Armchair Vacation: Five Films To Watch At Home This Weekend [February 21-23]

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Every day, more and more films are added to the various streaming services out there, ranging from Netflix to YouTube, and are hitting the airwaves via movie-centric networks like TCM. Therefore, sifting through all of these pictures can be a tedious and often times confounding or difficult ordeal. But, that’s why we’re here. Every week, Joshua brings you five films to put at the top of your queue, add to your playlist, or grab off of VOD to make your weekend a little more eventful. Here is this week’s top five, in this week’s Armchair Vacation.

5.Nuit #1 (Netflix)

From director Anne Emond comes one of the most exciting bits of world cinema that most people have either forgotten, or not had the pleasure of seeing. Entitled Nuit #1, the film arrived way back in 2012 to little discussion, but with some superb performances and narrative telling the story of a pair as they deal with the repurcussions of a one night stand, this entrancing Canuck drama (comperable to a film like Michael Winterbottom’s 9 Songs) is absolutely breathtaking. Two great performances spearhead this picture, itself an existential look at love, life, loss and everything in between. With gorgeous and brooding photography this plaintive and thoughtful drama may be a tad slow pacing-wise for many but Emond is a thrilling and insightful new voice that needs to be heard and reckoned with. And if this film is any hint, it’s a voice that will be as rewarding as we’ve seen come from Canada in quite some time.

4.House Of Cards (Netflix)

It goes without saying that this Emmy award winning show is one of the most talked about things to hit Netflix in ages, and now the Netflix Original series is back with its second, hotly anticipated season. With stars Kevin Spacey, Robin Writht and Kate Mara back for this new season, the show has been the buzz all over social media and easily the most talked about bit of fictional storytelling so far this year. With it’s gorgeous photography, top level performances and a story impossible to turn off or away from, this show hasn’t missed a step in the handful of months since it’s first season debuted. A third season has already been confirmed so expect this monster of a political drama to keep chugging along as one of the best long form fiction pieces we have going today.

3.Passion (Netflix)

While much of director Brian De Palma’s recent work has become as maligned as a director could ever come up with in his or her nightmares, his latest film is now not only available to stream on Netflix but it is also one of the more interesting pictures the cult auteur has given us in ages. Starring Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams, the film is itself a remake of a recent French picture, that seems ripped already right out of the mind of De Palma’s erotically tinged mind. Telling the story of a power struggle between an advertising executive and a member of her staff, the film is more a piece of aesthetic muscle flexing by De Palma than a real character study, and with more than a tinge of melodrama thrown in for good measure, those on the hunt for a film that truly finds it’s director experimenting with his aesthetic will eat this up. Very much an example of his love for all thing noir and expressionistic, Passion is easily the directors best film in ages and is a real unsung, animalistic gem.

2.The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer (YouTube)

In the wake of her recent passing, people have become rather intrigued by the actress and undeniable screen presence that was Shirley Temple. Be it the adorable youngster or the woman who left Hollywood behind right in the prime of her career, Temple’s early pictures defined an era, and as she began to grow up, she became an actress to be reckoned with. And one of her best films from the later part of her career is this Cary Grant-staring picture. Opposite Grant is Temple, taking the role of a high schooler who becomes engrossed in Grant’s lead. A drop dead hilarious feature, Temple proves to have undeniable comedic timing, and her chemistry with Grant makes this arguably her most entertaining and rewarding work. The two make this an unsung classic, and one that needs to be talked more highly of, and more often about.

1.The Wildcat (Mubi)

While he may be best known for his talkies, director Ernst Lubitsch has a storied and in many ways brilliant canon of silent features that he started off his career giving the world. One of the best, The Wildcat, is now available to stream on Mubi, and it’s an absolutely must watch. Funny and bewilderingly engaging and charming, the film follows the story of a lieutenant who is kidnapped by a group of bandits only to have the leader’s daughter fall head over heels for him, this is a riot of a comedy, and a perfect example of what Lubitsch’s silent cinema was so great at. Inherently entrancing and full of top notch physical comedy, Lubitsch crafts a comedy that is both funny and brazenly experimental. Utterly bizarre in its storytelling and its craft, this supreme oddity within the silent comedy canon is unlike any film you’ll ever seen. And hey, it’s one of Peter Bogdanovich’s favorite films, so if you hate my opinions, see it based on his high praise.