Pick of the week: “Frank“ (Netflix) — My full review is here. Michael Fassbender as you’ve never seen him before — completely obscured by a giant papier-mache head as he plays the enigmatic, possibly emotionally damaged leader of an art-rock band in this strange, funny and sad film about the price and salvation of creative genius. Great supporting turns by Maggie Gyllenhaal as the mercurial power behind the band and Domhnall Gleeson as a mediocre songwriter who tries to push the band towards mainstream success.
“Bottle Rocket” (Amazon Prime) — All the DNA of Wes Anderson’s work can be found in his first film, an amiable 1996 indie about three friends who, haltingly and disastrously, flirt with a life of crime. Brothers Owen and Luke Wilson make a strong impression.
“Big Fish” (Amazon Prime) — Tim Burton is getting some of his best reviews in years for the relatively grounded “Big Eyes.” He took a similar turn away from big-budget Gothic fairy tales in 2003 with this moving tale of a son (Billy Crudup) wrestling with the legacy of his tall-tale telling father (Albert Finney as an old man, Ewan MacGregor as a young man).
“Fantasia” (Netflix) — Walt Disney’s masterpiece brings together classical music and animation in a way that had never been done before on screen, making a persuasive case for “cartoons” as an art form. Netflix also has the follow-up “Fantasia 2000” up for streaming.
“Sliding Doors” (Netflix) — This rather deft romantic comedy-drama looks at the two possible fates of a British woman (Gwyneth Paltrow with a solid accent) depending on whether she makes a London Underground train or not.