‘Miss Juneteenth’, ‘Dredd’ and more streaming gems | ET REALITY


Stream it on Netflix.

Of all the movies that would do have been unexpected hits, if they hadn’t been released in 2020, when the theatrical push was off the table, it’s hard to top this, the first feature from writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples. Nicole Beharie plays Turquoise Jones, a single mother from Texas whose 15-year-old daughter (Alexis Chikaeze) is about to compete in the local Miss Juneteenth pageant that Turquoise won once upon a time. Peoples’ script sensitively explores poignant questions about opportunities lost and gained, and the mother/daughter dynamic is compelling and compelling. But the real takeaway here is Beharie, whose wonderfully vivid performance is both inspiring and devastating.

Stream it on Max.

Actor Max Minghella (whose father Anthony directed films such as “Truly, Madly, Deeply” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley”) makes an impressive directorial debut with this story of a country girl (Elle Fanning) whose golden voice calls out. attention of a fallen opera star (Zlatko Buric), who advises her in a national singing championship. The story beats are dusty, but the approach is fresh, as Minghella focuses on the small details of character and setting that make his narrative unique. Fanning sings herself, and does so convincingly (ditto her British accent), while imbuing her 17-year-old character with an appropriately tormented inner life.

Director Ry Russo-Young co-wrote this indie drama with Lena Dunham (who had just released “Girls” on HBO), and it’s an excellent fusion of their sensibilities and their mutual interest in the mind games of attractive young men and women. Being able to play. Olivia Thirlby is Martine, a New York visual artist who visits Los Angeles (the title is a reference to the relative absence of pedestrians) to finish an experimental film with the help of a sound engineer, Peter (John Krasinski), whose therapist wife Julie (Rosemarie DeWitt) puts Martine up at her pool house. And that’s when the problems begin, as Russo-Young and Dunham’s clever script dramatizes how proximity, boredom and hormones can wreak havoc on a seemingly happy existence.

Stream it on Netflix.

Thirlby’s other The 2012 release couldn’t have been a more striking contrast, a rough adaptation of the ultraviolent British comic series (previously attempted, universally, by Sylvester Stallone in the mid-1990s). Karl Urban is a square-jawed cop in a futuristic dystopia where the police are not only allowed to enforce the law, but also carry out its consequences. Thirlby is his partner and Lena Headey is his target, an underworld queen who traps them in a sketchy apartment complex and places a healthy bounty on their heads. Director Pete Travis executes the near-nonstop action with punchy intensity, while the better-than-expected script (from talented “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation” screenwriter Alex Garland) fills the occasional silences with quickballs of social commentary.

Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of JG Ballard’s novel sometimes feels like it’s licking itself: Ballard’s 1975 notions of futuristic class warfare and social collapse seem almost quaint compared to what we face today. But Wheatley’s film is wildly entertaining all the same: a boisterous, tense portrait of well-educated people who turn into wild animals at the slightest provocation. Tom Hiddleston is appropriately cynical in the title role; Luke Evans, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller and Elisabeth Moss do memorable supporting work.

Stream it on Max.

With her new film “May Dec” (and her performance in it) earning rave reviews ahead of its upcoming debut on Netflix, here’s another recent Julianne Moore film worth celebrating. She plays the main character, a middle-aged woman who is still figuring out how to make the most of her and her life after divorce. Help with that might come from Arnold (John Turturro), who offers love (or, at least, comfort), but “Gloria Bell” is not about finding yourself through someone else’s eyes. Chilean screenwriter and director Sebastián Lelio told this story for the first time in his native language, in his 2013 film “Gloria,” but it is not a retread; the American version of him is lighter and funnier, and a shining showcase of Ms. Moore’s charms.

Stream it on Hulu.

When the pandemic hit the United States in the spring of 2020, filmmaker David Siev was one of many Americans who returned home and reunited with his family in Bad Axe, Michigan, to help keep his venerable local restaurant afloat. He brought his video camera and captured an indelible real-time snapshot of a country quickly coming together and then fragmenting with even greater speed. The resulting documentary functions on two levels simultaneously: as a social document of a country in free fall (with particular focus on how much of the MAGA-infused community turned against the Asian American Sievs) and as an intimate portrait of the family itself. complicated relationships and how they were tested by forces beyond their control.

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

Restaurants, as you may recall, weren’t the only places that took a big hit during the shutdown, and with movie theaters out of business, drive-ins became a safe alternative and saw a huge increase in their attendance, which had been fighting for a long time. So documentary filmmaker April Wright, who previously made the 2013 film “Going Tourism: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie,” returned to the drive-in to see how these (often family-owned) establishments had fared during the unexpected push and how they were adjusting to life “getting back to normal.” Once the hot topics are addressed, it becomes a fascinating character study, as these entrepreneurs, from grizzled veterans to cool newbies, react very differently to the usual difficulties of their old business.

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