One of the best things about Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and the other streaming services is finding something you’d never know about if not for them. I love browsing through the various suggestions on Netflix, clicking on something, then looking at what they suggest if I like that movie, then clicking on an actor from that film to see what else they have by him, etc, etc, and so forth. Down the rabbit hole, we go until something pops and I click play, often having never heard of the film before.
I discovered Margin Call that way. That’s the 2011 drama that fictionalized the 2007 financial crisis via one made up financial firm. It's surprising that I hadn’t heard of it before as it stars Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Paul Bethany, and Zachary Quinto - great actors one and all. But I hadn’t heard of it and randomly gave it a chance on Netflix and discovered it;s really quite a lovely film.
It was written and directed by J.C. Chandor and the other great thing about new discoveries is that it allows one to add new writers and directors to lists of people to pay attention to. Candor also directed All Is Lost, that recent "Robert Redford on a boat" drama. I’ve not seen it but it racked up a lot of critical praise so it's on my list. New to that list is A Most Violent Year, Chandor’s third film, again starring lots of cool folks like Jessica Chasten, Oscar Isaac, David Oyelowo, and Albert Brooks.
It again got a lot of critical praise and now it gets the honor of being my Pick of the Week. Not bad for a film I’d likely never have heard of were it not for wandering down the rabbit hole of Netflix suggestions. (Read Kristen Lopez' review.)
Also out this week that looks interesting:
The Immigrant: Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner star in this drama about two Polish sisters who come to America only to discover it is the land of nightmares instead of dreams.
Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways: A documentary series by the Fighters of Foo covering the making of their eighth album. In it, they travel to eight legendary studios across the USA to write and record their album and meet folks such as Dolly Parton, Ian MacKaye, Joe Walsh, Gary Clark, Jr., and others. I don’t really care for Dave Grohl or the Foo Fighters but this sounds interesting.
Complete Series: The Brady Bunch, MacGyver, Frasier: Classic TV series get nice boxed sets.