The Collegian
Friday, August 07, 2020

Film Fridays | Movie recommendations for April

<p><em>Graphic by Carissa Gurgul</em></p>

Graphic by Carissa Gurgul

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.

With the COVID-19 outbreak not looking any better, I hope, you’re being responsible citizens and human beings staying home as much as possible. It may get sad and lonely, but this is what movies — and netflixparty.com — are for.

So, cheer up because April is here with great new movies coming to various streaming services for you to enjoy from the comfort of your couch or bed. 

Parasite (Out now on Hulu)

“Everyone looks gorgeous, right? Do I fit in here?” asked Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik). 

Directed by Bong Joon-ho and written by Bong and Jin Won Han, “Parasite” follows Ki-woo, the son of the poor Kim family, as he earns a tutoring job for the wealthy Park family. Soon, Ki-woo manages to get his sister, father, and mother hired by the Parks. When the Kims’ newfound comfort is threatened, a savage battle for dominance breaks out.

I believe that by now, everyone must have heard of “Parasite” in one way or another. After winning the Palme d’Or, the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, last summer, this South Korean black comedy thriller made history by being the first non-English-language film that won the Oscar for Best Picture in this year’s Academy Awards. “Parasite” is not merely a critics’ favorite. Audiences have loved it, too, so trust them and give it a watch!

Sergio (Out on April 17th on Netflix)

“Sergio de Mello, the world’s Mr. Fix-It,” said Xanana Gusmão (Pedro Hossi).  

Inspired by the true life events of top United Nations diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello, “Sergio” traces de Mello’s (Wagner Moura) most difficult and riskiest mission of his career in Baghdad during the chaotic aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

“Sergio” looks like a promising political drama, but then the last time I said that about a movie, I was proven wrong. Nevertheless, I believe that director Greg Barker and writer Craig Borten are bringing a great story of perseverance with an insight into the risks and challenges involved in the lives of diplomats whose morals and values may often be tested by states’ self-interests.

The Lighthouse (Out on April 16th on Amazon Prime)

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“How long have we been on this rock? Five weeks? Two days?” asks Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe). 

Directed by Robert Eggers, “The Lighthouse” follows the lives of two lighthouse keepers, played by Robert Pattinson and Dafoe, on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s as they try to maintain their sanity.

The trailer is insane and captivating as we see the two actors slowly descending into madness, stuck alone on this island. Dafoe and Pattinson’s performances are incredible in this atmospheric horror mystery movie. With the current stay-at-home order because of COVID-19 that is in place in Virginia, I’m afraid I may relate a bit too much to their characters’ feelings.

Les Misérables (Out now on Amazon Prime)

“We could ruin the SCU [Street Crimes Unit] with that video,” said Le Maire (Steve Tientcheu). 

Directed by the Malian filmmaker Ladj Ly, “Les Misérables” has nothing to do with Victor Hugo’s book “Les Misérables” or its musical and film adaptations. This movie follows a French police officer Stéphane who joins the Anti-Crime Brigade of Montfermeil in a sensitive district of the Paris suburbs. 

Stéphane discovers the tensions between the various neighborhood groups, as he works with his colleagues Chris and Gwada and witnesses his unorthodox methods. When an arrest gets out of hand, a drone is filming every move they make.

While unrelated to Hugo’s “Les Misérables,” this movie is a deeply sociopolitical and powerful movie unfolding in modern Paris and its slums, and the timeless themes of Hugo’s 1862 novel remain. You may be surprised to see how many of France’s social issues portrayed in this film, such as police brutality and power abuse, apply to the U.S.

Bad Education (Out on April 25th on HBO)

“Some people… They’ll do the most horrible things,” said Dr. Frank Tassone (Hugh Jackman).

 Based on a true story, but with a fictionalized twist, “Bad Education” unfolds one of the largest public school embezzlement scandals in history. After a student reporter (Geraldine Viswanathan) traces embezzlement at the Roslyn School District, in Long Island, the superintendent of the district Dr. Tassone must deal with the scandal and protect his employees and himself.

Directed by Cory Finley and written by Mike Makowsky, “Bad Education” is an original HBO film. Allison Janney and Jackman’s performances look delightful, and they are the thing I’m looking forward to the most about this movie. The intriguing plot, however, and the real-life scandal that the movie is based on are also good enough reasons to give “Bad Education” a watch.

Stuber (Out on April 18th on HBO)

“Please, be a five-star ride,” said Stu (Kumail Nanjiani). 

In “Stuber,” an Uber driver Stu picks up an L.A.P.D. detective Vic Manning (Dave Bautista), who recruits Stu into an adventurous night pursuit of a brutal killer. Stu has to keep himself safe, cooperate with Manning, and maintain his five-star Uber driver rating.

The movie, which is directed by Michael Dowse and written by Tripper Clancy, seems like an entertaining comedy action movie to watch with friends or by yourself and just have a chill night. Don’t expect more than just some good laughs, but again, if you’re looking for a movie to do that, “Stuber” will suffice.

Contact contributor Myrsini Manou-Georgila at myrsini.manougeorgila@richmond.edu. 

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