The cinematic world remains chaotic. Non-streamed movies have been tough to launch inside a pandemic. I have the sense that the pinnacle of streaming series’ excellence has been and gone; much of the fare released has reverted to pap. But the streaming platforms’ competitive jungle ensures that the best of what is out there is stellar. I have experienced another superb half year of viewing. One movies, a documentary at that (The Dissident) received a perfect score of 10/10. The other nine ranked at 9/10, indicating that any one of them will amaze. Links below are to my reviews.
The Dissident—flawless, thrilling storytelling by Bryan Fogel, and this in aid of the true story of the Russian blogger chopped up in a Turkish embassy!
The Queen’s Gambit—cool and cerebral, a fine, visually arresting 7-parter about a female American chess champion.
Mrs. America—a triumphant acting role by Cate Blanchett, but this dense 9-episode series about seventies’ feminism never misses a beat.
Mank—a brooding, monochromatic film about the screenwriter behind Citizen Kane.
Upright—a splendid 8-short-episode tale of a road trip across Australia.
The Midnight Sky—George Clooney’s masterpiece, an elegiac dystopian sci-fi that entrances.
Call My Agent Season 4—no more, no more, and what a pity, this marvelous series goes out on a luscious, hilarious high.
Staged Season 2—Even more post-ironic and maniacal than the first season, this made-during-lockdown season of eight episodes, about the making of lockdown series, is hilarious.
City on a Hill Season 2—brilliant eight-parter, savage and heartfelt equally, about crime and race in Boston in the nineties
Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World—artfully and respectfully composed, an inspiring look at one year in the life of an inspiring person.