Stuck at home? Families can be difficult. Might be a good time to watch a movie. I’ve made a couple of previous posts listing some of our favorites, and many of you have responded with yours, for which we thank you. Now it’s time for an update.
Our list includes only titles that we streamed through Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu (thank you, Beth), plus an occasional sampling through 30-day free trials. Some we paid a few bucks to see. We gravitated toward series because it’s comforting to know what we are getting next and who the characters are. Some have a soap opera feel, but who cares? You can enjoy it while feeling superior to it at the same time.
So – here’s our updated list:
Greenleaf (Netflix) Follows the unscrupulous world of the Greenleaf family with scandalous secrets and lies, their palatial family mansion compound, and their sprawling Memphis megachurch with predominantly African-American members. Even wealthy and successful families can be difficult. We watched more than 50 episodes, with more to come this summer.
Bonfire of Destiny (Netflix) Set in 1897 Paris, we see the consequences of a devastating fire that killed 125 people. This series suggests, among other things, that families can be difficult.
3 action/mysteries by Harlan Coben, all set in England:
Big Little Lies (Amazon Prime) Tells the story of five women in Monterey, California, who become embroiled in a murder investigation despite some family difficulties. Powerful acting performances make this work. There are rumors of a sequel, which we plan to watch.
The Restaurant (Amazon Prime) Swedish soap opera dealing with the class distinctions of owners and employees of a Stockholm restaurant, starting with the end of World War II. We are still watching it – currently in the 1970s. Comparable to Downton Abby. In this series you will again learn that families can be difficult.
The Cry (Amazon Prime) A powerful Australian who-done-it drama about a couple whose baby, apparently, disappears. This one keeps you guessing. A good guess will be that families, even small ones, can be difficult.
Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu) We just finished watching this intense and beautifully-acted study of the interactions between two dysfunctional families as they deal with social issues of race, privilege and adoption. Need I say . . .?
Love, Wedding, Repeat (Netflix) Very funny British comedy as we watch well-mannered eccentrics at a wedding. Kim and I laughed frequently and hard. It reminded me of Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Rachael Getting Married (Netflix) A woman is released from drug rehab to attend her sister’s wedding, resulting in some difficulties for the family as the past rises to the surface. Nevertheless, the wedding is really cool, especially some of the toasts. Takes place near where I grew up in Connecticut, but I didn’t know people like those in the movie. Or I didn’t realize they were like that.
The Beautiful Fantastic (Amazon Prime) A quirky but charming story of the relationship between a curmudgeon and the eccentric young librarian. Sweet movie – reminds us of Amelie. No families involved.
Jojo Rabbit (Amazon Prime) An amazing film that includes a comedic portrait of Nazis through the tale of a Hitler Youth member who discovers that his mother is hiding a young Jewish woman.
Edie (Netflix) An 80-year-old Scottish woman decides, when her husband dies, to climb a mountain. The movie is a great character study, inspirational without being corny.
The One I Love (Netflix) A couple escapes to a beautiful vacation house for a weekend getaway in an attempt to save their difficult marriage. What begins as a romantic and fun retreat soon becomes surreal.
Dean (Netflix) Deadpan comedy starring Demetri Martin and Kevin Kline. A New Yorker moves to California to try to get over the death of his mother. Sound funny? It is. We love the cartoons the main character creates, so we bought a book of cartoons by writer/director Martin.
That should be enough to keep you busy and to keep your family out of difficulties. You’re welcome. Please send along suggestions, either new stuff or rediscovered oldies, to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.