What a strange holiday period 2020 into 2021 turned out to be.
No surprise there since 2020 was, by any and all measures, a very, very strange and disconcerting year but even so, you hope for something magical from the Christmas period, right?
Hope springs eternal and all that …
Hope was disappointed; all those planned cinema outings were stymied by a COVID outbreak in Sydney, the city I live in – they didn’t close but my appetite to visit them went down, down, down as case numbers went up and up, and so all my cinema outings were put on hold.
I am still hoping to see Nomadland and Croods 2 at the cinema, but for now, there are some tasty cinematic treats coming up online including these three fine offerings …
Sam Levinson teams up with Zendaya and John David Washington for an achingly romantic drama in which a filmmaker (Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya) return home following a celebratory movie premiere as he awaits what’s sure to be imminent critical and financial success. The evening suddenly takes a turn as revelations about their relationships begin to surface, testing the strength of their love. Working with cinematographer Marcell Rev, Levinson creates a film of rare originality; an ode to the great Hollywood romances as well as a heartfelt expression of faith in the medium’s future. (synopsis courtesy Flickering Myth)
Malcolm & Marie premieres on Netflix on 5 February.
Set in the future, Harp (Damson Idris), a drone pilot, is sent into a deadly militarized zone where he finds himself working for Leo (Anthony Mackie), an android officer, tasked to locate a doomsday device before the insurgents do. (synopsis via Flickering Myth)
Outside the Wire premieres on Netflix on 15 January.
Nazi-occupied France, 1942. Gilles (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, 120 BPM (Beats per Minute), The Intruder) is arrested by SS soldiers alongside fellow Jews and sent to a camp in Germany. He narrowly avoids sudden execution by swearing to the guards that he is not Jewish, but Persian.
This lie temporarily saves him, but Gilles gets assigned a life-or-death mission: to teach Farsi to Head of Camp Koch (Lars Eidinger, Personal Shopper, High Life), who dreams of opening a restaurant in Iran once the war is over.
Through an ingenious trick, Gilles manages to survive by inventing words of “Farsi” every day and teaching them to Koch. The particular relationship between the two men sparks the jealousy of other prisoners and SS guards towards Gilles. And while the suspicions of Koch grow every day, Gilles understands that he will not be able to keep his secret forever… (synopsis via Flickering Myth)
Persian Lessons releases digitally on 22 January and via physical formats on 8 February.