Four new films to stream this week, including Nomadland and Wild Mountain Thyme

Nomadland, Mitchells vs the Machines, Truman & Tennessee, Wild Mountain Thyme

Frances McDormand and David Strathairn in Nomadland

Frances McDormand and David Strathairn in Nomadland

 

NOMADLAND ★★★★☆
Directed by Chloé Zhao. Starring Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Bob Wells, Linda May, Swankie. Disney+, 108 min
Zhao’s beautifully made homage to the American landscape and the nation’s damaged spirit was a worthy winner of the three major Oscars – picture, director and actress – it secured at this year’s ceremony. McDormand plays a sexagenarian widow who takes to the nomadic life after losing her job. She is sewn from the same rawhide and denim that gave us a thousand heroes and anti-heroes of the western genre. Putting professional actors together with everyday citizens, Zhao creates a bewitching ambience fired up by wild yarns. Compelling. Touching. Full review DC

THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES ★★★★☆
Directed by Mike Rianda. Voices of Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre, Fred Armisen, Conan O’Brien, Charlyne Yi, Sasheer Zamata, Olivia Colman. Netflix, 113 min

The Mitchells vs the Machines
The Mitchells vs the Machines

When Rick decides to rip up his daughter’s plane ticket so the family can, well, enjoy a cross-country drive to his daughter’s new campus, a nightmarish car ride seems assured. The hell of the backseat is, however, considerably worsened when an obsolete AI phone (Olivia Colman) unleashes a global army of robots in order to get back at her tech bro inventor (Eric Andre). Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the dynamic duo behind The Lego Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, produced this wildly entertaining animated family caper. A lkely hit for Netflix. Full review TB

TRUMAN & TENNESSEE: AN INTIMATE CONVERSATION ★★★★☆
Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland. Featuring Zachary Quinto, Jim Parsons. VOD, 86 min

Poster art for Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Poster art for Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation

This year’s second major documentary treatment of Truman Capote covers some of the same ground explored in The Capote Tapes. The director finds revelatory material by placing the author alongside another giant of 20th-century literature, Tennessee Williams. Using correspondence between the two men, brilliantly voiced by Jim Parsons (Capote) and Zachary Quinto (Williams), the film explores a meaningful, rocky friendship and the irresistible parallels between the lives of the writers. An anecdote concerning the “amusing, bright, and always very vinegary” Gore Vidal would, alone, make Truman & Tennessee required viewing. Full review TB

WILD MOUNTAIN THYME ★☆☆☆☆
Directed by John Patrick Shanley. Starring Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Jon Hamm, Dearbhla Molloy, Christopher Walken. Premium VOD, 102 min

Jamie Dornan and Emily Blunt in Wild Mountain Thyme
Jamie Dornan and Emily Blunt in Wild Mountain Thyme

Already notorious Micksploitation comedy featuring Dornan as a shy wee farmer unable to express his love for archetypal “fiery redhead” Emily Blunt. The nation has, perhaps, overreacted to the supposed outrages here. The accents certainly aren’t so bad as many have suggested. But this is still stunningly regressive stuff. Dornan gets caught romancing a donkey. Blunt smokes a pipe and wears hobnail boots to the pub. And the characters insist on constantly referencing their own Irishness. You know you live here! Why do you keep telling yourself about it? Full review DC

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