set free the grudges they have for each other.
Four Good Days will have a limited theatrical release in the US at the end of April, and from May 21 it will be available on streaming platforms.
Ammonite (dir. Francis Lee)
After introducing Romanian actor Alec Secăreanu to the global audience in God’s Own Country, director Francis Lee returns to LGBTQ issues with Ammonite. The film depicts a love story taking place in 1840 between paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) and geologist Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), while talking about the injustices suffered by female scientists in the 19th century, when they were often overlooked by their male peers, no matter how prepared and educated they were. Secăreanu makes an appearance in the director’s second feature film as well, starring as a doctor.
Ammonite is available on Amazon Prime.
Those Who Wish Me Dead (dir. Taylor Sheridan)
Angelina Jolie returns to the big screen with this action film about Hannah, a survivor of a devastating fire who keeps an eye on the forests of a gigantic nature reserve from her wooden watchtower. Her new challenge is not some puff of smoke, but the appearance of a terrified little boy (Finn Little), whose father was brutally executed by the two assassins sent to kill him. Hannah offers to help him, but the assassins (the ones and only Nicholas Hoult and Aidan Gillen) have no plans to leave survivors behind.
Those Who Wish Me Dead will be distributed in Romanian cinemas by Vertical Entertainment from May 14.
Handmaid’s Tale, season 4 (created by Bruce Miller)
At the end of the previous season, June (Elisabeth Moss) managed the unimaginable: to save dozens of children from Gilead and send them by plane to Canada, to the new free world. What we understand from the trailer above is that this act leads to a real declaration of war from Gilead, but also that June cannot be satisfied with saving the children of others, when her own daughter, Hannah, is still a prisoner in the totalitarian country. And the heroine’s decision to return to the society that traumatized her in every way possible invites a lot of dangers.
The 4th season of Handmaid’s Tale premieres on April 29 on HBO GO.
Songs My Brothers Taught Me (dir. Chloé Zhao)
Chloé Zhao’s rise in world cinema was thundering and even unique, as one might call it: she debuted in 2015 with Songs My Brothers Taught Me (selected at Sundance and Cannes), now it’s five years later and she wins the Golden Lion and becomes a favorite at the Oscars with Nomadland. Moreover, Zhao is the director behind the Marvel mega blockbuster – Eternals, with a budget of 200 million dollars. To celebrate Zhao, we return to Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which invites us to a Native American reservation in the United States to explore the difficult choice that awaits teenagers here: they can either resign themselves to the lack of opportunities in the reservation, or leave without looking back.
Songs My Brothers Taught Me is available on Mubi.
In Treatment, season 4 (created by Rodrigo García)
This series inspired by an Israeli production (with a version that was also made in Romania) gets a reboot with the fourth season. This time, in the center of attention is psychotherapist Brooke Taylor (played by the incomparable Uzo Aduba, who also plays Suzanne Crazy Eyes in Orange Is the New Black). The 24-episode season will explore at length the multiple effects the pandemic has had on everyday people.
The 4th season of In Treatment will be available on HBO GO starting with May 23.
Genera+ion (series, created by Zelda and Daniel Barnz)
HBO has been keeping up with the issues of teenagehood for several decades now, with shows like Girls and Euphoria, and Genera+ion is taking a new step in this direction, looking fairly determined to defy new prejudices and taboos. Genera+ion focuses on a diverse group of high school students, and what’s new to this series produced by Lena Dunham (Girls) is that creator Zelda Barnz was actually the protagonists’ age (now she’s 19 years old) when she started writing the screenplay together with her father, Daniel. It looks like Genera+ion might be the series of a new generation, and that parents might need to take a look at it to discover the challenges their teenage children have to face nowadays.
The show premieres on HBO Go on March 11.
Sky Rojo (series, created by Álex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato)
The creating team behind the phenomen La casa de papel returns with a new project that has the same hyperkinetic approach, brimming in violence and plot twists. Its March premiere is also justified by the fact that the series celebrates emancipation no matter what, introducing three protagonists – Coral (Verónica Sánchez), Wendy (Lali Espósito) and Gina (Yany Prado) – who run away from their pimp and his aides. And the three of them will stop at nothing to reassure themselves that playing nice with men is something that they will never have to do again. The creators’ approach seems to pay homage to the last season of another Spanish hit, Vis a vis, also available on Netflix Romania.
The show premieres on Netflix on March 19.
