Updated: Aug 30
Yup. Still going.
I've become very familiar with my couch over the last few weeks.
Although I'd like to believe I could spend 80% of my quarantine time catching up on the tens of books I own, but still haven't read.. I know I won't. So, in an effort to spent my screen time wisely (rather than re-watching Game Of Thrones and inevitably spiraling into a pit of disappointment and regret), I've "challenged" myself to watch a bunch of new things on Netflix, and I'll post about my favourite four every two weeks. My fifth choices will be what I consider classic MUST-watches.
Reach out if you enjoy anything on my list, I could use the human connection.
~ Week 4 ~
#1- "Magic For Humans"
(Series, Comedy, Illusion.)
Director: Adam Franklin, Justin Willman
"Magic For Humans" is so much fun.
Created and hosted by Justin Willman, this 'reality' show is adorable. Willman is a lifetime magician, and "Magic For Humans" follows him as he pranks/entertains strangers with unbelievable tricks and performances.
This isn't your backyard birthday party magic, this is serious stuff, and it's the utter definition of feel-good TV.
#2- "The Shape of Water"
(Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy.)
~ Filmed in Hamilton! ~
I never had a chance to see this back in 2018 when it won four Academy Awards- and the buzz around this thing was nuts. I couldn't find a single corner of the internet that wasn't talking about 'the movie about a woman having sex with a fish'.
And well, she does.
Sally Hawkins stars in "The Shape of Water"- I immediately recognized her as the actress who played Maud Lewis in 2017's "Maudie", about the true story of the Canadian folk artist. I adored that movie, and she plays a similar role in "The Shape of Water" as Elisa, a mute cleaner at a government laboratory who falls in love with a captured fish-creature.
Yes, it's weird, but it's also crazy beautiful. Do yourself a favor and lose yourself in the 1960s world of "The Shape of Water".
(Thriller, Dark Humour, Witty.)
Director: Cory Finley
I'll watch anything starring Anya Taylor-Joy. Ever since "The Witch" (2015) she's been one of my favourite modern Scream Queens, and she doesn't disappoint.
"Thoroughbreds" is delightfully weird. It follows teenager Lily (Taylor-Joy) and her emotionless friend Amanda (Olivia Cooke- who is brilliant in this) as they plot to kill Lily's stepfather. Also appearing is the late Anton Yelchin, who was beautifully sleazy as the local 30 year-old drug dealer. Rest in peace.
Witty and twisted, "Thoroughbreds" was Cory Finley's debut, and I'm excited to check more of his work.
#4- "The Trails of Gabriel Fernandez
(Docuseries, True Crime, Child Abuse.)
Director: Brian Knappenberger
This is my heavy pick of the week.
I watched this a couple months ago when my roommate suggested it. I'm a gigantic true crime nerd, so I naturally had already checked it out.
"The Trails of Gabriel Fernandez" is about the abuse and eventual murder of an 8 year-old boy at the hands of his parents, and how the American child protection system failed to remove him from the home, and ultimately save his life.
There is no happy ending here, but "The Trails of Gabriel Fernandez" serves as an important glimpse into the criminally corrupt American justice system.
~ Classic Pick ~
(Drama, Thriller, Hopeful.)
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
~ Filmed in Toronto! ~
I first saw "Room" years ago with my mom a little after it was released, and once again last week when I saw it had been uploaded on Netflix. I sobbed both times.
"Room" is based on the novel by Emma Donoghue about Joy; a young woman held captive for seven years in the backyard shed of her kidnapper, and the narrator Jack; Joy's five year-old son, who knows nothing of the outside world beyond the shed that he calls, 'Room'.
I think this might be one of my favourite movies. You might hear the summary of "Room" and assume it's a depressing watch, but it's the opposite. "Room" is a story about Joy escaping her abuser and introducing Jack to the real world. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay give incredible and unforgettable performances.