• Netflix

Tag: Netflix

“The Dressmaker”–Quirky Down-Under Drama

Based upon Rosalie Ham’s novel by the same name, The Dressmaker  (2015) gives us an opening scene in which  10-year-old Tilly Dunnage is being bullied by classmate Stewart Pettyman, the mayor’s son,  and a group of boys in Dungatar, a town in the  Australian outback. With little investigation she is sent away by police Sergeant Farrat (Hugo Weaving) for the boy’s murder. Twenty-five years later (1951) Tilly (Kate Winslet) returns to Dungatar after a highly successful career as a couturier working in Paris.  Presumably returning to care for...

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“The Lost Daughter”–Missing Mom

In her directing and writing debut  Maggie Gyllenhaal gives us  The Lost Daughter,  a courageous look at the “maternal instinct”… which isn’t. Leda Caruso (Olivia Colman), a college professor, is vacationing in a quaint Greek resort. Traveling alone with her books, she is enjoying a lazy day on the beach when she observes Nina (Dakota Johnson), a distracted young mother,who is not watching her little girl. When her daughter goes missing, Leda manages to find her. In a series of  flashbacks, a younger Leda (played by Jessie Buckley) has a troubled...

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“The Last Kingdom”–“Game of Thrones” meets “Vikings”

Based on The Saxon Stories novels by Bernard Cornwell, The Last Kingdom first premiered on BBC Two from 2015 to 2017, and on Netflix in 2018.  Four seasons (with a fifth in production) cover four of the twelve Cornwell books in the series, loosely based upon the history of tribal and internecine warfare between various factions of Saxons and Danes (=Vikings). In the year 866 we see the protagonist–a Saxon aristocratic boy named Osbert –taken after his father and older brother are slain by Danes. Only his ruthless uncle survives and robs...

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“Protégé”–Who’s the Student? Who’s the Teacher?

The Protege (2021) is a  throwback to the 90s action thrillers with one exception: a badass, beautiful assassin in the Nikita genre.  (Maggie Q, who has played Nikita in a television series.) Anna Dutton (Maggie Q) is rescued as a little girl from the savagery of the Vietnam War by the legendary assassin Moody (Samuel Jackson). Raised by him as her surrogate father, she is now an antiquity book store owner in London.   Anna–in her secret life– is  a  fierce, highly skilled  assassin who can find people who are hard to find–just as...

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“Chestnut Man”–A Nut Case

Chestnut Man, based on Søren Sveistrup’s 2018 novel, belongs to the many excellent Nordic Noir crime thrillers we can currently stream. The iconic formula is all there: violent and gruesome serial murders, a workaholic  female detective, an initially ineffectual male partner, and a dark and ominous landscape. This is  a story concerned with mangled corpses, haunting blood pools, and a weaponization of a childhood arts and crafts project. In the opening scene in 1987, a local sheriff walks into a barn in response to a call that some of the farmer’s cows have escaped. ...

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“Supernova”(2021) –Nebulous?

“A person dies when he loses his memories.” In Supernova we see Sam (Colin Firth), a concert pianist, and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), a novelist, traveling across England’s Lake District,  in their RV van  to visit friends, family and places from their past. Tusker was diagnosed with dementia two years ago, and Sam and Tusker have been partners for over thirty years. Driving along in their van, Sam and Tusker first engage in the familiar banter of any long-married couple who have spent the majority of their lives together.  Tusker’s early...

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