In this bout of weather that is cold, rainy and windy (yes, in May), Netflix bosses must be loving it because what else is there really to do asides from curl up under a cosy blanket and start to binge-watch? Below are seven picks, bound to boost your equilibrium. Happy streaming!
Five Foot Two
It seems rather astonishing that no one has made a documentary about the pop culture phenomenon that is Lady Gaga before now. Her breakout singles, Poker Face and Bad Romance are a decade old each yet she has consistently evolved as an artist in her 10 years in the limelight. There have been dramatic highs and quiet lows and the film attempts to give viewers a more intimate, personal look at the star who slowly stripped back her larger-than-life persona with the release of her most recent album Joanne. She's rumoured to be the darling of the 2019 Oscars thanks to her riveting performance in A Star Is Born, but as this shows, it's is far from all glitz and glamour as a particular segment sees her in tears, fearful of being alone after the screaming adoration of her fans has stopped. But it is an ultimately uplifting, if not an important reminder of how lucky we are to have her talent.
When Harry Met Sally
A film that portrays the complexities of love in all its weird moving glory in the most misty-eyed of ways. With a performance best from a seemingly odd pairing, Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, their chemistry makes the movie; we see ourselves in them with Harry's cynicism and the infectious doe-eyed hopefulness of Sally. Everything about the movie works from the script - simple banter has almost never been written as well - to the supporting cast - the late Carrie Fisher has some of the best lines in the film - to the ending that pulls on the heartstrings every single time. There's no possible way you won't feel good as the credits role.
The Great British Bake Off
Some of us felt that the steely, blue-eyed Paul Hollywood emphatically ruined the 2018 Bake Off by offering his infamous, supposedly "rare handshake" to at least five bakers, every single week. If you were in the same boat, or you simply miss the darling that is Mary Berry and the skilled comic timing of hosts Mel and Sue, the previous seasons are well worth a watch. It may be all soggy bottoms and tricky technicals, but you get to see some seriously delicious cake imagery, along with the contestants desperately peering into ovens like there's no tomorrow. Worth a watch for that alone, truth be told.
Kit (Brie Larson) is a lonely twenty-something dreamer who’s reluctant to leave the comforts of childhood and fully embrace adulthood. But when art school sends her packing, Kit is forced to move back home with her parents and take a temp job in a boring office - away from the creative life she longs to lead. Just when she’s resolved to grow up, a mysterious salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) enters Kit’s life and offers to give her childlike heart its greatest desire. Larson’s directorial debut is charming and extremely watchable.
Thelma & Louise
Exhilarating, fiercely liberating and bold for its time, Thelma And Louise told the story of two put-upon women who embark on a getaway road trip, after Louise (a brilliant Susan Sarandon) shoots a man who tried to rape her friend Thelma (an equally brilliant Geena Davis). It's an event that forever changes the course of their lives, and it makes for a fantastic and action-packed film. Composer Hans Zimmer did a remarkable job on the soundtrack, and that combined with the excellent script and acting make this one of Ridley Scott's best. Look out for a baby-faced Brad Pitt and Michael Madson who looks like Elvis's younger brother. Yes, there's the ending but along the way, there is what bounds them together, their loyalty and friendship. It's still a brilliant, vastly underrated film even after all these years.
In this time of Trump, we need a reminder that when a nation really bands together - however small they may be - the results can be powerful and mighty. Produced by COCO Television, ‘The 34th’ tells the story of the driven and dedicated people who formed Marriage Equality in Ireland and developed it into a highly effective grassroots force with one clear goal in mind - to make same-sex marriage a legal right in Ireland. Through revealing interviews and archive material, former board members and staff outline the strategising, fierce battles, sheer hard graft and personal cost of running such an all-consuming campaign, and because we now know of the outcome, it truly lifts the soul.
Orange Is The New Black star Natasha Lyonne shines in this new Netflix Original that is both hilarious and confusing. It's a black comedy, but, it's engaging and insightful, despite the morbid subject matter. Russian Doll follows Nadia (Lyonne), a computer programmer who dies many graphic deaths on her 36th birthday. Stuck in a time loop, she re-lives and remembers each death but can't escape it. Think Groundhog Day but via a female perspective that is clever and multi-layered. Oh, and it's produced by Amy Poehler in case you need any more convincing.
Main photograph: Netflix