booksmart

In the midst of this global pandemic, everyone has a lot more time on their hands. Or maybe everyone is procrastinating more. Either way, people need things to watch, and if you have finished “Tiger King” and are ready to move on to something new, here are some recommendations, and where to watch them. This list is split into two parts. The first being movies that are purely escapist. For getting your mind away from anxious virus-related thoughts. The second part of the list is for when you want to fully dive into the fear. Or maybe find a strange sort of comfort in it.

Escapism Films: 

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019)

Where to watch: Hulu

Why you should watch: This film takes place in France in 1770 and is a tale of love and longing between two women, one hired to paint the other before she is off to be married. It is a simple premise, but is filled with enough emotion to fully sweep you away from social isolation for a short while.

“Blade Runner” (1982)

Where to watch: Netflix

Why you should watch: “Blade Runner” is a sci-fi classic for a reason. Its powers of world-building are unmatched, and it is easy to get lost in the vibrant and futuristic city depicted, especially when you can’t leave your own house.

“Booksmart” (2019)

Where to watch: Hulu

Why you should watch: It is a funny, heartfelt film with superb acting. It is anything but a typical high school coming of age film, and is a guaranteed fun time.

“Y Tu Mamá También” (2001)

Where to watch: Netflix

Why you should watch: Alfonso Cuarón’s breakthrough coming of age film is absolutely gorgeous. If you can’t drive to clear your mind, enjoy this exquisite Mexican road film.

“Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968)

Where to watch: Netflix

Why you should watch: This iconic western epic features some breathtaking cinematography, and iconic genre-defining characters. It is truly transportive and transcendent cinema. 

“The Florida Project” (2017)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Why you should watch: Willem Dafoe as a heartwarming landlord, and some of the best child actors I have ever seen. 

“Amélie” (2001)

Where to watch: Hulu / Amazon Prime

Why you should watch: This whimsical, brightly colored film is a perfect feel-good film. The titular Amélie is charming and quirky in the most endearing way. 

Thematically Quarantine-like Films:

“Room” (2015)

Where to watch: Netflix

Why you should watch: A woman and her son have been held captive in a small room for years, and want to escape. Big quarantine energy.

“Dogtooth” (2009)

Where to watch: Tubi

Why you should watch: Auteur Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos provides an enthrallingly unique commentary on family dynamics and homeschooling. In the film, a manipulative father traps his adult children in their house. If you are back at your parent’s house and feel stifled, or want to watch something strange, watch this.

“The Lighthouse” (2019)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Why you should watch: Two lighthouse keepers (Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe) live alone on a small island. The film is bizarre, the acting is phenomenal, and the story of being trapped on a remote island feels applicable to the present moment.

“The Evil Dead”(1981)

Where to watch: Netflix

Why you should watch: In this horror classic, a group of college students take a trip to a remote cabin and accidentally reawaken the dead. They try to not become possessed. Typical horror movie fodder, but done with an incredible amount of intensity, imagination, and tons of blood.

“Parasite” (2019)

Where to watch: Hulu

Why you should watch: This movie swept the Oscars. It is the first foreign-language film to win best picture. I cannot praise this movie enough. Quite simply, it is worth your time.

“Annihilation” (2018)

Where to watch: Hulu 

Why you should watch: This movie is incredibly intense, and depicts fear of the unknown in a tantalizing beautiful and frightening way. And Natalie Portman is in it. 

“Vivarium” (2020)

Where to watch: … Figure it out

Why you should watch: Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots star in this thriller about being trapped at home. Maybe a little too on the nose for right now.

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