Mare of Easttown (miniseries, created by Brad Ingelsby)
One of the many productions put on hold due to the global health crisis, Mare of Easttown will undoubtedly gain popularity due to the fact that Kate Winslet plays the main role, a policewoman from a small town in Pennsylvania. The British actress rehearsed for months to master the very specific accent of Easttown (the series was shot in this very town). In Brad Ingelsby’s miniseries, it all starts with the discovery of a child’s body and continues with the police investigation, setting the whole town on fire and threatening the protagonist’s peace which is already hanging by a thread.
Premiering on HBO Go on April 18.
Shadow and Bone (fantasy series, created by Eric Heisserer)
In 2019, The Witcher became the most popular Netflix title – to be dethroned only at the end of last year by Bridgerton, and Shadow and Bone seems determined to continue the long run of fantasy shows revolving around supernatural creatures. Inspired by Leigh Bardugo’s novels, the new Netflix series takes pride in having the first non-Caucasian protagonist: the British actress Jessica Mei Li plays Alina Starkov, a young woman who wakes up in the middle of a phenomenal battle between good and evil after realizing that she possesses a miraculous power that could prevent the terrible danger threatening the magical realm.
Shadow and Bone premieres on Netflix on April 23.
Without Remorse (action, thriller, dir. Stefano Sollima)
Michael B. Jordan is one of the “It” actors who haven’t failed in choosing the right roles for them so far, from the intense Chronicle to Fruitvale Station and from Creed to Black Panther. Although there are few spy movies that succeed in avoiding the trap of the predictable and cliché locations, let’s offer Jordan a chance, as he takes over the character of John Clark (previously played by Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber) from Tom Clancy’s novels. After his family is killed in an attack by elite Russian soldiers, Clark will uncover a larger conspiracy that threatens the safety of his own country. And we know all too well that there is no protagonist more dangerous than the one who has nothing more to lose.
Without Remorse premieres on Amazon Prime on April 30.
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (black comedy, dir. Radu Jude)
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is without a doubt the film of the pandemic, and the Romanian audience is certainly looking forward to seeing it, aroused both by its recent success at the Berlinale (the winner of this year’s Golden Bear) and by the slight scandal associated with the porn clip included in the film.
The decision by the Romanian authorities to close the cinemas overnight, due to a new increase in the Covid-19 cases, makes it impossible for the film’s distributors to schedule a theatrical release anytime soon: we will most likely have to wait for the warmer months to see the film in an open air location. Until then, you can read the Films in Frame review of the film.
Voyagers (Sci-Fi, dir. Neil Burger)
Although it explores the immensity of Space and the soul abyss, the new Sci-Fi by Neil Burger has more to do with Romania than it would seem so: it was shot at the Buftea studios in the summer of 2019, and several young Romanian actors such as Theodor Soptelea, Vlad Popescu, Irina Artenii, Ioana Brumar and Ioana Nimigean make an appearance in some of the scenes, starring alongside Colin Farrell. The film follows the crew of a ship that should colonize the Space, but it doesn’t take long and the young people on board begin to realize that the pressure of their mission and the claustrophobic Space become more unbearable than they initially thought.
We don’t know yet when the film is going to be released in local cinemas (in the US, it premieres on April 9), but its link to Romania makes us believe that we will certainly have a national premiere sometime this year.
Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell (documentary, dir. Emmett Malloy)
Pushed to become a jazz singer, little Christopher Wallace quickly realizes that he wants to do something completely different music-wise. Thus begins the story of soon to become The Notorious B.I.G., whose iconic lyrics will sing of the hardships and lack of endemic opportunities in African-American ghettos. Emmett Malloy’s documentary brings together rare images from the rapper’s childhood and adolescence and the testimonies of his loved ones, showing not only how Biggie came to “tell the story” of his peers, but also how different he was from his public persona.
The documentary has been available on Netflix starting with March 1.
Usually, February feels like entering a wormhole when it comes to news on movie releases, since many of the upcoming productions are waiting either to get selected in festivals or for the official announcement of these selections before they can kick off their promo campaigns. So, we turned to guilty pleasures, superheroes, a bit of voyeurism and … the “CODA case”.
