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The Gems of Netflix That You Must Watch Right Now

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It can be intimidating being faced with all those movie posters when you log into your Netflix account. Though the best way to watch movies in the home is to use a Blu-ray disc and big HD monitor, streaming movies online has now become mainstream, especially for students. And thankfully many titles are now available in high definition and look pretty good, providing your broadband connection can cut it.

So, whilst the world of Netflix is miles away from perfect, there is still lots of fun to be had rifling through all the titles to see what you want to watch next. So, here is a selection of titles that you may have missed on your recent flick through. Over the upcoming months, we will be offering our readers some carefully curated lists of titles available at the click of a button and hopefully inspire you to sample new delights and enjoy some undiscovered oddities.

The Paperboy

The Paperboy (2012)

Directed by Lee Daniels

This is a really odd one and divided critics (and caused some, myself included, to change their minds). At first glance, it’s a messy and muddled affair. Look again and you will find a weird, hot and delightfully pulpy drama-cum-thriller-cum-comedy-cum-sort-of-horror. All of the cast – Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Mcconaughey, David Oyelowo, John Cusack – are on top form. And it’s all atmospherically shot on grainy 16mm film stock, which looks terrific in HD.

Lore 

Lore (2012)

Directed by Cate Shortland

Lore is a film by Australian director Cate Shortland. After working in television, she then came to critical attention with her 2004 feature film Somersault, starring Abbie Cornish. Lore is her first cinema effort since then. It’s a German language film set just after the end of World War II. The film offers a savage, unforgettably affecting view of Germany via the eyes of a 14-year-old girl, Lore, whose SS officer parents now face punishment for war crimes.

Lourdes 

Lourdes (2009)

Directed by Jessica Hausner

Christine, who is wheelchair bound, decides to journey to Lourdes where many people travel to be healed. This is a tender and subtle drama (it carries a U certificate) but these are its strengths and proves you can make a serious adult drama without strong language, threesomes or images of violent stabbings.

 Michael H

Michael H. Profession: Director (2012)

Directed by Yves Montmayeur

Michael Haneke has made some of the most unsettling and memorable pictures of the last few decades and this masterful documentary serves to be a fascinating insight into his creative process.

Trust 

Trust (2011)

Directed by David Schwimmer

My heart goes out to those who have to try to sell a film to a public who would prefer to see a different film. This was one of the casualties of that process. David Schwimmer’s quietly powerful and important drama was sold to the public as something more like Taken or Man on Fire. It isn’t anything like those films. It’s emotionally astute and deals with the subject of paedophilia with commendable sensitivity.

The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

Directed by Peter Mullen

The Magdalene laundries became the unhappy homes for many “fallen women” across Ireland right up until the 1990s. These young women, some of whom whose “sins” stretched only to flirting with boys, suffered appalling physical and mental cruelty at the hands of the Catholic nuns. This shocking and powerful account of four women’s time in one of these laundries opens ones eyes to the cruelty humans – and the State - can inflict on other humans.

The Hunt

The Hunt (2012)

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg

Though it came out in Britain nearly two years ago, this superb film has been thrust back into the limelight of late due to its Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Mads Mikkelsen is excellently cast as an innocent man accused of a terrible crime by a child at the nursery where he works.

Wuthering Heights (2011)

Directed by Andrea Arnold

Obsessive passion on the windswept moors, though not as we have seen it before. Arnold, like many before her, chooses to focus on the first half of Emily Bronte’s raw novel, though the finished result is the closest we have ever got to the true spirit of her prose.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Directed by Tobe Hooper

Arrow Video last year released a stunning Blu-ray edition of this, which I would urge anyone with an interest in horror (or even just an interest in cinema) to buy immediately. Failing that, watch the film on Netflix (though sadly it isn’t available in HD) and revel in the all-out weirdness of this bizarre and often harrowing follow-up to one of the most famous horror pictures in history.

Capote

Capote (2005)

Directed by Bennet Miller

The late and great Philip Seymour Hoffman leads behind him many exceptional performances in many exceptional motion pictures, and this is one of them. The film follows author Truman Capote as he researches his true crime work In Cold Blood. It also features a superb performance from Catherine Keener as To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee. 

All titles are available to stream on UK Netflix at time of publication. 

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