By Jarrett Theberge
In this time of social distancing and isolation, people are suddenly spending a lot of time at home. For people who are naturally homebodies, this might not be difficult, but people who lead active, social lives are suddenly faced with the dilemma of what to do.
Thank goodness for movies.
Movies are still here for us to cuddle up in front of while we try and find a reprieve from the changes in our social lifestyle. If it weren’t for the Internet and streaming platforms like Netflix, dealing with this pandemic would be harder to deal with. So let’s pivot from the theatre to the living room, and keep the spirit of film alive with movies we can watch at home with our families and loved ones through this surreal situation.
Depending on your subscriptions and technology capabilities, services like Netflix, Amazon, Hula TV can allow you to watch just about any film that was released six or more months ago.
One Oscar-nominated film hitting streaming sites is “Silver Linings Playbook,” starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. The film focuses on Cooper’s character, Pat, battling with his personality disorder after a messy divorce. In an effort to right his wrongs, Pat enlists the help of dance teacher Tiffany (Lawrence) to try and impress his wife. This film balances fun and despair so effortlessly that you just might look past the rare non-”Rush Hour” performance of Chris Tucker.
Also now available for streaming is “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” starring Gary Oldman. As we wait for the next James Bond, this sleek spy flick should fix you up just fine as its all-star cast of Oldman, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch brings the tensions of Cold War Europe into your living room.
There is no shortage of top-shelf films on Netflix. “City of God,” a 2002 film co-directed by Katia Lund and Fernado Meirelles, follows a group of kids in the slums of Brazil as they either maneuver away from crime or succumb to its risky rewards. As they grow into adults, we see just how hard it is to live peacefully in a world that’s falling apart. Its central message suggests that if we keep those we love close to us, we may come out clean on the other side of adversity. It’s a message that will not fall on deaf ears in these challenging times.
One movie available through streaming that might seem appropriate to those who find themselves housebound during the coronavirus pandemic is “Groundhog Day,” a romantic comedy in which Bill Murray lives the same day over and over until he redeems his selfish ways. Also staring Andie MacDowell, this charming 1993 film evokes laughter and touches the heart, things we could all use a little of right now.
If you want something so insanely goofy that all other topics fall to the wayside, look no further than “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” on Netflix. More than 40 years after its release, the wacky British comedy group managed to create a story that still has a foothold with today’s hippest of kids. Join Brian, played by Graham Chapman, as he deals with the Roman occupation of Judea and sudden fame as the apparent messiah — though his mother just thinks he’s “a very naughty boy.” Through all the antics, the film crescendos into a musical number that fittingly reminds us to “Always look on the bright side of life.”
Jarett Theberge is a U.S.-based journalist who freelances for Camana Bay Times.