Since we know how important at-home-entertainment is for all of us – every week we do a little “what’s getting released on DVD/on demand/Netflix this week” round up for you, with nice little excerpts of our past reviews and more. You’ll love it. Trust us.
OUT THIS WEEK & WORTH YOUR TIME:
- Jackie. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Jackie is an unexpectedly jarring, always fascinating look at one of the most famous First Ladies, in a way that we’ve never seen before. Larrain and Portman don’t just create a character of Kennedy, they recreate an emotional state of being in the wake of tragedy that is familiar and foreign. Larrain has presented grief in its most public state: frightening, unnerving, and powerful.
- Office Christmas Party. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Office Christmas Party is perfectly fun, if a bit slow. It won’t change your life, but it will probably entertain you and might also serve as a helpful reminder to keep your own holiday party behavior under control this season. Case in point: I saw Office Christmas Party and wrote this review of it fewer than 24 hours before attending my own office holiday party. As a result, I will almost certainly avoid any cocaine present at this evening’s festivities. Movies really do change lives.
- Paterson. Here’s what we said in our original review:
Adam Driver plays Paterson, and if there was ever a doubt in anyone’s mind that he WILL be an Academy Award winning performer one day, this movie should eliminate all of that. Tall and square, with a face that seems to be stretching in every direction at once, he both fills out the screen with a physicality that could be threatening but is actually comforting here, and moves around his days with a level of content that is zen, never smug. Every conversation he is part of (actively or passively) he makes better by being there. Ron Padgett provided the original poems he writes to anchor his day, and they are perfect for Driver: deceivingly simple, disarmingly honest, rooted in the smallest, fascinating details of life. Golshifteh Farahani luminously plays his wife, Laura, a swirl of hair and dreams and black and white everything, a messy but loving core in the center of Paterson’s life. She experiments, flip-flops, changes her mind, and yet she is always there. Her character may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but she does by contrast help us appreciate the quiet of Paterson’s inner and outer workings all the more. And since he loves her, we can grow to do the same.
INSTANT VIEWING OF THE WEEK (Scandinavian comedy edition):
- A Man Called Ove (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Nick Schager over at The Village Voice:
It’s never in doubt that the film is headed in an uplifting direction, but whether through Ove and Parvaneh’s relationship, his and lifelong friend Rune’s (Börje Lundberg) rivalry (rooted in their respective allegiance to Saab and Volvo cars), or Ove’s role in a young Muslim boy’s coming out, A Man Called Ove — preaching tolerant togetherness as the key to happiness — earns its sentimentality by striking a delicate balance between barking-mad comedy and syrupy melodrama.
- Force Majeure (now on Netflix). Here’s Dana Stevens over at Slate:
There’s one very late scene in which—to keep things vague—the family is placed in another potentially dangerous situation. Though arguably superfluous to the arc of the story that’s just been told, this ending is both unexpected and white-knuckle thrilling, and will provide an extra dash of salt to the post-movie dinner conversation Force Majeure is sure to inspire in any couple (or other closely bonded kinship unit) foolhardy enough to risk seeing it on a date. “What would you do if that happened?” Fanny demands of her semi-serious boyfriend after they’ve finally extricated themselves from their evening spent refereeing Tomas and Ebba’s marital standoff. The younger couple then stays up the rest of the night debating the precise significance of every detail in this purely hypothetical life-or-death scenario. May you and whomever you see Force Majeure with end up doing the same.
- Klown (now on Amazon Prime). Here’s Noel Murray over at The AV Club:
Whenever Klown hits, it’s hysterical. Hvam and Christensen make their outrageous comic setpieces plausible, trying to provide legitimate explanations for why a man might commit armed robbery, photograph a child’s tiny penis, or ejaculate all over a sleeping woman as an expression of affection. One reason is that Klown’s protagonists are so caught up in their own inflated sense of themselves that they don’t always see how inappropriate it might be to ply teenage girls with wine at a place called “Teddy Bear Camp.” But the bigger reason—and the one that gives Klown its actually fairly profound theme—is best expressed when Hvam tells Petersen, “When grown-ups are horny, they do horrible things to those they love.”
That’s it! Get streaming, nerds.