Out This Week: 16 April 2020 – WFH Edition

It's all about the family!

This week on our WFH Edition, our movies are all about family; the good ones, the bad ones, the ones we are born to, and the ones that are of our choosing. Let’s check them out.

Silver Lining Playbook (2012)

Directed by: David O. Russell
With: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Jacki Weaver

What is it about: After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Heads Up: This dramedy from David O. Russel was one of his must successful films commercially and critically, and it gave Jennifer Lawrence her Oscar win. In his 4½ stars review our critic Faizan Rashid wrote: “The film’s themes tackle some of the director’s past indulgences including a recurring motif – the drama of the dysfunctional family. Like he did with his acclaimed film The Fighter and also unmistakably with Flirting with Disaster, his screenplay is goofy and frivolous with many scenes that are about nothing in particular, almost random but held together and utterly engaging to watch”.

How to Watch it: Netflix / iTunes

Furious 7 (2015)

Directed by: James Wan
With: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham

What is it about: Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for his comatose brother.

Heads Up: Faizan Rashid put it best in his 3½ stars review when he wrote: “The seventh installment of the outrageously enduring Fast and Furious franchise isn’t the series best but it’s a perfect send-off to one of its late leading men, Paul Walker, and has still enough juice to give both fans and non-fans alike a kick out of watching its preposterously entertaining car exploits served with an overdose of team camaraderie“. While you are at it, listen to the lovely tribute song to the late Paul Walker See You Again by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.

 How to Watch it: iTunes

Roma (2018)

Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
With: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, and Diego Cortina Autrey

What is it about: The story of King George VI, his impromptu ascension to the throne of the British Empire in 1936, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome his stammer.

Heads Up: Alfonso Cuarón‘s most personal film is a semi-biographical story about the housemaid who helped raising him. This 2018 Venice Golden Lion and triple Oscar winner was shot in gorgeous black and white by Cuarón himself and tells an intimate and beautiful story that captivated the audience and critics alike. In his ★★★★★ review our esteemed critic Lloyd Bayer wrote: “If you were asked to tell a story to a bunch of strangers, what would it be about? A colorful and grand tale of adventure, or a more somber and subjective story you would rather not talk about? Mexican writer/director Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma is one such story where ordinary characters find themselves in situations so commonplace, you could say these situations occur to a million people every day. But if a thing of beauty is a joy forever, Roma will be remembered for a long time, simply due to the immersive nature in which this story is told“.

How to Watch it:  Netflix

Force Majeure (2014)

Directed by: Ruben Östlund
With: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, and Clara Wettergren

What is it about: A family vacationing in the French Alps is confronted with a devastating avalanche.

Heads Up: This Swedish black comedy and 2014 Cannes Jury Prize winner has a brilliant premise about what would a man do for his family when push comes to shove. In his ★★★★☆ review from DIFF2014, Lloyd Bayer wrote: “Distinguished and rare, Force Majeure (originally titled Turist) is in a league of its own. It’s the type of film you watch without the faintest notion that you are watching it with a silly grin on your face. The last time I experienced something like this (and I did have a silly grin) was while watching The Grand Budapest Hotel. Conceptually, it’s almost the same – a dark comedy disguised as deadpan drama“. It’s worth noting that a Hollywood remake came out earlier this year and it was titled Downhill starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell, but we highly recommend catching up with the original instead.

How to Watch it:  iTunes

Capernaum (2018)

Directed by: Nadine Labaki
With: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, and Boluwatife Treasure Bankole

What is it about: While serving a five-year sentence for a violent crime, a 12-year-old boy sues his parents for neglect.

Heads Up: Nadine Labaki‘s Oscar-nominated and 2018 Cannes Jury Prize winning neorealism drama is a movie about family through and through. The family you are born into vs. the family of your choosing. It’s a bleak drama about child neglect, poverty, and marginalized people shot almost entirely in the slums of Beirut, but it takes you on a rewarding journey with its charismatic protagonist who has a big heart and sense of right and wrong. This is a hard watch, no doubt, but an essential one.

How to Watch it: Google Play / iTunes / OSN Store

Dheepan (2015)

Directed by: Jacques Audiard
With: Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby
What is it about: Dheepan is a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who flees to France and ends up working as a caretaker outside Paris..

Heads Up: This Palme d’Or winner at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival played here during DIFF2015 and our own Faizan Rashid was a big fan. In his 4½ stars review he wrote: “Director Jacques Audiard is no stranger to telling stories of immigrants and minorities in France, struggling to assimilate and become part of the social fabric. He first explored these themes in the brilliant A Prophet, and also it’s raw follow-up Rust and Bone, but here finds a perfect balance of visual tone, intense performances and lyrical storytelling. His fascination with misplaced individuals struggling to find their identity reaches its pinnacle in both this film and it’s eponymous character“.

How to Watch it: iTunes

About Abdullah Y

Abdullah Y is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is an avid consumer of everything Pop Culture; movies, TV, music, photography, podcasts, and social media. He loves to travel and to share his experiences.