Cosmic Sin (film SF, r. Edward Drake)
OK, maybe Cosmic Sin (who would’ve thought that there would ever be such an assertive action Sci-Fi movie as to be called just that?) goes way beyond “guilty pleasures”, but Bruce Willis and his mischievous look – probably the most important feature in his acting set – might bring a lot of memories for some of us (think about the first film you saw with Bruce Willis, that might be a good reminder of how old you really are). The trailer might suggest that Edward Drake’s film wants to try a bit of everything. We only hope that in order to save the human race it doesn’t come to sacrificing a hero willing to drop a bomb in the middle of the invaders’ lair …
The US premiere on March 12th.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Marvel miniseries, created by Malcolm Spellman)
15 hours and four million views on Marvel Entertainment’s youtube page alone for this trailer announcing the new series with The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan, “our” Romanian), which seems to please the Marvel fans after WandaVision threw them into confusion. We have the same witty camaraderie, and Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl, who seems to have traded his homeland career for Hollywood) is just as determined to fight the superheroes until the very end, in order to avenge his family he lost in Segovia …
The miniseries premieres on March 19 on Disney+, when most of our homies will probably storm the torrent sites.
Old (film horror, r. M. Night Shyamalan)
The romance between the audiences and M. Night Shyamalan came to an end after Unbreakable, but the director went on about his work without any fuss and made some of the worst movies in the last two decades. Now the filmmaker comes to intrigue with Old, whose teaser trailer includes a combination of statements (“we were chosen for a reason”, “there is something wrong with this beach”) which have the potential to captivate the viewers. On the beach where the action takes place time moves differently, and Gael García Bernal’s character will learn about it the hard way. His family included …
The movie will be released in July.
The Nevers (HBO series, created by Joss Whedon)
Clearly, Joss Whedon finds it very difficult to stay away from creatures with supernatural abilities. The “papa” of the Avengers departed from the project in November (citing exhaustion as decision factor), not without offering all his love to this HBO production that takes us to Victorian England to witness the challenges encountered by a gang of women who, following a mysterious phenomenon, find themselves with all kinds of superpowers. “Their mission might even change the world”, the HBO synopsis purrs with excitement …
The Nevers premieres in April.
Est (drama, r. Antonio Pisu)
Three young Italian men traveling to communist Romania? How can it not arouse our curiosity? Antonio Pisu’s film was selected in the Venice Days section of the Venice Film Festival, and on Friday it was released on seven streaming platforms throughout Italy. “We are not afraid of Romania”, assert the three protagonists as they are getting closer to the border, but how long will their innocence last once they step inside the communist country? The threat becomes even more palpable on account of a secret mission: they submit to the desperate plea made by a Romanian dissident from Budapest of delivering a suitcase to his family in Romania. Since the action (inspired by real events) takes place between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of communism in Romania, Est captures our country at a time which couldn’t be more relevant for our history …
We don’t know yet when we’ll get to watch it in our cinemas, but we’ll sure be surprised if it doesn’t make it into at least one of the local festivals.
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel (miniserie documentar, r. Joe Berlinger)
Netflix is not a newbie when it comes to releasing incredible documentaries that have a flair for creating a stir, and Berlinger’s film has every chance to make it into this category. The four-episode documentary follows two main lines: first, giving a rough introduction to the violent history of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, an establishment known as “Hotel Death” for the considerable string (on Wikipedia you can even find a list of the violent deaths and suicides carried out in who knows what room of the hotel) of lethal events that have taken place here over more than eight decades. Then, it presents the disappearance case of Canadian student Elisa Lam, last seen in a surveillance video taken inside one of the hotel’s elevators. The more than bizarre behavior of the student made the video go viral, leading to a massive stir among the public opinion and turning it into a high-profile case, the social phenomenon being also analyzed in the documentary. For a more chic visit to the Cecil Hotel: the music video for Where the Streets Have No Name by U2 was shot right in front of the hotel and also contains some opinions on the infamous reputation of this LA area.
Scheduled to premiere on February 10th on Netflix.
CODA (Family Movie, r. Sean Heder)
You’ll have to forgive us, but we haven’t yet found a trailer for CODA, the big winner at Sundance (even though it’s the remake of a French film), so instead, we present you this short video of deaf actress Marlee Matlin discussing the importance of authentic representation of people with disabilities on screen. However, apart from a few more current jokes, CODA doesn’t seem to say more than the original 2014 French film, the heartfelt La famille Bélier, but rather translates its essence to a different type of audience. The big difference between the two is the fact that in the original film the deaf-mute characters were played by non-disabled actors, whereas in CODA the performers are deaf-mute actors. So we’re dealing with a pressing question: what should festivals reward in the end? Originality and innovation or the inclusive message, which might come as nothing but an echo of a past film?
CODA was purchased by Apple for a record $ 25 million and will be distributed worldwide exclusively on Apple TV+.
