Chris & Jonny’s Film (in the) House Watch List – 24/9/21

Whilst the world is on pause and your Filmhouse Sunderland visits aren’t possible, we’re keeping the independent cinema flag flying with our new weekly watch lists from Chris & Jonny, the people behind the project.  

Each Friday, we’ll post a list of four films that are currently available across BBC iPlayer, All4, Netflix and Amazon Prime that we think you should seek out.  

This week’s selection is…

Whiplash (15) (2014) (BBC iPlayer)
Damien (La La Land) Chazelle’s riveting story of the dangers of artistic ambition follows Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), an ambitious young jazz drummer in pursuit of rising to the top of his elite music conservatory. Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), his instructor and a man known for his terrifying teaching methods, discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into the top jazz ensemble. This changes his life, but Andrew’s passion for perfection quickly spirals into obsession as his teacher pushes him to the brink of his ability…..  

Eighth Grade (15) (2018) (Netflix)
Bo Burnham’s captivating comedy-drama brilliantly shows the challenges of teenage life through the eyes of Kayla, 13-years-old and enduring the last week of middle school. Her year, so far, has been disastrous and she wants out. But there are parties and those final moments to get through first. Burnham’s film is perfect: sweet and carefully judged and utterly authentic. At the heart of it is an incredible performance from Elsie Fisher, awkward and uncomfortable in her skin, and entirely unaware of just how brilliant she is. Do not miss.

Youth (15) (2015) (All 4)
Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth brings together an all-star cast for this tender and introspective tale of men at the end of their lives and careers taking a holiday at a luxury Swiss spa.  Fred (Michael Caine) is a retired composer and conductor, vacationing with his longtime friend Mick (Harvey Keitel), a screenwriter. As Mick crafts what may be his final work, Fred is given the opportunity to perform for the Queen, but it stirs up some bitter and sad memories. The supporting cast includes Jane Fonda, Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano, and what could be seen as a lightweight film from Sorrentino is swept along by pure acting might and lavish cinematography. Caine is astonishing and delivers a truly powerful, emotional performance that packs a real punch.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (12A) (2021) (Amazon Prime)
Out in selected cinemas and online, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is adapted from the hit West End musical and tells the story of Jamie New (Max Harwood), a teenager from Sheffield who dreams of life on stage. While his classmates plan their careers and life after they leave school, Jamie contemplates revealing his secret career ambition to become a fierce and proud drag queen. His best friend Pritti (Lauren Patel) and his loving mum (Sarah Lancashire) shower him with endless support, and a chance encounter with local drag legend Miss Loco Chanelle (Richard E. Grant) finds Jamie a mentor. However, Jamie also must deal with an unsupportive and estranged Dad (Ralph Ineson), a bitter careers advisor (Sharon Horgan), and the usual array of ignorant school kids. Can he realise his dream?

We’d love to hear what you think of the films we recommend – let us know!

See you next week,

Chris & Jonny

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