Thinking about what to watch in the new year? A slew of awards season hopefuls are turning to streaming services, ranging from surprisingly animated British film debuts to frankly ridiculous satire.
Charlotte Wells’ critically acclaimed Aftersun comes to Mubi (the site’s self-curated series featuring simple works such as Shopping from B-movie maestro Paul WS Anderson and truly game-changing works such as Faith Akin’s Short Sharp Shock). in the middle of the debut movies season).
At the same time, the food horror movie The Menu is coming to Disney+ with an ensemble of diners, including Nicholas Hoult, Anya Taylor Joy, and Hong Chau, led by Ralph Fiennes.
Read more: What’s New at Sky/NOW in January 2023
Also retroactively, Martin Scorsese’s underrated masterpiece of a period drama, The Age of Innocence, is on Netflix for your viewing pleasure.
After Sun (2022) | Mubi (choice of the week)
The autobiographical nature of Aftersun, the feature film debut of Charlotte Wells, who also wrote the screenplay, is evident even without the director’s prior knowledge of how she draws on her own past.
It carries the shattered sense of real memory, Sophie’s memories as an 11-year-old girl (wonderfully portrayed by Frankie Corio) and her thoughts as a 31-year-old woman mixed with a strangely nostalgic but somewhat tragic haze. she tries to reconcile with her father when she remembers and did not see him.
Walking the same line, Paul Mescal also has an astonishing performance as Sophie’s father, Calum, whose struggle with depression is constantly boiling under the surface, even while trying to make their Turkey holiday together into a happy memory.
Watch a trailer for Aftersun
What makes Aftersun so striking is not only its highly personal nature, but also the confidence of its elliptical direction and the digital haze of DVR recorded footage in which much of the vacation is observed with Calum’s video camera. All of this comes together for not only “pretty good for a British movie” but one of the best British releases in recent years.
Yahoo UK has named Aftersun one of the best films of 2022.
Also new in MUBI: Short Sharp Shock (1998), Shopping (1994)
Menu (2022) | Disney+
Probably not most television, but best known for his directing work on films like the HBO shows Succession and Game of Thrones, Mark Mylod’s satirical black comedy The Menu certainly feels like the job of a hired television director with little or no energy. Creativity behind the camera to be seen. Seth Reiss and Will Tracy’s script is often silly for the right reasons as well as the wrong ones, spawning amusingly ridiculous dialogue before tying its own satire in endless knots.
Read more: What’s New on Disney+ in January 2023
All that said, it’s also a pretty great time. The story follows a group of high-society people, as well as a young man and his girlfriend Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy), who go to a private island restaurant for a multi-course meal and become dramatic to say the least. .
Watch a trailer for The Menu
Moving along the pretty obvious ‘eat the rich’ message line, she starts playing with some hilarious, tight-knit performances like Ralph Fiennes’s as a smug (and murderous) celebrity chef and Hong Chau’s – which stands out easily – as his. the devout maître d’ hovering ominously over the guests and making the most of every millisecond of the word ‘tortilla’.
Nicholas Hoult is also an MVP, portraying an ambitious gourmet who immerses himself in the experience with a single thought, even when things get out of hand.
Also on Disney+: If These Walls Could Sing (2022)
Pale Blue Eye (2022) | Netflix
As if January wasn’t cold enough already, this Gothic thriller on Netflix will plunge you into the cold, snow-covered setting of a military academy in 1830s New York. Christian Bale’s reclusive detective is called in to investigate the death of a cadet and soon reluctantly pairs up with another student, Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling), for the investigation.
The idea of a fictional Poe serving as a detective has been made before—including John Cusack in the 2012 thriller The Raven—but Melling brings an intense and very watchable weirdness to the role. Bale is a great gray-haired detective and has a clear understanding with director Scott Cooper, with whom he previously worked on Out of the Furnace and Hostiles.
It doesn’t all hold together in the end, and it’s often more Gothic in style than content, but fans of the spooky will find this a very fun way to start the year. -TB
The Age of Innocence (1993) | Netflix
A common reflex when discussing Martin Scorsese’s work is to bring up his gangster pictures first: Goodfellas, Casino, The Irishman, etc.
The truth is that much of the director’s filmography consists of a wide variety of adventurous, flamboyant dramas, such as the melancholy tale of forbidden courtship and one of his best works, The Age of Innocence.
Read more: New to Netflix in January 2023
Daniel Day-Lewis plays Newland Archer, a wealthy New York high society lawyer engaged to the kind and well-meaning wealthy socialite May Welland (Winona Ryder), in a performance that may be considered the prototype of the role of Reynolds Woodcock in Phantom Thread. ).
Archer meets Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) in the midst of a complicated divorce and social exclusion and legally represents her, shortly before falling in love with her. Newland sees him as an oasis amidst his solitude in society, Scorsese calling it uniquely bloodthirsty in an interview with Roger Ebert, the lack of bloodshed leaving only repressed hatred beneath all that rich surface.
While the rich color of Michael Ballhaus’s circulating cinematography and the dramatic music of Elmer Bernstein only enhance these luxurious textures, the film questions their true value amid the misery inherent in high society.
Also on Netflix: How I Became a Gangster (2023)