What to stream: ‘Pursuit of Love’ on Amazon, ‘Freaky’ on HBO Max, music docs on Apple + and Paramount+

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …   Lily James and Emily Beecham play cousins—one rebellious and vivacious, the other shy and careful—who take very different routes to love in the limited series “The Pursuit of Love“ (TV-PG). The handsomely-mounted […]

‘Frozen River’ on Amazon Prime

Courtney Hunt delivers the best kind of American independent drama with Frozen River (2008), a film that is respectful of its characters, responsive to its location, and honest in its storytelling. This kind of uncompromising filmmaking is often a hard sell. Hunt not only got her film a theatrical release, she earned Academy Award nominations […]

Susanne Wuest in the German horror drama 'Goodnight Mommy,' directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz

Last chance: ‘Goodnight Mommy’ on Hulu

Goodnight Mommy (Germany, 2015) is an unsettling horror film built on scars (physical and psychological) that upset the connection between a mother (Susanne Wuest) and her sons, adolescent twins named Lukas and Elias played by real-life twin brothers Lukas Schwarz and Elias Schwarz. That fraternal connection is apparent in every scene, not just affection but […]

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in the young adult vampire romance based on the Stephenie Meyer novel

‘Twilight’ – Young vampires in love on Netflix

Stephenie Meyer’s vampires are not your parents’ vampires. They walk around in daylight. They sparkle like diamonds in the sunlight. And they love baseball. Meyer’s young love vampire series of novels became a veritable pop phenomenon among teen girls (and their mothers) and the very faithful screen adaptation was an unqualified hit with the fans. […]

‘Whip It’ – grrrl power on the roller derby rink on Hulu

Whip It (2009), the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore, is a grrrl power movie on wheels. Set in the funky DIY world of local roller derby leagues, it stars Elliot Page in their best role since Juno. Bliss Cavendar is neither as smart-ass nor as confident as the sardonic Juno MacGuff. This restless girl in […]

‘Marie Antoinette’ – decadent young royals on Amazon Prime

Kirsten Dunst is Marie Antoinette (2006) in Sofia Coppola’s portrait of the decadent, indifferent monarchy that toppled in the French Revolution. Marie is a teenage Austrian princess married off to France’s distant young King Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman) and sent to the alien of the French court. She’s a political naïf dropped into a world […]

Anna Pavlova stars in the 1916 silent movie epic directed by Lois Weber

‘The Dumb Girl of Portici’ – Lois Weber’s silent blockbuster on Criterion Channel

The first blockbuster helmed by a woman director in Hollywood, The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916), based on the opera by Daniel Auber, presents the legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova in her only feature film performance. It was not uncommon to cast luminaries of stage, opera, and other performing arts in movies as they evolved from […]

‘Shoes’ – Lois Weber’s landmark silent classic on Criterion Channel

Lois Weber holds an important place in film history as the first major woman film director in Hollywood. What’s often forgotten in that honor is the talent that gave her a successful twenty five year career making films for the major studios. Weber tackled on serious issues through her dramas, putting a face to the […]

Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker on Netflix

Oscar winner ‘The Hurt Locker’ on Peacock

“Tell me something. What’s the best way to disarm one of these things?”“The way you don’t die, sir.” Set in the Iraq war after the proclamation of “Mission Accomplished” and the transformation of a battlefield army into an occupation force, The Hurt Locker (2008) follows the finals days in the rotation of a bomb disposal unit […]