November 22, 2022 - 11:34 am
It’s Thanksgiving week, and along with the turkey, pie and rest of the fixings, there’s another thing to keep on hand for the weekend of family feasting, and that’s a movie choice in your back pocket. Sure there’s football and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show during the day, but what about after dinner when everyone collapses in a food coma?
You’ll want something that will please the whole family, and perhaps neutralize any tensions. It could be a new release or an old favorite you haven’t seen in awhile. Depending on your mood, something funny, rousing or suspenseful. Maybe a little melancholy if you’re having one of those holidays. Nothing too on the nose, holiday-wise, but maybe a little Christmassy.
Here’s a little rundown of streaming movie choices to keep in mind that are a bit more interesting than your average Hallmark holiday movie (though Lindsay Lohan’s “Falling for Christmas” is now streaming on Netflix).
If you’re going for big crowd-pleasers that will delight and entertain the family without being too taxing, try throwing on Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” streaming on HBO Max. Everyone loves Elvis’ music, Austin Butler delivers a hip-swiveling tour de force channeling of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Luhrmann’s maximalist style will dazzle the senses. Another great option is James Mangold’s 2019 automotive epic “Ford v Ferrari” starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale and streaming on Hulu. I know from experience that plopping tipsy parents in front of this one is a win-win situation.
You might want to go back to the ‘70s for a rewatch of the original “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three,” starring Walter Matthau foiling a group of kidnappers on the New York City subway. It’s a rousing hoot of a crime thriller with a fantastic cast of character actors. Stream it on Showtime. Or take it international and check out the Tollywood action sensation “RRR.” This Indian film has it all: historical freedom fighters, dizzying dance breaks, tiger fights and a rousing anti-colonialist message. See what the fuss is all about and stream it on Netflix.
For comedies, Christopher Guest’s “Best in Show” is streaming on Showtime, and is a fine companion to the morning’s National Dog Show. Will Ferrell’s Eurovision comedy “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” has lots of great music and is the kind of thing you can throw on for the whole family. When’s the last time you watched “The Birdcage”? That one’s always fun and it’s on Showtime. For something a little darker, but still holiday themed, Shane Black’s wordy crime comedy “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” stars Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer and it’s streaming on Showtime. Or check out Black’s appealing ‘70s crime caper “The Nice Guys,” starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, on Netflix. Martin Scorsese’s New York City after dark odyssey “After Hours” isn’t quite a comedy, but it is highly entertaining and always worth the rewatch. Find it on Paramount+ and Showtime.
If it’s something a bit more rueful and melancholic you seek, depending on your mood, stream the Coen brothers’ ‘60s folk music character study “Inside Llewyn Davis,” starring Oscar Isaac and streaming on Showtime. Paul Thomas Anderson’s sumptuous fashion design drama “Phantom Thread” has distinct holiday vibes, and stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps in the most intoxicating toxic romance. Stream it on Netflix. The Norwegian film “The Worst Person in the World” is for everyone who feels like they haven’t found their way in life yet. Stream it on Hulu. Mike Mills’ sweet study of an uncle and his nephew, “C’mon C’mon,” shows us the different ways families can be complicated by loving. Stream it on Showtime. In a similar vein, Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” is also a film about the complexity of family dynamics. It’s also on Showtime.
If all else fails, Netflix has “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Moneyball” and “Collateral,” and Hulu has “Adaptation” — you can’t go wrong with those. Happy Thanksgiving, and here’s to your best holiday streaming.