It’s not just about festive offerings in December, as Netflix as an array to choose from, just in case you want a break from all things seasonal
The Holiday Movies That Made Us
The only festive offering of the bunch, sees us get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at our favourite Christmas films. Unwrap, if you will, the real stories behind some of the most iconic Christmas blockbusters including Elf thanks to insider interviews and behind-the-scenes peeks.
Mank, David Fincher’s complicated new film about screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz has already won early praise from critics for its concept, production cast (starring Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried, no less) and is touted as 2020’s one to watch. A film about what it was to write on of the greatest movies ever made, it is the story of how Mankiewicz, played brilliantly by Oldman, wrote Citizen Kane, despite being drunk, dissolute and broken – the story behind most great works of art, but with a cast like this and Fincher behind the camera, it’s going to be something special.
Look at this for a cast, for starters. Dee Dee Allen (three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (Tony Award winner James Corden) are New York City stage stars with a crisis on their hands: their expensive new Broadway show is a major flop that has suddenly flatlined their careers. Meanwhile, in small-town Indiana, high school student Emma Nolan (newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman) is experiencing a very different kind of heartbreak: despite the support of the high school principal, the head of the PTA (Kerry Washington) has banned her from attending the prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa. Meryl, Nicole, Kerry and directed by Ryan Murphy? Sign us up.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (played by the great Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music.
As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee (the late, equally great Chadwick Boseman in one of his final roles) — who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry — spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives. This is one you must see.
Bridgerton is a romantic, scandalous, and quick-witted series that celebrates the timelessness of enduring friendships, families finding their way, and the search for a love that conquers all.
Bridgerton follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Hoping to follow in her parent’s footsteps and find a match sparked by true love, Daphne’s prospects initially seem to be unrivalled. But as her older brother begins to rule out her potential suitors, the high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown casts aspersions on Daphne.
This is the first series from Shonda Rhimes’s Shondaland and is inspired by Julia Quinn’s novels. The series also features Derry Girls star, Nicola Coughlan. It’ll be one to watch.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 4
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina re-imagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft. Over the course of Part 4’s eight episodes, The Eldritch Terrors will descend upon Greendale. The coven must fight each terrifying threat one-by-one (The Weird, The Returned, The Darkness to name a few), all leading up to…The Void, which is the End of All Things. Spooky during the festive season? Only this series can pull it off.
All photos: Netflix