I am not usually a huge TV watcher and I never have the time to binge-watch mini-series, but with the pandemic, I have had more time to catch up on the latest movies and series. I have to say that I find there are enough good movies and mini-series on Netflix when you feel like watching a show. Here are my recommendations for what to watch on Netflix Canada in spring 2021:
This popular Netflix mini-series is based on the Julia Quinn novels. Taking place in the Regency period from 1811 to 1820, this mini-series focuses on the efforts of the Bridgertons, an aristocratic family, to marry off their progeny. The oldest daughter Daphne Bridgerton engages in a deceptive romance with the Duke of Hastings in order to fend off unacceptable matches made by her mother. To spite his dying father, the Duke has sworn not to have children, which would end the ancestral line. Creator Shonda Rhimes capitalizes on the myth that Queen Charlotte had African ancestry, thus her court and high society are populated with both white and black characters. The story is narrated by Julie Andrews who voices the newsletter gossip-writer, Lady Whistledown.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
With Viola Davis in the titular role and Denzel Washington as producer, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is based on a play of the same name by August Wilson. This is one of the features I enjoyed about this movie since it presents as a play. The narrative focuses on the real-life jazz singer, Ma Rainey, in 1920s Chicago where she has a stormy recording session with her band. The late Chadwick Boseman stars as Levee Green, a trumpeter in the band who insists on playing music his way. Davis and Boseman have been nominated for Best Actress and Best Actor respectively at the 2021 Academy Awards.
The Trial of the Chicago 7
My money is on this movie to win Best Picture at the 2021 Oscars. The Chicago 7 were a group of anti-Viet Name protesters who were charged with crossing state borders in order to instigate a riot. One of the most famous members of the group was Abbie Hoffman. The unruly trial involves a prejudicial judge who does not allow one of the defendants to have legal representation and several interruptions by the defendants who receive contempt of court charges. Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), the film features an ensemble cast including Sacha Baron Cohen (as Abbie Hoffman), Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne.
Gary Oldman stars as Herman J. Mankiewicz (“Mank”), an alcoholic screenwriter, who has been tasked with writing the screenplay for Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane. Mank stresses out his business partners and family as he plods along in his writing process in his individualistic way…i.e. with alcohol! This film offers a clear snapshot of the politics of Hollywood filmmaking in the 1940s.
The Crown, Season 4
Season 4 of The Crown continues to sizzle with episodes about Princes Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s courtship and marriage, the election of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (played brilliantly by Gillian Anderson who won a Golden Globe for her role), the war in the Falkland Islands and the clash of Queen Elizabeth and Thatcher about imposing sanctions on South Africa due to apartheid. Elizabeth Debicki as the Princess of Wales really captures Diana’s unlikely combination of naivete and determination. If you have been sitting on the fence about The Crown, it’s time to start watching!
I hope you enjoyed my recommendations for what to watch on Netflix Canada in spring 2021. Let me know what you think about the above movies and mini-series in the comment section.
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