What to stream: ‘Happy as Lazzaro’ and ‘1983’ on Netflix and Kanopy has the great American indies

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …

Alice Rohrwacher won the screenwriting prize at the Cannes Film Festival for Happy as Lazzaro (Italy, 2018, PG-13, with subtitles), a modern parable of a holy innocent (first-time actor Adriano Tardiolo) that combines earthy naturalism with miracles and morality. It debuts directly to Netflix.

There’s a populist bent to the romantic comedy The Talk of the Town (1942) starring Ronald Colman as a stuffy but erudite legal scholar dragged out of his ivory tower of abstract judicial philosophy by his bubbly landlady (Jean Arthur) and a social activist (Cary Grant) on the run from a phony murder charge. This trio makes the debate dance with screwball flair. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

1983: Season 1 (Poland, with subtitles) is a conspiracy thriller set in an alternate reality where the Berlin Wall didn’t fall and Poland remained under totalitarian control. Call it Netflix’s Euro-centric answer to The Man in the High Castle. On Netflix.

Free streams: Kanopy, which is available through most library systems, has added some of the most acclaimed independent movies of the last few years, from Academy Award winners Moonlight (2016, R) and Room (2015, R) to Oscar nominees Lady Bird (2017, R) and 20th Century Women (2016, R) to new releases First Reformed (2018, R), Hereditary (2018, R), and The Children Act (2018, R). 72 films from distributor A24 are available for a limited time.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

In Searching (2018, PG-13), a father (John Cho) goes looking for his missing daughter and discovers a secret life through her social media presence.

The Little Stranger (2018, R), a Gothic thriller with a psychological edge starring Ruth Wilson and Domhnall Gleeson, is director Lenny Abrahamson’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning Room.


A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018) is a sequel to the 2017 Netflix Original Christmas romance with Rose McIver and Ben Lamb. Also new for the holidays is the animated short Angela’s Christmas (2017, not rated) based on the children’s book by Frank McCourt.

Foreign affairs: Isabelle Adjani takes charge in the French crime comedy The World Is Yours (France, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) with Karim Leklou and Vincent Cassel. Also new:

  • family comedy Rajma Chawal (India, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) about a father who turns to social media to connect with his millennial son;
  • psychological thriller Time Share (Mexico, 2018, not rated, with subtitles) (aka Tiempo compartido), which won awards at both Sundance and Mexico’s Ariel Awards.

Streaming TV: British magician Drummond Money-Coutts hosts the globetrotting reality series Death by Magic: Season 1. Also new:

Foreign language TV: Baby: Season 1 (Italy, with subtitles) follows a high school girl with a scandalous secret life.

True stories: De Palma (2015, R) surveys the career of the often controversial filmmaker and Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2015, not rated) is a lovely tribute to a personal and professional partnership.

Amazon Prime Video

Jamie Foxx stars in the crime thriller Sleepless (2017, R) as a cop searching the underworld for his kidnapped son.

The colorful fantasy The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953, G) was written by Dr. Seuss himself.

True stories: McQueen (2018, R) profiles fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen.

Streaming TV: reality series Inside Jokes: Season 1 follows a group of young comedians competing for a spot at the Just For Laughs comedy festival. Also new:

Foreign affairs: Zoology (Russia, 2017, with subtitles) is a fascinating collision of social satire and personal drama with a twist of the fantastic. Also new:

  • the sexy and surreal The Story of Sin (Poland, 1975, R, with subtitles) from director Walerian Borowczyk;
  • yakuza thrillers Blind Woman’s Curse (Japan, 1971, not rated, with subtitles) from Teruo Ishii and Retaliation (Japan, 1968, with subtitles) with cult actor Jo Shishido.

Also new: The Grand Seduction (2013, not rated), a Canadian comedy starring Brendan Gleeson as a mayor trying to entice a young doctor (Taylor Kitsch) to move to his rural fishing village;

Amazon Prime / Hulu

Matt Damon gets small in Downsizing (2017, R), a comedy from Oscar-winning writer-director Alexander Payne that uses the incredible shrinking people gimmick for a social satire of class, economic anxiety, conservation, personal responsibility, and human nature. Prime Video and Hulu.

Michael Caine is Harry Brown (2009, R), giving a weary dignity to an otherwise improbable and very bloody senior citizen Death Wish crime thriller. Prime Video and Hulu.


True stories: Best of Enemies (2015, R) revisits the landmark political TV debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal in 1968.


Alicia Vikander plays Lara Croft in Tomb Raider (2018, PG-13), the big screen reboot based on the hit video game about a fearless female adventurer in the “Indiana Jones” mold.

The documentary The Truth About Killer Robots (2018, not rated) looks at the impact of new technologies on our lives.

Available Saturday night is Rampage (2018, PG-13), an action adventure with Dwayne Johnson and a gorilla buddy fighting genetically modified giant animals.

Acorn TV

Line of Duty: Series 4, from Bodyguard writer/creator Jed Mercurio, arrives from BBC. Also new is Run (2013), a four-part crime drama mini-series with Olivia Colman and Lennie James.

YouTube Premium

Rap satire Bodied, starring Calum Worthy as a graduate student turned unlikely Battle Rap champion, comes to YouTube Premium direct from theaters.

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Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

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