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Let him go
It sounds like a Springsteen lyric — a dark, Nebraska-era — come to life.
Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are married, George and Margaret, both well past the age of the bus pass. Their adult son, in an early scene, is killed – and his widow hastily remarries.
The daughter-in-law’s new family, who will raise George and Margaret’s beloved grandson, is a clan of criminals and thugs. Fearing the worst for the child, the couple cross state lines to persuade the family to let them take the boy. Nothing good ensues.
Let Him Go is a dark, gloomy and shameless adult film. Costner and Lane have never been better – it was surely a stopover on Costner’s journey to his job in Yellowstone – and British veteran Lesley Manville is simply terrifying as the matriarch of the clan that Costner and Lane have to do face.
Writer-director Thomas Bezucha could have had a hit on his hands with this movie in 2020, but Covid paid for it. Of all the crowd-pleasing, empty-headed “thrillers” on Netflix, Let Him Go is an invigorating and shocking treat.
Let Him Go is now available to stream on Netflix.
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The Flowers are now available to stream on Netflix.
Every time I introduce a new fan to this show, I feel like I get a text a day or two later saying, “Flowers are the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.” But everyone hates him.”
Flowers is a black comedy like no other. It was created by actor and writer Will Sharpe, who plays Shun, the illustrator.
Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) and Olivia Colman are married but only a couple Maurice and Deborah Flowers. He is a bestselling children’s author, who now struggles with anxiety and depression. Deborah wants an open marriage, which Maurice claims to be okay with. Various family members, as well as the couple’s 25-year-old twin children, come and go in their lives.
Flowers is a dark, surreal and almost unclassifiable show. If you liked The Young Ones and The Mighty Boosh, then you’ll probably also like Flowers’ standalone madness. Everything unfolds in and around the ruined family farm, the sky is still low and everything is doomed.
It’s a polarizing show – I’m actually surprised and happy that Netflix is hosting it. If you think Flowers sounds like something you might like, then you’ll probably love it. But watch it soon, before Netflix finds out just how good it really is.
Heartstopper is now available to stream on Netflix.
Speaking of Olivia Colman – as we always should – it’s worth mentioning Heartstopper again, because I still meet people who haven’t converted to this great little show.
Heartstopper is a British series set in a modern high school. Charlie Spring is a shy, smart, funny, friendly and relatable 10 year old. Charlie is gay and is comfortable with being outdoors, even though it makes him the target of bullying and teasing from some of his classmates.
Charlie had a half-hearted relationship with another boy, but it implodes early on, leaving him to focus on the crush he’s developed on Nick – a rugby star at school and a seemingly unlikely object of Charlie’s affections. .
Over the course of eight episodes, Heartstopper traces the course of the boys’ interactions with each other. That everything will go well is never guaranteed.
Colman composes a superb and completely lackluster cameo as Nick’s mother, while Stephen Fry is uncredited – but obviously in favor of the show – as the voice of the school principal.
Heartstopper is a little gem. If you have teenagers at home, they just might like this show even more than you do.
The Mitchells vs The Machines is now streaming on Netflix
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Sticking with Olivia Colman (if you ever meet her, her name is actually Sarah and she only answers “Colly”. JSYK), she’s a gem of the past year who then landed a 94th Academy Awards. He lost to the flashier Encanto.
The movie is a road movie, a family vacation comedy, and also a Terminator-style thread of people going up against an AI that has decided they’re surplus to the needs of the planet.
It’s as clunky, kinetic, and colorful as any crowd-pleasing animation, but The Mitchells vs the Machines is also an extraordinarily well-written and put together film, with real narrative tension and cohesion. Chances are you’ll love it as much as the kids.
The vocal composition is fantastic, with Colman sharing a recording booth with Maya Rudolph, Conan O’Brien, Danny McBride, Eric Andre and many more. Strongly recommended.