With so many titles to choose from, Netflix Instant's library can be overwhelming. And so we offer this column as a tool to cut through the clutter by highlighting some now streaming titles that pair nicely with the latest theatrical releases.
While Now Streaming typically runs biweekly, we've shifted the schedule to better offer viewing suggestions timed with the holiday seasons. For the Thanksgiving holiday, we looked to Life Of Pi, Hitchcock, & Silver Linings Playbook for inspiration, and so have provided a selection of whimsical fantasy features, scandalous showbiz stories, and crazy love stories for your home viewing entertainment.
Life of Pi
Based on the Yann Martel's best-selling novel, the latest from Ang Lee centers on the story of an young Indian who survives a cataclysmic shipwreck only to be stranded on a life-boat with a snarling Bengal tiger. Suraj Sharma and Irrfan Khan star.
There are few films that can compare to the sensational spectacle of Lee's Life of Pi. However, if you're thirsting for a fantasy tale with an imaginative storyteller at its core, we've got something for every member of the family.
Phoebe in Wonderland (2008) This Sundance selection stars Elle Fanning as a nine-year-old girl whose Tourette's make her a misfit to her class and an enigma to her family. But once her kind drama teacher gives her the lead in the school's production of Alice in Wonderland, Phoebe finds an outlet to express herself, and begins to see the book's classic character, who provide comfort and welcomed advice. Felicity Huffman, Bill Pullman and Patricia Clarkson co-star; Daniel Barnz writes and directs.
The Fall (2006) Set in a hospital in 1920s Hollywood, this visually striking feature presented by Spike Jonze and David Fincher centers on a rambunctious little girl who forms an unexpected friendship with a crippled and depressed stuntman as he weaves a remarkable yarn of masked men, exotic lands, beautiful princesses, love lost, and hope rediscovered. It's gorgeous, bittersweet, strange and unforgettable. Lee Pace and Justine Waddell co-star; Tarsem Singh directs.
Delirious (1991) For something ten times wackier, check out this comedy that stars John Candy as a soap opera writer whose concussion throws him into the fictional world of his daytime drama, complete with backstabbing socialites, evil industrialists, an eye-patched amnesiac, lovesick doctor, and Robert Wagner. Fate and inspiration combine to help him save his show and discover true love. Mariel Hemingway, David Rasche and Emma Samms co-star; Tom Mankiewicz directs.
Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren star as the iconic director and his devoted wife/partner in crime Alma Reville in a spirited docudrama that reveals how the two collaborated to create Psycho, and what a toll it took on their marriage. Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, and Scarlett Johansson star; Sacha Gervasi directs.
While Hollywood is a place where dreams come true, it's also a place where plenty are dashed, and you're only as good as your last picture. You can experience all the soaring highs and crushing blows with these three showbiz dramas.
The Cat's Meow (2001) Inspired by a real Hollywood mystery, this star-studded feature speculates about what happened on media mogul William Randolph Hearst's yacht during a mysterious getaway with friends—including his lover Marion Davies, Charlie Chaplin, and gossip columnist Louella Parsons—that led to the curious death of birthday boy Thomas Ince. Kirsten Dunst, Eddie Izzard, Jennifer Tilly and Cary Elwes co-star.
Sunset Boulevard (1950) This classic film stars Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a silent film star who goes mad in her Hollywood mansion once her spotlight fades and movies go on without her. But when an ambitious screenwriter shows up on her doorstep, Desmond becomes obsessed with the prospect of a comeback. And no one—not even an opportunist upstart—will get in her way! William Holden and Erich von Stroheim co-star; Bill Wilder directs.
The Artist (2011) The feature that conquered the Oscars this year, winning Best Actor, Best Director and Best Film is now streaming. Academy Award-winner Jean Dujardin stars as debonair silent film idol George Valentin; Bérénice Bejo plays an emerging talkies starlet Peppy Miller. This silent crowdpleaser follows the pair's rocky journey to love as Valentin's star falls and Miller's rises. Filled with whimsy, joy and romance, The Artist is an elegant ode to the best of Hollywood cinema that can be enjoyed by audiences young and old. John Goodman, James Cromwell, and Penelope Ann Miller co-star; Michel Hazanavicius writes and directs.
Silver Linings Playbook
In David O. Russell's latest dark comedy, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star as a two people who are a bit broken, a bit deranged, but might just be perfect for each other. Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, and Chris Tucker co-star.
Sometimes love is crazy; sometimes people in love are crazy. Sometimes it's both. If you're enchanted by tales of love that are bit offbeat, then you'll appreciate these odd yet endearing couples.
Punch-Drunk Love (2002) Adam Sandler in an uncharacteristic dramatic role here, playing Barry, a seemingly mild-mannered man who is prone to incredible bursts of rage. But this hapless bathroom supply salesman believes he's found a chance at happiness when he meets the lovely Lena. To win her heart, he attempts to coupon his way to Hawaii, but a blackmailing phone sex operation makes things complicated. Emily Watson and Philip Seymour Hoffman co-star; Paul Thomas Anderson writes and directs.
The Vicious Kind (2009) Fitting for the holiday season, this deeply dark comedy centers on the Thanksgiving coming together of a deeply dysfunctional family. Adam Scott stars as the disturbed Caleb Sinclaire, who mourns his mother, loathes his father, and tries to do right by his younger brother buy scaring off the college girlfriend he brought home to meet what remains of the fractured family. But rather than scare her off, Caleb sparks an unexpected attraction. Brittany Snow, Alex Frost and J.K. Simmons co-star; Lee Toland Krieger writes and directs.
Griff the Invisible (2010) For something lighter, check out this quirky rom-com out of Australia. True Blood's Ryan Kwanten stars as Griff, By day, he's a meek pencil pusher, but by night he's a self-styled superhero self-appointed to keep his city's streets safe! As a dreamer determined to devise an invisibility suit for his alter ego, Griff catches the eye of Melody, who aspires to walk through walls. It's a weird and wonderful romance about how love can inspire us to greatness. Maeve Dermody co-stars; Leon Ford directs.