The best binge-worthy releases from the top two streaming platforms available!
By Tom McLean
Tracking the trials and tribulations scriptwriter Herman “Mank” Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) faced during the making of the cinema classic Citizen Kane, this all-star biopic was filmed entirely in black and white, giving it a authentic aesthetic. A biting critique of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Mank delves deeply into the dualistic nature of life experience and the creation of fiction, while casting a critical glance at Tinseltown’s propensity for hedonism and excess.
Release date: 4th December
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
Boasting a myriad of powerhouse performances, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a riveting retrospective of early African-American blues, injected with haunting drama. Taking place over the course of a prolonged album recording session, headstrong trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman) vies for more authority among famed musician Ma Rainey’s (Viola Davis) band members, in an attempt to boost his own musical career. Tension and conflict ensues, with Ma Rainey having to contend with Levee’s manipulations, while maintaining control of her musical integrity. This melancholic movie marks Chadwick Boseman’s final film, with many critics speculating that his performance may well be Oscar-worthy.
Release date: 18th December
THE MIDNIGHT SKY (NETFLIX)
Directed by and starring George Clooney, The Midnight Sky is a chilling sci-fi epic that takes place across both the snowy Arctic tundra and the dark reaches of space. After the Earth undergoes a mysterious apocalyptic disaster, scientist Augustine (Clooney) races to warn returning astronauts about the catastrophic conditions that await them back on the ground. Benefitting from tremendous production values, this ambitious film delivers remarkable visual effects and top-notch performances from the leading cast, channelling the same realistic energy seen in science-centred blockbusters like Gravity (2013) and The Martian (2015).
Release date: 23rd December
COOLIE NO.1 (PRIME)
A remake of the cult 1995 Bollywood movie of the same name, Coolie No. 1 follows similar, comedic themes of romance and deception. The film follows humble labourer Rajun (Varun Dhawan) as he conspires with a wedding matchmaker (Javed Jaffrey) to marry the daughter of an arrogant businessman (Paresh Rawal) by pretending to be a millionaire. Suspicions are raised and chaos ensues, with the two frauds crafting a tenuous web of lies in order to maintain their ruse. A riotous comedy of errors that will have you laughing all the way into 2021.
Release date: 25th December