The great thing about Netflix is that it gives you a lot of TV and movie watching options. The bad thing about Netflix is that it gives you…a lot of TV and movie watching options. To cut down on your Netflix search and discover time, Netfix aims to ease the process of parsing the good from the bad. The great from the not so great. From action films to foreign dramas, we’re raked the catalogs to offer only the finest that the preeminent streaming service has to offer. So settle in, get your remotes ready and prepare for the red wave of Netfix to wash over you.
FORCE MAJEURE (Ruben Östlund, 2014)
Ruben Östlund‘s Force Majeure was a favorite at the 2014 Cannes Festival, boasting a talented cast, beautiful cinematography and an original balance betwixt thrills, suspense and comedy. When a Swedish family takes a holiday in the French Alps, an avalanche strikes, causing major upheaval in the psyches of Tomas and his wife, Ebba. A character study of morals, you could say, Force Majeure is an offbeat collection of misunderstandings and displaced desires in supposed paradise.
AMELIE (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
It’s hard to have missed this quirky 2001 French comedy starring Audrey Tautou, but if you still haven’t seen it, prepare to be charmed out of your mind. Amélie tells the story of a whimsical, oddball woman who decides to bring people together in lovely ways through acts of kindness. If Wes Anderson were a French director, he might have made something like this film. Also, the soundtrack is supremely pleasant.
A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014)
Pretentious in a hipster kind of way, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a wildly confident Iranian Vampire Western, filmed in black and white. Blending genres can be hit or miss, but in this case it’s most definitely a hit. The film follows a young female vampire, played brilliantly by Sheila Vand, as she roams the empty, silent streets of Bad City. The western vibes enter around the character of Arash, who offers the vampire a ride one night.
THE HUNT (Thomas Vinterberg, 2013)
This expertly portrayed story of false persecution delves into the lonely life of Lucas, played to perfection by Mads Mikkelsen, following a disparaging misunderstanding between him and a student that costs him everything. Any further information would be too much information. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, this is Danish cinema at its finest!
WE ARE THE BEST! (Lukas Moodysson, 2014)
1982 Stockholm is the world three preteen female protagonists live within in We Are the Best!, navigating through their angst, vastly different home lives and the 80’s punk scene. Friendship, gender equality and youthful rebellion are just a few topics this film touches on, and in the most charmingly adolescent way that smacks you with nostalgia, especially if you’ve ever cut all your hair off as a young girl, which I am certainly guilty of on more than several occasions.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
A young boy becomes friends with his next door neighbor and realizes she’s responsible for a few murders about town, yet this doesn’t scare him off. Adapted for the screen by original author John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In is a creepily portrayed glimpse of adolescent angst. Americanized in 2010 as Let Me In, both versions are certainly worth a watch. But watch this one first.
A HIJACKING (Tobias Lindholm, 2013)
While we’re on the subject of Americanized versions, A Hijacking, out of Denmark, was released the same year as Captain Phillips. The two could be considered companion films, although vastly different in portrayal. A Hijacking focuses evenly between the hostage protagonist, and the back and forth between the captors and the CEO of the freight company.
THE BABADOOK (Jennifer Kent, 2014)
Australian horror flick The Babadook is a psychological journey into the home life of a troubled young boy and his insomniac mother as they deal with personal demons. When an unsettling children’s book finds its way onto Samuel’s shelves, Amelia is forced to see her son’s unstable condition not as hallucinations or imaginative stories, but something real.
OLDBOY (Park Chan-wook, 2005)
Oldboy follows Oh Dae-su as he’s inexplicably locked away in prison for fifteen years, only to be eventually released with no information on why he was ever incarcerated. Quirky, comic and full of revenge violence, this South Korean film of vengeance won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Festival, and rightly so. Rightly so.
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