With so many titles to choose from, Netflix Instant's library can be overwhelming. So we bring you this biweekly column as a tool to cut through the clutter by highlighting some now streaming titles that pair well with the latest theatrical releases.
Looking to Divergent, Nymphomaniac and Noah for inspiration, we've pulled together a selection of female-fronted YA dramas, steamy tales of love and sex, and inventive interpretations of bible stories.
Based on the novel by Veronica Roth, this action-adventure is set in a world where society is divided into factions based on their virtues. But when teen Tris doesn't naturally fit these traditional molds, she becomes a threat to society itself. Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, and Jai Courtney star. Neil Burger directs. Read our review here.
Tris comes from a long tradition of strong-willed teen girls who are forced to grow up fast when the world is falling to pieces around them. YA fiction is full of them. We've got a selection of three coming of age dramas that are female fronted, based on books, and sure to thrill. Be it an archer with a steely exterior, a spoiled brat with a soft spot, or a mentally unstable girl with a wild streak, these heroines are as captivating as they are moody.
The Hunger Games (2012) Jennifer Lawrence fronts this blockbuster as Katniss Everdeen, the teen heroine of Suzanne Collins' celebrated book trilogy. In the first of four films, Katniss is cast into a cruel kill-or-be-kill battle that will pit her against other kids, including the kind-hearted baker boy Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and Stanley Tucci star; Gary Ross directs.
How I Live Now (2013) Inspired by the novel by Meg Rosoff, this drama also focuses on a guarded girl whose caught in the middle of a nation in peril. Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is an American girl racked with insecurity, entitlement and neuroses when she's sent to visit her cousins in England. Warm summer days and easy fun smooth her rough edges, but everything changes when a war overtakes the land, leaving the kids to their own devices to survive. Tom Holland and George MacKay co-star; Kevin Macdonald directs.
Girl, Interrupted (2000) This daring gem not only spoke to generations of women, but also launched Angelina Jolie, winning her an Academy Award for her supporting role. Winona Ryder fronts this biopic based on Susanna Kaysen's candid memoir, which recounts her time 18-month stay in a mental hospital in the 1960s. Clea DuVall, Brittany Murphy, and Elisabeth Moss co-star; James Mangold directs.
Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1
Charlotte Gainsbourg stars as Joe, a life-long nymphomaniac who recounts her erotic experiences to the Good Samaritan who plucked her off the street after a brutal beating. Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin and Shia LaBeouf co-star; Lars von Trier directs. Read our review here.
Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1 is available on VOD, but if you can't get enough of sexually explicit drama, we've got a marathon that's sure to heat up your weekend. As American movies live under the tyranny of the MPAA, it might not surprise you to learn that each of these titles--from a lesbian love story to a threesome roadtrip and another nympho tale--are all from foreign countries.
Diary of a Nymphomaniac (2008) Like von Trier's two-part hardcore erotic drama, this Spanish film follows the life story of a woman who is fueled by her desire to experience sex in all its forms. Belén Fabra stars as Valére, the titular nymphomaniac. Hungry to experience all the joys of life--per her grandmother's advice--Valére seeks out lovers and sexual experimentation in search of love, pleasure and happiness. This drama is stuffed to the brim with steamy scenes. It's punctuated by darkness, but also delivers an uplifting story of self-discovery. Leonardo Sbaraglia and Geraldine Chaplin co-star; Christian Molina directs.
Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013) The NC-17 rated French film that got tongues wagging around the world can now be viewed from the comfort of your couch…or bed. Now you can see what all the fuss over that long and graphic lesbian love scene is all about. Adèle Exarchopoulos stars as young Adele, a school girl whose dalliances with boys lack passion, leading her to look for love elsewhere--like with that striking blue-haired girl she can't get out of her head. Léa Seydoux co-stars; Abdel Kechiche directs.
Y Tu Mamá También (2001) This Mexican drama from celebrated (and now Oscar-winning) director Alfonso Cuarón focuses on the bond between two rich teen boys, and how it fuels a road trip with an older woman that is studded with sexual adventures. Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna star; Alfonso Cuarón directs.
Russell Crowe stars as the biblical hero, Noah, a family man chosen by God to build an arc and save the world from mass extinction as a punishment in the form of floods prepares to rain down on the evil human populace. Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, and Emma Watson co-star; Darren Aronofsky directs. Read our review here.
The bible has been a source of inspiration for countless artists over the years. It's stories may be centuries old, but can still find fresh interpretations in the hands of a sharp director. For three very different takes on classic bible tales, check out this trio of films about faith.
The Prince of Egypt (1998) This animated effort details the story of Moses, recounting his beginnings as a babe in the reeds of the Nile to his raising as a pharaoh's son, to his rebellion and activism to set free the slaves of Egypt. Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, and Martin Short lend their voices. Brenda Chapman and Steve Hickner direct.
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) Martin Scorsese raised eyebrows and ire with his controversial portrait of Jesus Christ in this Academy Award-nominated drama. Willem Dafoe stars as Jesus, presented here as both human and divine. Harvey Keitel and Barbara Hershey co-star; Martin Scorsese directs.
Commandments (1997) This black comedy gives a quirky take on the story of Job. Aidan Quinn stars as a man whose lost everything, his wife, his home, his job, and then his sanity. And he blames God. Crying out for a response from the Almighty, he acts out by systematically breaking one of the ten commandments after another, tormenting his faithless brother Harry along the way. Aidan Quinn, Courteney Cox and Anthony LaPaglia star; Daniel Taplitz directs.
Staff writer at CinemaBlend.
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