Pick of the week: “The Homesman” (Netflix) — My full review is here. Tommy Lee Jones’ most recent film as director as well as an actor is an “anti-Western” in every sense, following a drunken thief (Jones) and a good woman (Hilary Swank) escorting three emotionally damaged women back East. But it also flips the genre on its head, showing the toll that taming a frontier took on the innocent and defenseless who were dragged along.
“Hoop Dreams” (Shout Factory TV) — The free streaming site shoutfactorytv.com added a bunch of arthouse films in May, including six John Cassavetes classics and Steve James’ wonderful 1994 documentary about two African-American boys hoping their basketball skills will lift them out of the inner city.
“Winter Sleep” — My full review is here. Three characters seem like they’re on the world’s slowest collision course in Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s closely-observed 196-minute drama about an imperious hotel owner whose illusions about his marriage and position in the town are slowly stripped away.
“The Sixth Sense” — Gotta say, M. Night Shyamalan’s new film “The Visit” does not look like a return to form. Better to go back to his modern horror classic about a psychiatrist (Bruce Willis) and the troubled boy (Haley Joel Osment) who can see dead people. Now that we know the twist, it’s fun to watch how artfully Shyamalan executes his sleight-of-hand.
“Futuro Beach” — In this Brazilian drama, a tragic swimming accident brings together a young lifeguard and a German veteran of Afghanistan. The encounter spins their lives off into directions they never imagined, and the film follows them over the next decade as they make choices that can’t be undone.