For many years now, December has been the month when we would meet the films expected to be in the race for the incoming Oscars. Here are some of the candidates, one or two titles that might come as guilty pleasures, but also something that we could watch in February, on Valentine’s Day.
The Dig (r. Simon Stone)
There’s a special kind of charm about films with ordinary people who, in spite of all the obstacles that might appear on their path, keep with their own agenda and bring some light on the unknown. Such is the case with The Dig, a film with Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan and Lily James about an archaeologist (Fiennes) who’s determined to conduct a dig of what he believes to be an important historical site near the British town of Woodbridge. Everyone tells him that his initiative is doomed to failure, but a little patience might be best… what’s left to say is that a special collection at the British Museum shows who was right in the end. The film premieres on Netflix on January 29.
The Marksman (r. Robert Lorenz)
Liam Neeson, who seems determined to step into Clint Eastwood’s shoes, recently stated that “there’s a couple of fights left in him”, now at almost 70 years old. Yes, The Marksman seems to make use of all the typical features of the action film with grumpy protagonists forced by circumstances to go up against some criminals, but sometimes we really need to be reminded that inaction can be the most toxic decision. Neeson is Jim, an Arizona farmer who takes Miguel under his wing, a Mexican teenager hunted by the members of a drug cartel. Oh, and Jim was a sniper in the US military … We don’t know when and how we’ll see the movie in Romania.
Wonder Woman 1984 (r. Patty Jenkins)
Postponed for several times now, this DC sequel has released teasers and trailers by the hour and we decided to include the latest one in our list just because Wonder Woman 1984 will be the first Warner Bros. movie that will be released on HBO Max, as part of a drastic change in strategy regarding the future release of American blockbusters. As HBO Max will be available in Romania only in the second half of 2021, the local fans of the franchise will probably turn to inventive methods to watch the movie right after its global release.
Lupin (serial Netflix)
Few are the cases that could match or overcome the success story of Omar Sy, the French actor turned into a global star after his performance in the French mega hit The Intouchables (19.2 million viewers in France alone). And there are few literary heroes who have got a grip on so many generations of teenagers like Maurice Leblanc’s Arsène Lupin. Netflix France conveys Lupin’s spirit into our times, by bringing Sy on the screen as Assane, a man who sets his eyes on the Louvre Museum and what else if not da Vinci’s Mona Lisa … It premieres on January 8th.
Red Dot (r. Alain Darborg)
You take your pregnant girlfriend and you go in the middle of the frozen wilderness to enjoy the northern lights together, when suddenly an incandescent red dot appears on the outside of the tent … Who is on the other side of the sniper rifle and what are their intentions ? This Swedish film premieres on Netflix on February 11, intended probably for those couples who would rather go for some Netflix and chill, than drown into the sappy programs showing on TV, in movie theaters or on various streaming platforms on Valentine’s Day.
Equinox (miniserie Netflix)
We remain on Scandinavian territory with this Netflix miniseries about Astrid, a radio host who finds out in a live broadcast, during a phone call with an anonymous speaker, that there is new information related to a trauma from her past. The heroine’s reaction suggests that she would do anything to get closure after being haunted by this past event for the last two decades. Equinox premieres on Netflix on December 30.
Little Fish (r. Chad Hartigan)
This past year, I’ve watched and revisited a lot of movies depicting epidemics of all kinds, and Little Fish offers at least a unique approach: in this film by Chad Hartigan, humanity is haunted by a virus whose effect is the loss of memories. In this context, a young couple (played by Olivia Cooke and Jack O’Connell) is struggling to save the memories that define their relationship and past together. The American premiere is scheduled for February 5, 2021, but there is no news of its distribution in Romania yet.
Pieces of a Woman (r. Kornél Mundruczó)
Hungarian filmmaker Kornél Mundruczó makes his English debut with this film released in the competition of the Venice Film Festival, where Vanessa Kirby won the Best Actress Award for her role in the drama. She plays Martha, a young woman who, together with her husband Sean (Shia LaBeouf, without a paper bag on his head here), is waiting to give birth to their first child. But the baby dies due to the negligence of the midwife hired to help with the birth, or at least that’s what Martha thinks. Pieces of a Woman – premiere on January 4, 2021 – increases Netflix’s chances on receiving a record number of Oscar nominations in 2021.
