December Previews: Netflix and Amazon

This month we look at streaming releases from Netflix and Amazon; from comedy dramas to critically acclaimed features.

Roma (Netflix)

Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón returns with this sensational black-and-white feature. It’s already won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and is surely a shoo-in for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars next year. Inspired by his own early ’70s childhood in Mexico City, and memories of his middle-class upbringing and the maid who worked for the family (played wonderfully here by non-professional newcomer Yalitza Aparicio), it’s every bit as groundbreaking as his earlier movies, Gravity and Children of Men, with some simply jaw-dropping sequences.

Springsteen On Broadway (Netflix)

For those hoping to catch Bruce Springsteen’s on-off residency at the Walter Kerr theatre in New York, tickets were always going to be at a premium, costing hundreds of dollars. Fortunately, there is a solution for fans of The Boss. After 236 shows, his final appearance on stage for this acoustic performance in on December 15, the same night Netflix broadcasts this filmed version. Springsteen’s gained some of his best reviews in years for this run, and given his penchant for grass-roots storytelling, it should be an utterly engaging experience.

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (Amazon)

Created by Gilmore Girls’ Amy Sherman-Palladino, this dramedy starring Rachel Brosnahan returns for a second season after a hugely successful Emmys, scoring seven wins including best actress in a comedy for its star. For those that didn’t catch Season 1, Brosnahan is 1950s New York housewife Midge Maisel who enters the world of stand-up comedy when her husband leaves to take up with his secretary. This follow-up season relocates, briefly, to Paris, but it truly hits its stride when it brings Midge back to New York for some good honest Jewish humour.

Counterpart (Amazon)

If you though Maniac was a head-scratcher, try Counterpart. Now heading into its second ten-episode season, this Justin Marks-created series stars the mighty J.K. Simmons (he of Whiplash fame) as low-grade clerk Howard Silk, who can travel to another dimension, the Prime World, where another version of himself exists. This alternate reality was, in fact, created by East German scientists in 1987 and it’s been diverging ever since. Confused? You will be. But with the likes of James McAvoy and Tatiana Maslany co-starring, you’ll be in safe hands.

James Mottram

All shows/films available from December 2018 onwards. For more details, visit Netflix and Amazon.

1. Still from The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.
2. Still from Roma.
3. Still from Springsteen On Broadway.
4. Still from The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.
5. Still from Counterpart.