Instant Gratification: “20th Century Women” and four other good movies new to Netflix and Amazon Prime

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20th Century Women” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. Mike Mills’ film is semi-autobiographical, but his ’70s teenage stand-in really fades into the background as his film looks at several strong, influential women in his orbit, including Annette Bening as his prickly, baffled mother and Greta Gerwig as one of her older, worldly tenants. Not for nothing, the film also serves as a potent reminder of the impact that Planned Parenthood has had on countless’ women’s lives over the decades.

Paterson” (Amazon Prime) — My full review is here. Gotta say, Amazon Prime is owning Netflix’s lunch when it comes to getting the best indie films on streaming first. (Helps when Amazon Studios has a hand in so many productions.) Case in point is Jim Jarmusch’s wonderful film about a week in the life of a New Jersey bus driver/poet (Adam Driver), a celebration of art for its own sake, and a meditation on the power of noticing the world you move through.

Matchstick Men” (Netflix) — Secretly (or perhaps not so secretly) one of Ridley Scott’s best films and one of Nicolas Cage’s best performances, playing a seasoned con man whose life gets turned upside down by the arrival of a teenage girl claiming to be his daughter.

Punch-Drunk Love” (Netflix) — My full review is here. Paul Thomas’ fourth film gets glossed over too often as a mere palate cleanser between “Magnolia” and “There Will Be Blood,” but I think his off-kilter take on the screwball comedy is one of his best. It should certainly be a bonafide cult classic, the inspiration for countless memes and Threadless T-shirts.

Delicatessen” (Netflix) — Part Jacques Tati, part Terry Gilliam and a healthy dose of “Sweeney Todd,” Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s 1991 debut (well before “Amelie”) is a delightfully weird tale of the interconnected residents in a bleak Rube Goldberg contraption of an apartment building.

20th Century Women

Matchstick Men

Delicatessen

Punch-Drunk Love

 

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