Another weekend has gone by, and once again, Babylon takes a look at the best there is to watch on our television screens. In this week’s streaming picks, we look at both old and new additions as we celebrate some birthdays and look at the best Irish streaming services have added to their numerous catalogues.
- And for some additional quality watching recommendations, take a look at last week’s streaming picks.
Shutter Island (2010, directed by Martin Scorcese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo)
Where can I watch it? Netflix, Amazon Prime, SkyGo and NowTV.
What is it about? A world war II veteran travels to a mysterious hospital for the criminally insane situated on an island in the middle of nowhere. Originally sent there to investigate the disappearance of a patient, his mission soon gets derailed by increasingly powerful visions and odd characters. Plot twists ensue.
Why should I watch it? If you managed to get through life without knowing anything about Shutter Island, you should probably keep it this way watch it while there still is time before someone spoils it for you. There’s nothing you should know about it – apart from the fact that it is the type of film you should know the least amount of information about before watching it.
The best of our streaming picks for: Thriller fans and… Why are you still reading this? Just go and watch it while there’s still time!
Tangerine (2015, directed by Sean Baker, starring Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor)
Where can I watch it? Channel 4.
What is it about? It’s Christmas Eve and Sin-Dee, a sex worker living in the suburbs of Los Angeles, is not happy. As she finds out that her boyfriend cheated on her while she was in jail, she takes matters into her own hands to look for retribution, with the precious help of her best friend Alexandra. Their journey will take them through the not so glamorous side of the city, with a lot of genuine fun along the way in what is probably the sunniest Christmas movie ever filmed.
Why should I watch it? You may be familiar with Sean Baker after his successful poetic hit The Florida Project, an impactful story about life as a child in the poor neighbourhoods of America, charmed critics and audiences alike in 2017. His previous work shows a deep interest in stories that haven’t been told before, the ones that are too rarely shown on film. With only an iPhone to film it, Tangerine values authenticity in all its forms by hiring new actresses and letting them infuse the film with their experience of life as transgender women. What could turn out to be an exploitative look at one of the most marginalised human communities at the moment turns into a lesson in compassion from everyone involved and a necessary reminder to look further than our own experience in life.
The best of our streaming picks for: Those who like authentic performances and stories off the beaten path.
Carol (2015, directed by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara)
Where can I watch it? Amazon Prime.
What is it about? Set in the glamorous world lf 1950s Upper Class New York, Rooney Mara plays the young aspiring photographer Therese Belivet looking for something more in life than her boyfriend and her job as a clerk in a department store. When Christmas comes around, Therese meets a beautiful older woman looking for a gift for her son: the eponymous Carol. As the two women meet again and learn to get to know each other, their friendship soon evolves into something more.
Why should I watch it? Yes, I promise we have an excuse for including two Christmas movies in an article published in the middle of May. Carol may have been available to stream on Prime for a while now, but as Cate Blanchett celebrated her 51st birthday this week, it seemed appropriate to give one of her best roles a place of honour in our weekly love letter to quality movies. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s equally excellent novel, Carol is an elegant love story like no other. Every choice from the women’s wardrobes to the subtext of the story is deliberately and carefully constructed, making the film simultaneously restrained and deeply moving. Christmas is still months away, but if you let yourself be charmed by this love story, it may just become mandatory watching the next time Santa comes to town.
The best of our streaming picks for: Anyone – it’s the best rated film of 2015 for a reason. Oh, unless you’re a huge homophobe. Then, maybe give it a pass.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017, directed by Rian Johnson, starring Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega)
Where can I watch it? Disney+.
What is it about? Really? I have to explain what Star Wars is? Alright: this second instalment of the new trilogy picks up where The Force Awakens left off. We follow Rey’s apprenticeship with the great Luke Skywalker as she tries to figure out what the force is, how to stay away from her own dark side, what the secrets of her past may be and the truth about the ever menacing Kylo Ren. Meanwhile, for the other characters, wars in space.
Why should I watch it? While we’re celebrating, it is interesting to note that Cate Blanchett has a birthday twin: Star Wars creator George Lucas. As Disney+ recently became available to the public, it seemed like the perfect time to highlight one of the best recent efforts in the iconic sci-fi saga. While certainly controversial among die hard Star Wars fans, The Last Jedi makes the bold decision to depart from the familiar structure and rules of the old saga and truly tries to build something new. “Good versus evil” has gotten old: this time, the characters are allowed to stand somewhere in the middle, or even be unsure about which side is the right choice anymore. And also, wars in space.
The best of our streaming picks for: Mature kids, their nostalgic parents and anyone who wants to catch up on one of the biggest sci-fi sagas of all time.
Which one of our streaming picks will you watch this week? Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!