March VOD release round-up
A guide to some of the most interesting movies debuting on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and MUBI this month
The relationship drama can provide cathartic viewing, but it is often bogged down by romantic clichés and easy answers. Derek Cianfrance’s crushing drama, Blue Valentine, does not take the subject lightly. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling turn in fantastic performances as a couple whose marriage and break-up is charted via skillful cross-cutting of different time periods in this poignant film which is now available on Amazon Instant Video.
Also available on the streaming platform is the superbly scripted Ruby Sparks, which takes a refreshing approach to the romcom by tearing apart the notion of the manic pixie dream girl. Zoe Kazan’s debut screenplay is witty, wise and cleverly crafted.
On the subject of messy relationships you can also watch a gripping marital conflict double bill thanks to Iranian master dramatist Asghar Faradi. The Past and Academy Award-winning A Separation are now available on Netflix and deliver tense and rewarding viewing.
For Ernst Lubitsch completists, MUBI is now showing the incredibly sexist divorce comedy That Uncertain Feeling. It’s worth a look simply to see a young Burgess Meredith in the role of a master pianist and the fabulous Merle Oberon as a woman suffering from psychosomatic hiccups.
In 2010, Australian director David Michôd impressed Sundance with his debut feature film Animal Kingdom which took home the Grand Jury Prize in the dramatic world cinema category. This accomplished and incredibly taut crime drama starring James Frecheville has recently been added to Amazon Instant Video.
The Coen brothers’ third film and prohibition era drama, Miller’s Crossing, will be available on Netflix from the middle of March. Its twists and turns and perpetually hungover protagonist played by Gabriel Byrne make for mesmerising viewing.
Looking forward towards the end of March, Netflix will be adding some trashy and obscure genre titles including Michael Crichton’s killer robot action flick, Runaway, starring Tom Selleck. In addition to that, look out for the creepy 70s psychological horror, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, which cannily blurs the lines between fantasy and reality while marking the death of free love and hippies.