Now Streaming: Netflix Instant Alternatives To Pompeii, The Wind Rises And Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me

By Kristy Puchko 2014-02-28 13:53:50discussion comments
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Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
Octogenarian singer and actress Elaine Stritch is as well-known for her brassy persona as she is for her award-winning turns on Broadway and television. In this documentary, she allows filmmaker Chiema Karasawa unfettered access to her professional and private life to give fans a look into what it means being Stritch. Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and James Gandolfini make appearances. Read our Review here.

When I reviewed Elaine Strich: Shoot Me at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, I was struck by how the doc drew a careful balance between Stritch's brash sense of humor and her genuine fear of her own mortality. For more docs that are both wildly funny and bittersweet, check out these unusual biographies.

Carol Channing: Larger Than Life (2012) Like Stritch, Channing is a Broadway legend with decades of work behind her, and Tony honors to her name. In this revealing doc, she shares her story with heart and humor befitting the dazzling comedienne. Bruce Vilanch, Lily Tomlin, Debbie Reynolds, and Tippi Hedren appear; Dori Berinstein directs.

The Queen of Versailles (2012) Jaqueline Siegel is not a star of stage or screen, but that doesn't mean she won't live like one. This heralded doc follows her and her billionaire husband's quest to build the largest mansion in America, modeled on Versailles. But when the 2008 financial collapse hits them hard, this affluent family goes from haves to have nots, and the shift is at once dramatic and darkly comedic. Lauren Greenfield directs.

An Idiot Abroad (2010) Lastly, I suggest this outrageous travelogue starring a cohort of Ricky Gervais, his "idiot" friend Karl Pilkington. Tasked with traveling the world, Pilkington is offered the chance of a lifetime, but most of the trip he's flustered by being a fish out of water. For more fun, season three sees him joined by Warwick Davis, resulting in an awkward buddy comedy unlike you've ever seen before.

For even more selections, check out our Now Streaming archive.

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