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What to stream this weekend: Netflix’s ‘Mank,’ Amazon’s ‘Sound of Metal,’ Disney+’s ‘Godmothered’

  • December 04, 2020

socially distanced times.

This weekend, Netflix begins rolling out its holiday Oscar fare with Gary Oldman in a “Citizen Kane” origin story, Disney+ offers some Yuletide cheer with Jillian Bell as a rookie fairy godmother; Amazon Prime unleashes an innovative drama featuring Riz Ahmed and a Steve McQueen “Small Axe” anthology film starring John Boyega; and Jeremy Irons hooks up with Diane Keaton in an ensemble romantic comedy.

If you’re feeling the itch to get back to the movies in person, and there’s a drive-in or it’s safe enough to return to your local theater, the romantic drama “All My Life” stars Jessica Rothe and Harry Shum Jr. as a newly engaged couple who move up the timetable for their wedding when the future groom is diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.

‘Mank’:Gary Oldman found new film a more challenging role than Sid Vicious or Dracula

‘Sound of Metal’:How Riz Ahmed’s drama bridges important gap between hearing audiences, deaf community

But if you’d rather stick closer to home, here’s a rundown of new movies hitting streaming and on-demand platforms this week, for every cinematic taste: 

If you adore the golden age of Hollywood: ‘Mank’

David Fincher’s immersive and fittingly old-school drama – not just in story but also complete look and feel – stars Gary Oldman as “Kane” screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, navigating the politics and inner workings of the 1930s film industry. But  it’s Amanda Seyfried who steals the movie as sharp starlet Marion Davies.

Where to watch: Netflix

If you want to see something truly different: ‘Sound of Metal’

Featuring open captions and awesome sound design, the film follows a rock drummer (Ahmed) whose noisy job leads to hearing loss – an experience conveyed in a visceral way to the audience – and he has to learn to lean on members of the deaf community for help in getting his life together.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

If you fancy yourself a Disney princess fan: ‘Godmothered’

A cheesy fish-out-of-water situation arises when Eleanor (Bell), a fairy godmother in training, decides she needs to take on an assignment to save the magical Motherland and ends up in Boston, where she goofily disrupts (and ultimately brightens) the existence of a grown-up woman (Isla Fisher) who wished for some magic as a kid.

Where to watch: Disney+

If you could use a social-justice drama: ‘Red, White and Blue’

Fans of Boyega’s work in the recent “Star Wars” films will love his career-best role in McQueen’s 1980s-set “Small Axe” entry. The British actor stars as a young London scientist who decides to join the police force to fight racism from the inside and finds prejudice from fellow cops awaiting him.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

If you want a large dose of Christmas spirit: ‘Dear Santa’

The U.S. Postal Service’s 100-year-old “Operation Santa” program gets the spotlight in this heartwarming documentary about the many “elves” who collect poignant letters to Santa Claus from kids all over the country, and the volunteers who lend a hand by gifting presents to less fortunate families needing Yuletide cheer.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Vudu, Google Play

If you’re down for all things Aubrey Plaza: ‘Black Bear’

A brain-twisting dive into art and relationships, the comedy/thriller stars Plaza as a filmmaker who, seeking inspiration for her next project, moves into a mountain getaway with a musician (Christopher Abbott) and his pregnant girlfriend (Sarah Gadon) and stokes fires of discontent by playing the couple against each other.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Vudu, Fandango Now

If you’re up for a reverse possession flick: ‘Anything for Jackson’

A respected physician (Julian Richings) and his wife (Sheila McCarthy) kidnap his pregnant patient (Konstantina Mantelos) so they can perform a satanic ritual to replace the soul of the unborn baby with their dead grandson. But a devilish comeuppance is in store for the elderly folks when they’re haunted by a variety of disturbing specters. 

Where to watch: Shudder

If you enjoy romantic entanglements and epic scenery: ‘Luxor’

There’s definitely a chatty, “Before Sunrise” vibe to Zeina Durra’s tale of a British aid worker (Andrea Riseborough) who travels to Egypt and runs into an old lover and archaeologist (Karim Saleh). The slow-burn drama subtly reveals that she’s seen some dark stuff on the job, and it affects her at an important crossroads of past and present.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Google Play, Fandango Now

If you’re wary of your mom or dad’s new lover: ‘What Lies Below’

A 16-year-old (Ema Horvath) comes home from summer camp to find her mom (Mena Suvari) has a new scientist boyfriend (Trey Tucker) hanging at their lake house who’s really into sea creatures. While a super-creepy vibe develops between the teen and the dude, it’s nothing compared to the later weirdness unleashed in this so-so sci-fi thriller.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Vudu, Fandango Now

If you like a whodunit with some conspiracy theory: ‘Wander’

The mystery thriller/desert noir stars Aaron Eckhart as a supremely paranoid private investigator who travels to a small town where he becomes convinced that a strange murder is somehow tied to the death of his little girl. It’s a cool premise with decent execution, and Tommy Lee Jones is fun to watch as a wacky conspiracy theorist.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Google Play, Fandango Now

If you’re an Anthony Hopkins completist: ‘Elyse’

Bleak and overly complicated, the indie drama written and directed by Stella Hopkins (Hopkins’ wife) centers on a catatonic woman (Lisa Pepper) who’s devastated psychologically by the death of her son and receives assistance from her doctor (Hopkins) and a caring nurse (Anthony Apel).

Where to watch: Apple TV, Google Play, Fandango Now

If you’d like to witness a slow-moving disaster: ‘Love, Weddings Other Disasters’

Well, this painful and unfunny ensemble comedy at least lives up to all three aspects of its title. A rookie wedding planner (Maggie Grace) creates a special if chaotic, day that (barely) weaves together way too many storylines, including Irons as a celebrity wedding master and Keaton as his literally blind date.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Google Play, Fandango Now

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