The Midnight Sky (r. George Clooney)
Directed by George Clooney, who also plays the lead role, The Midnight Sky will keep us company on Christmas, as the Netflix premiere is scheduled for December 23. The film’s premise – a group of astronauts (Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Demián Bichir, Kyle Chandler) is looking forward to revealing an important discovery to humanity – becomes even more offering when we find out that no one is waiting for the heroes at home: the human race disappeared after a global catastrophe. Clooney plays Augustine, apparently the only survivor on the planet, who is ready to give his life to alert the astronauts of the immense danger that awaits them on Earth.
Stardust (r. Gabriel Range)
Beyond the qualities or shortcomings of this biographical film about David Bowie, the reactions around him are interesting (especially those of those who have not seen the film yet). “He doesn’t look like David at all!” Fans of the British singer complained at the sight of the main actor, Johnny Flynn. And it seems that the physical mismatch has justified a total rejection of the production that focuses on the years when the singer promoted in songs and tours alter ego Ziggy Stardust, the androgynous alien who came to share a liberating message to the human race.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (r. George C. Wolfe)
It’s 1927, when Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer of the time, becomes one of the first black performers to be given the chance to enter a recording studio. This film produced by Denzel Washington catapults Viola Davis among the most successful actresses at this year’s Oscars, but the campaign to promote the film has every chance to focus on another aspect of the production: Chadwick Boseman appears here in his latest role before the premature end of the end of August. The film launches on Netflix on December 18.
The Life Ahead (r. Edoardo Ponti)
Sophia Loren returns, at the age of 86 and full of vitality, to a leading role in this screenplay updated after Romain Gary’s 1975 novel, La vie devant soi (screened in 1977 with Simone Signoret ). Loren is Madame Rosa, a Holocaust survivor who cares for the children of women in the neighborhood. The heroine is challenged when asked to take care of Momo, an orphan of color, and this is the starting point of a story about hope and the future, but also about reconciliation with death. Many say the role could recommend Loren for a new Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Netflix premiere on November 13.
The Bike Thief (r. Matt Chambers)
This film released a few days ago in the competition of the Tokyo Film Festival hits very close to home because it has in the main roles the Romanian actors Alec Secăreanu and Anamaria Marinca. They play two Romanian immigrants in London, and it all starts when the couple’s difficult life ends up on the edge of a knife after the man’s stolen scooter was delivered. The film written and directed by British debutant Matt Chambers makes you wonder why the two immigrants are stubborn to live in a place that rejects them at every step and, especially, how hard life was for them in Romania if they prefer it the one in London … The Bike Thief does not currently have a distributor in Romania, but it will certainly be included in the selection of festivals in 2021.
Bridgerton (producător executiv Shonda Rhimes)
After producing some of the most long-lived and popular series in Hollywood, the well-known Shonda Rhimes is trying her hand for the first time with a vintage production. The series is based on a popular series of novels written by Julia Quinn that focus on a family of British nobility in England in the early 19th century. Just take a look at the teaser trailer (the narrator’s voice belongs to Julie Andrews) to see that Rhimes approaches everything in the revisionist and stylized style of Baz Luhrmann from Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby and, who knows, the new series may have an energy similarities. Bridgerton launches on Netflix on December 25.
The Flight Attendant (creator Steve Yockey)
For more than a decade, Kaley Cuoco’s name has been synonymous with CBS superhero The Bing Bang Theory , but things could change thanks to the miniseries The Flight Attendant . which also launches in our country, on HBO Go, on November 26. Cuoco plays Cassandra, a stewardess ready to take full advantage of her stops in the great capitals of the world. It’s just that during a stopover in Bangkok the heroine has an affair with a passenger, Alex (the Dutchman Michiel Huisman, best known for the role of Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones ), and in the morning he wakes up hung, full of blood and with the lifeless body of the man beside him. What Cassandra does then sets in motion a series of adventures that should keep us engaged during the five episodes of the miniseries.
Ludo (r. Anurag Basu)
Every year, Bollywood cinema prepares at least one masala movie (with everything, that is) for the Diwali celebration, the festival of lights that takes place in mid-November. If the service suspect is usually a blockbuster of one of the three Khans (Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir), whose local popularity helps them move the entire Indian breath to the mall, here’s the fun moving on Netflix this year with Ludo </ em>. Directed by Anurag Basu (author of a recent Bollywood film classic, Barfi! ), the approach seems hyperkinetic, and this black comedy can boast the cast of another Indian megastar, Abishek Bachchan. in the atypical role of a criminal who kidnaps a child and realizes very quickly that he is completely overwhelmed by the situation. Netflix premiere on November 12.
