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Five brilliant, award-winning films to watch on Netflix today


By Jennifer McShane
18th Mar 2019
Five brilliant, award-winning films to watch on Netflix today

Grab the popcorn and enjoy.  


Gone Girl

This one has divided many, as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl novel was critically acclaimed upon release. Flynn also wrote the screenplay for the movie adaptation and the book’s non-linear structure following a man accused of murdering his wife Amy is translated perfectly onto the big screen. Some argue the film lacks that ‘whodunnit’ quality so present in the book is absent in the movie, yet the film engrossed me and I enjoyed the twist in the ending more (it differs in the novel). Rosamund Pike was terrifyingly brilliant and the film won numerous awards, resulting in many preferring it, as yours truly does.

Kramer Vs Kramer

Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman may have hated each other on set, but on screen, they dealt with the tough subject of separation just the right way. Streep, who plays Joanna, suddenly leaves her marriage to Ted, played by Hoffman (who won the Best Actor Oscar for the role), and her young son. Forced to raise Billy alone, Ted is thrust into single parenthood and it’s touching, intelligent and so heartfelt. Worth the watch alone for the scene in which father and son prepare to make a last breakfast together before being parted – you won’t be able to hold back tears.

Fargo


Nowadays the TV show gets all the hype, but it wouldn’t exist without the sublime black-comedy film on which it’s based by the Cohen brothers. In a career-best performance by the formidable Frances McDormand, she plays as Marge Gunderson, a pregnant Minnesota police chief investigating a slew of roadside homicides that ensue after a desperate car salesman (the always wonderful William H. Macy) hires two criminals (the underrated Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife in order to extort a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It should have been simple, but it all quickly goes wrong. Everything about this one is excellent – and yes, the accents are spot on.

My introduction to the tour de force pairing that is Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins all began with Silence of the Lambs. Foster plays Clarice Starling, an FBI protege assigned to assist the hunt for a serial killer targeting women by the name of Buffalo Bill. She interviews Dr Hannibal Lecter, a former serial killer and cannibal who can provide insight into the case to help her track the killer. Their cat-and-mouse game is disturbing and thrilling and many elements remain unnervingly horrifying – almost thirty years later. Hopkins rightfully won an Oscar for his portrayal and created an almost instant infamous, albeit terrifying,  icon of cinema.

Four Weddings and a Funeral

It’s only after you watch this one repeatedly that you discover you see nothing else besides weddings (and a funeral), and yet, the premise completely works. Hugh Grant in his breakout role and a charming Andie Macdowell shine but it’s the supporting cast that helps carry the movie – Kristin Scott Thomas, James Fleet, Simon Callow, John Hannah, Rowan Atkinson are utterly brilliant in their supporting roles. It’s still one of the sweetest British films ever made.

Main image via Unsplash