Four new movies to stream this weekend

Michelle Obama’s softly softly marketing movie, plus a documentary on romcoms and two very different films from a Romanian master

Catrinel Marlon in The Whistlers

Catrinel Marlon in The Whistlers

 

THE WHISTLERS ★★★★☆
Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu. Starring Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Agustí Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea. Curzon Home Cinema, 97 min
Porumboiu, a younger master of Romanian cinema, may have made an inclination towards the mainstream with this zippy, twisty, confusing exercise in double-bluff. Ivanov plays a troubled cop who investigates a strange (and real) whistling language to enable a heist. It’s almost as odd as it sounds and at times a lot more confusing. But The Whistlers abounds with style and original energy. Marlon is particularly good as femme fatale called (what else?) Gilda. DC

BECOMING ★★★☆☆
Directed by Nadia Hallgren. Featuring Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Melissa Winter, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Colbert. Netflix, 89 min

Michelle Obama in Becoming
Michelle Obama in Becoming

The Netflix listing tells us this study of Michelle Obama is “intimate” and “feel-good”. Measuring your tolerance for soft-soap boosterism, you can regard that second descriptor as either recommendation or warning. Nobody’s happy feelings about the former US first lady are challenged. Few new angles are discovered. Becoming does, nonetheless, put us in pleasant company for an hour and a bit. The filmmakers may qualify as “essential workers” on that basis alone. DC

ROMANTIC COMEDY ★★★★☆
Directed by Elizabeth Sankey. Featuring Jessica Barden, Cameron Cook, Anne T Donahue, Simran Hans, Brodie Lancaster, Charlie Lyne, Eleanor McDowall, Laura Snapes. Mubi, 78 min

Elizabeth Sankey, director of Romantic Comedy
Elizabeth Sankey, director of Romantic Comedy

Sankey’s deep delve into the romantic comedy starts out like a takedown before the genre, like one of its romantic heroes, makes a last-minute dash and wins over the writer-director. There are beautifully curated clips of some very ugly tropes. But as Sankey and various contributors – including actor Jessica Barden and producer Charlie Lyne – note, there’s something irresistible about this most “heteronormative, white and shmaltzy” genres. This does not stop her also addressing outsider variations. TB

INFINITE FOOTBALL ★★★★☆
Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu. Featuring Laurentiu Ginghina, Corneliu Porumboiu. Curzon Home Cinema, 71 min

Laurentiu Ginghina (centre) in Infinite Football
Laurentiu Ginghina (centre) in Infinite Football

Play close attention. The rules of football are wrong. Romanian civil servant Laurentiu Ginghina made the beautiful game more beautiful (and safer) with an octagonal pitch and each team split into two parts – attackers and defenders – with each confined to their own half. His thoughts on the offside rule are revised throughout this engaging documentary portrait by Ginghina’s childhood chum, Corneliu Porumboiu, the auteur behind such deadpan delights as 12:08 East of Bucharest and Police, Adjective. It’s utterly original and completely captivating. TB         

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.