Big Sky (creator David E. Kelley)
Mr. Mercedes , Big Little Lies and The Undoing are just a few of David E. Kelley’s recent titles ( Ally McBeal ) which shows that the American filmmaker has a great sense of suspense. Kelley returns to the spotlight with Big Sky , a new police series starring Ryan Phillippe as a detective who begins an investigation on his own after two teenage girls are abducted on a Montana highway. It doesn’t take long and the hero discovers that the number of missing teenagers in the same area is much higher…
Mank (dir. David Fincher) – Netflix
David Fincher releases a new film and the world just stops. Gary Oldman plays screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, during his efforts to finish writing Citizen Kane, Orson Welles’ first feature film, and still one of the most influential films in history. The fact that the screenplay points the finger at several moguls of the era, including William Randolph Hearst (played by Charles Dance), causes a lot of problems to Mankiewicz at a time in his life when he already finds himself in trouble. The film will premiere on Netflix on December 4.
Emily in Paris – Netflix
The perfect American self-confidence goes head-to-head with the French ennui and arrogance in this series about Emily (Lily Collins), a witch of social media, who finds herself miraculously catapulted from her marketing company in Chicago to Paris. It’s a little strange to see a female character talking about emancipation, discrimination and … male gaze, when Collins is what Americans call a “zero size”, but the Netflix series compensates with poise, creativity and humor, and you can’t really escape its charms. Emily in Paris is now available on Netflix.
True Mothers (dir. Naomi Kawase)
This year’s edition of Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest pays tribute to Japanese director Naomi Kawase, who has three films in the festival selection, including her most recent one, True Mothers, selected before at Cannes and already screened at festivals such as Toronto and San Sebastian. The film’s premise is more than dramatic: the adoptive parents of a little boy receive a phone call from his biological mother and discover that she is ready to do anything to recover her son.
Beartown – HBO GO
Scheduled to premiere on HBO GO on December 18, Beartown is a new Scandi Noir that offers an interesting mix of conflicting forces, starting from the so-called winning mentality. The film revolves around Peter, the new coach of the junior hockey team in Beartown, and Kevin, the star of the team, the entire future of the town depending on his skill in the rink. In the middle of a championship that the team struggles to win, an act of Kevin overturns the already fragile balance of the small community.
Mia Misses Her Revenge (dir. Bogdan Theodor Olteanu)
A young actress (Ioana Bugarin, who also stars in Otto the Barbarian) gets in a big fight with her boyfriend, and he eventually slaps her. Now that is the premise of Bogdan Theodor Olteanu’s second film (following Several Conversations About a Very Tall Girl), which discusses what happens when the victim seeks inventive solutions to get revenge. The director surrounds his heroine with an entourage of supporting characters, each with their own opinion on the incident, in an attempt to explore the limits of empathy. The film has just been released in Competition 1-2 at the Warsaw Film Festival, and will be available at some point in cinemas or online.
The Haunting of Bly Manor – Netflix
A ghost story is all the more captivating when there are children among the heroes. At least that’s the opinion of one of the characters (Carla Gugino) of this new Netflix series, about the extraordinary experiences of Dani (Victoria Pedretti), the new governess of orphans Flora and Miles, the young heirs of the majestic Bly residence. Elements from the first episode are further replayed in flashbacks, and it soon becomes clear that a terrible threat is hiding in the family’s past and, even worse, in the dark hallways of the mansion … Available on Netflix.
Garage People (r. Natalija Yefimkina)
The October edition of the Astra Film Festival will take place exclusively online, after people in Sibiu had the opportunity to enjoy an outdoor edition in September. Astra now offers two competitions, and among the big names of the selection is also the interesting Garage People, an overview of the Russians’ obsession with their tin garages, and of their ingenuity in using this tiny space to spice up their lives. Available on www.astrafilm.ro between October 15-25.
The prolific Ryan Murphy turns to one of the most famous villains in cinema, nurse Mildred Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, to get back to some of his main interests, such as the myriad layers of abuse, homophobia and fascination for villains. Sarah Paulson is more than captivating in the leading role, and Murphy proves once again that he can make use of a generous budget just to create the right atmosphere. Available on Netflix.
Please hold the line (dir. Pavel Cuzuioc)
Documentary director Pavel Cuzuioc proposes a more than promising thesis – the irrelevance of communication in times when we have so many tools for communication, which he supports with footage of several cable technicians in Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine going through a lot of trouble to mediate, through various methods, their clients’ access to communication. Cuzuioc’s discreet camera allows the heroes to be themselves, and the result is more than relevant. Available on www.astrafilm.ro between October 15-25 .