With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options—not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves–each week we highlight the noteworthy titles that have recently hit platforms. Check out this week’s selections below and past round-ups here.

Audrey (Helena Coan)

Despite her status as one of the most iconic movie stars in history, one can’t help but root for the girl at the center of Audrey, who dreams of nothing more than to find peace and love. The girl is, of course, Audrey Hepburn, a movie star from a time when pictures were made around personas, and a change of hairstyle could easily turn into a global phenomenon. Hepburn’s name conjures visions of diamonds, sophistication, and effortless grace. Perhaps even the girl who had it all if we want to navigate in tropes, but what Helena Coan’s documentary achieves is that it doesn’t need sensationalism or shock to make us recognize ourselves in a figure who was truly larger than life. On the screen perhaps. – Jose S. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Beautiful Something Left Behind (Katrine Philp)

Thought no fault of the filmmaker, Katrine Philp’s affecting Beautiful Something Left Behind arrives in an unusual period of global certainty, bravely exploring the mournings of the “beautiful somethings left behind” as grief is explained as a wave. The first few moments of the film are immensely difficult to get through as the young clients of Good Mourning, a Morristown, NJ-based counseling center, explain their emotional states as they process the loss of, in many cases, their caretakers. Peter, age 6, tells us that he’s lost both his father to “bad medicine” and his mother to a car accident. He finds some solace in releasing messages to her tied to helium balloons. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies)

“I was very touched someone in America wanted to release it. It was a lovely surprise. I can’t believe it, thirty years have gone by. My God. [Laughs.] Where has it gone? I never watch it, you see, because I made it. It’s just very odd. I just think, to be honest with you, what do people see in it? [Laughs.] I culled my family history together and made it into a cinematic narrative. I never thought it would go beyond England–I just didn’t. The fact people can respond to it in other countries is still a bit of a wonder for me I’m afraid.” Continue reading our interview with Davies by Josh Encinias.

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Fatale (Deon Taylor)

Filmmaker Deon Taylor has made a career out of genre-bending thrillers, and Fatale is an exclamation point on his recent output. Michael Ealy plays Derrick, a successful sports agent suspicious that his wife (Damaris Lewis) may be unfaithful. One night in Las Vegas with his pals––business partner and best friend Rafe (Mike Colter) included––he makes a mistake: he has a one night stand. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: VOD

Herself (Phyllida Lloyd)

Abuse is a hard subject to talk about, let alone put into words, and filmmakers who choose to tell these stories always have a struggle. How much of the incidents do you show, how much should be made of the suffering that the victims of domestic violence experience before and after their experiences, how do you thread the line between being honest and being cruel? Many great directors and writers have made exploitative films about physical violence in relationships, showcasing their protagonists on an endless odyssey of emotional torment following the end of their situation, even with good intentions behind their depictions. It’s not easy to do justice to something that’s still so stigmatized to discuss in public. That’s a big reason why the overwhelming majority of Herself, the latest film from Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd, is so commendable. – Logan K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

I Blame Society (Gillian Wallace Horvat)

Are the qualities of a successful filmmaker the same as those that make a prolific serial killer? Both certainly demand meticulous planning and precision. In I Blame Society, star-writer-director Gillian Wallace Horvat posits that maybe both roles also require a degree of sociopathy. This hilarious mockumentary features Wallace Horvat (playing a homicidal version of herself) setting out to test a friend’s “compliment” — that she would make a good murderer — by shooting a doc on how to commit the perfect murder. – Orla S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

The Immigrant (James Gray)

James Gray deconstructs America’s foundational myth by linking it to cinema, setting his film in the era of popular melodrama (both on stage and on screen) and beginning with a shot of Lady Liberty’s back turned on her admirers. What proceeds from there is nothing short of stunning, anchored by two brilliant performances (Marion Cotillard as Ewa, the immigrant forced into prostitution, and Joaquin Phoenix as Bruno, the one who forces her) and realized by a director who has now earned the same superlative. The arbitrary social forces that victimize heroines in melodrama are here seen as deeply systemic and rooted in the offending society, and Gray can only tease this and other tropes briefly before deconstructing and perverting them. The only generic truth that he finds truth in is the face, à la Griffith before him. Never is this clearer than in one of the year’s best scenes, when Ewa goes to confess. Gray is not content merely to undercut the “American Dream”; he’s taking the entire cinematic representation of it with him. – Forrest C.

Where to Stream: MUBI (free for 30 days)

Pieces of a Woman (Kornél Mundruczó)

One of the most anticipated films going into the Venice film festival, Pieces of a Woman delivers, although in a less harrowing register than many assumed. The film is directly based on an experience Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Wéber, the director and screenwriter, underwent, and there isn’t a moment that rings false. Constantly surprising and keeping the audience off-balance, perhaps its biggest rug-pull is its overall humanist outlook. – David K. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Peter Sellers

The great Peter Sellers is the subject of a new Criterion Channel series. Along with the new release The Ghost of Peter Sellers, which depicts the disastrous making of Ghost of the Noonday Sun, there’s a handful of his classics: The Ladykillers (1955), I’m All Right Jack (1959), The Mouse That Roared (1959), Never Let Go (1960), Mr. Topaze (1961), Lolita (1962), Only Two Can Play (1962), Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), and The Optimists (1973).

Where to Stream: The Criterion Channel

Pretend It’s a City (Martin Scorsese)

While the first few days of 2021 have proved to be a shitshow sequel to 2020 thus far, Martin Scorsese is here to provide at least some relief. A surprise release, announced just last week, is his new project featuring Fran Lebowitz. A reunion after 2010’s Public Speaking, the docuseries made up of seven episodes at around 30 minutes is titled Pretend It’s A City, and follows the writer, humorist, and raconteur as she chats with Scorsese and wanders the streets of NYC. It looks the perfect companion piece to not only his previous documentary but something like this fall’s brilliant How To with John Wilson in its love-hate depiction of the Big Apple. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Netflix

The Reason I Jump (Jerry Rothwell)

An immersive documentary, Jerry Rothwell’s The Reason I Jump places us internally within the mind of the nonverbal autistic, allowing empathy to flow in. Inspired by Naomi Higashida’s groundbreaking book, written when the author was just 13, the film is a transcendent experience often operating in a poetic mode as it explores the complexities of understanding how the universe is ordered. The text, adapted into English by David Mitchell and K.A. Yoshida, unpacks the process of perception of its author, including how he deduces it is raining. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Virtual Cinemas

Also New to Streaming

The Criterion Channel

The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Ruling Class
Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask
Monsoon Wedding
Ministry of Fear


The High Note (review)


Blade Runner

MUBI (free for 30 days)

The Basilisks
The Cruise
The Small Town
My Sister’s Good Fortune
August 32nd on Earth


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


Fool’s Mate (Le Coup de Berger)

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