Saturday, January 28, 2023

Stream These: New Movies on Netflix, Prime, Hulu, HBO Max for December 2022

With the end of the year just weeks away, Academy Award hopefuls make their expected streaming debuts, including “Glass Onion,” “White Noise” and “The Banshees of Inisherin,” alongside a supernatural comedy and a cerebral horror picture. Read on for more.

ON NETFLIX

Starts Dec. 16

BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

The latest epic from Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Birdman”) is a surrealist, Felliniesque odyssey in which a Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker (Daniel Gimenez Cacho) returns to his native country to receive an international award only to confront a long, strange trip filled with existential crises. The dialogue-free trailer makes for arguably the most thoughtfully considered and arranged preview of any 2022 title: It’s a self-contained music video, set to the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus,” that says nothing but abounds in striking, gorgeous and disconnected imagery, all of it shot on vivid 65mm film by celebrated D.P. Darius Khondji. For those expecting a linear cinematic experience, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Starts Dec. 23

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

In theaters now if you don’t want to wait for streaming, “Glass Onion” is the second in director Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” series of delectable, Agatha Christie-styled whodunits, updated with 21st century humor and self-reflexivity. Daniel Craig reprises his role as laid-black sleuth Benoit Blanc, who crashes an exclusive party on a private island owned by an obscenely wealthy and fatalistic tech magnate (Edward Norton), who is planning to stage his own “murder” over the course of the eventful weekend, leaving his five invited guests and hangers-on to determine the killer. Twists and laughs abound, delivered by a diverse and winning cast that includes Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr. and Kate Hudson, plus the final screen appearances of Angela Lansbury and Stephen Sondheim.

Starts Dec. 30

White Noise

One of my favorite directors adapting one of my favorite books: What could go wrong? In the world of “White Noise,” anyway, everything appears to go wrong, but at least it’s an intellectual apocalypse. Don DeLillo’s novel of the same name dropped in 1985 and has become a postmodern classic that skewers consumerism, academia and the modern family through the lens of climate catastrophe. In Noah Baumbach’s much-anticipated adaptation, Adam Driver is a college professor (of “Hitler Studies”), and Greta Gerwig is his fifth wife, co-raising a blended brood of four children, all of whom find themselves navigating a world of pervasive corporate branding that segues into pervasive environmental collapse spurred on by a mysterious “airborne toxic event.” After reading White Noise a few years ago, I considered it un-filmable. Let’s hope Baumbach, in his first feature since the masterful “Marriage Story,” is up to the challenge.

ON HBO MAX

Available Dec. 13

The Banshees of Inisherin

Also running in select theaters now if you prefer a big-screen experience, Martin McDonagh’s buzzy new black comedy boasts no less than a 97-percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and its streaming debut on HBO Max this month will enhance its reach as it heads to certain Oscar nominations in many categories. The mysteriously titled “The Banshees of Inisherin” is set on a fictional Irish isle in 1923, where fiddle-playing folk musician Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) decides to abruptly cut off communication with his longtime friend Pádraic (Colin Farrell). The film derives its unbearable tension and dark humor from Pádraic’s resistance to his friend’s seemingly inexplicable decision to sever ties, which comes complete with an ultimatum: For every time Pádraic reaches out to Colm, Colm will cut off a finger on his left hand. McDonagh has long been expert at marrying rich emotion with shocking violence, and “The Banshees of Inisherin” appears to be no exception.

ON HULU

Starts today

Darby and the Dead

Director Silas Howard’s cheeky supernatural comedy centers on Darby Harper (Riele Downs), a high schooler whose mediumship abilities—gained through a near-death experience at a young age—have not made her any more popular among her peers. That may change following the freakish death of the school’s head cheerleader, who posthumously invades Darby’s space in hopes that she’ll throw the undead diva a killer Sweet 17 party. With Wayne Knight and Tony Danza in the supporting cast, “Darby and the Dead” does not appear to be Oscar bait, but it should make for a fun and modern spin on the “Mean Girls”-style high school comedy.

ON AMAZON PRIME

Starts Dec. 16

Nanny

In this latest feature from the cerebral horror tastemakers at Blumhouse Productions, undocumented Senegalese immigrant Aisha (Anna Diop) lands a plum job nannying for an upper-class white couple in New York City (Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Spector). She diligently tends to their house and baby, all the while hoping to earn enough to bring her own son from Africa to the U.S. But dark forces begin to invade her American Dream, from her employers’ fracturing marriage to nightmarish visions invading her reality. Rich with racial and sociopolitical subtext, “Nanny” looks like another exemplar of smart horror in a year that has already seen several standout examples of the genre.


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John Thomason
John Thomason
As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

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