What to Stream This Weekend: ‘Malcolm & Marie, ‘Framing Britney Spears,’ and More

A roundup of the best movies and shows available right in your living room
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No matter what’s going on outside, staying safer at home is always a good idea. Our weekly roundup of what to stream has the shows and movies that will keep you entertained while you flip on the platform of your choice and chill.


What to Stream This Week

Malcolm & Marie

Perhaps the most anticipated film to come out of the lockdown era, Malcolm & Marie was quietly bubble-produced in Carmel last summer. The drama, from Euphoria creator Sam Levison, finds lovers, played by Zendaya and John David Washington, addressing personal and professional struggles. Netflix.

Son of the South

Produced by Spike Lee and edited by longtime Lee collaborator Barry Alexander Brown, Son of the South is based on the memoirs of Bob Zellner, a white man who became a Civil Rights activist in 1960s Alabama. Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Vudu.

Framing Britney Spears

An in-depth look at the troubled pop icon, this documentary is one of the first to delve into her legal struggles and conservatorship. We spoke with the film’s director, Samantha Stark, earlier this month. FX, Hulu

Other recent recommendations…

The Dig

In 1939, in a Britain on the brink of war, a wealthy woman (Carey Mulligan) brings on the help of an amateur archeologist (Ralph Fiennes) to excavate the grounds of her estate, and happen upon a historic discovery. Some truly magnificent tweed is worn. Netflix.

The Night

In this psychological-horror film that Consequence of Sound calls a “terrifying twist on The Shining,” a couple check into an L.A. hotel (the real-life Hotel Normandie in Koreatown, but a creep-ified version), and dark secrets come out at night. The film, mostly in Farsi and primarily starring and made by Iranians and Iranian-Americans, is the first U.S. production to secure a theatrical release license in Iran since 1979. IFC Midnight, Vudu, Apple TV

Blown Away: Season 2

The first season of one of the most improbable reality show concepts ever attempted–a competition show about glass blowing–became a surprise hit in 2019. Now the quirky Canadian series in back with an entirely new crew of artists, really making one wonder how many high-level glass blowers will be left if they make a season three.  Netflix.

Search Party: Season 4

When the new season of thriller-comedy-satire Search Party starts, Dory Sief (Alia Shawkat) is being held hostage–but her friends are initially a bit too distracted with their own lives and social media accounts to notice. Eventually they catch on and go searching for her.  HBO Max.

Euphoria: Part Two, Jules

The conclusion of a dramatic mini-arc in between seasons one and two of super-hit series Euphoria finds Jules (Hunter Schafer) on her own, having run away from her family and suburban life, and separated from her girlfriend, Rue (Zendaya), who is struggling with substance abuse. HBO Max.

Spycraft

A new documentary series focuses on the world of real-life espionage and, in particular, the high-tech gadgets that have helped intelligence agents around the world. Netflix.

The White Tiger

Based on the award-winning novel of the same title, The White Tiger is a “crime-tinged rags-to-riches parable,” according to The New York Times. The story centers a chauffeur (Adarsh Gourav) who makes his up out of poverty in a complex and often cruel environment. The film is produced by Ava DuVernay, Priynka Chopra Jonas, and Mukul Deora. Netflix.

Locked Down

Produced entirely during the pandemic, and taking London’s COVID-19 lockdown as its setting, this jewel heist rom-com stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anne (sorry, that’s Annie) Hathaway as a troubled couple who attempt to sneak some bling out of an empty Harrods. HBO Max.

Night Hunter: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

The story of Richard Ramirez terrorizing California during the sweltering summer of 1985 may be familiar to many Angelenos who lived through it. For those that weren’t around, or anyone hooked on true-crime docs, this Netflix series may have you checking the locks on your doors. Netflix.

WandaVision

This new series starts where the blockbuster Avengers: Endgame concluded, and finds Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) dropped into a Nick-at-Nite-era retro sitcom setting with a superhero twist. Disney+.

Some Kind of Heaven

Co-produced by The New York Times and filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, this impressionistic documentary visits with the residents of the largest retirement home in the U.S., The Villages. Billed as “Disneyland for retirees,” the 30-square-mile complex outside of Orlando is home to hundreds of unusual residents. FandangoNow, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Prime.

Tiger

This two-part documentary from Alex Gibney–the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind Going Clear–promises a “revealing look” into the life, family, and career of golf phenom Tiger Woods. HBO Max.

Sylvie’s Love

A swoony mid-20th-century period piece, Sylvie’s Love follows the romance of woman striving to build a career and live for herself as individual first, and her jazz musician lover. Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha star.    Amazon Prime.

One Night in Miami

Directed by Regina King and riding a wave of awards buzz, One Night in Miami is a fictional story based on a real historical event: the February, 1964 evening when Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), and football player Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) met up to celebrate an Ali win.  Amazon Prime.

I’m Your Woman

Set in the 1970s, filmmaker Julia Hart’s mafia drama focuses the attention on a character who is often a side-note in the genre: the mobster’s wife. Here, that wife is played by Rachel Brosnahan (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), a woman on the run after a betrayal.  Amazon Prime.

On Pointe

It’s been a big season for youth ballet content: Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, the new Tiny Pretty Things debuting on Netflix this week, and this original documentary series landing on Disney+. On Pointe‘s six episodes follow students at the elite School of American Ballet in New York City, as they prepare to dance The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center.  Disney +

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Adapted from the August Wilson play about real-life blues legend Ma Rainey, the story grapples with the friction between Black artists and white capitalists who seek to control them. This lush Netflix original features Viola Davis in the title role, and Chadwick Boseman giving his final performance as an ambitious trumpet player in the band. Netflix.

A Suitable Boy

The first primetime drama from the BBC to ever feature a primarily Indian cast, this adaptation of a 1993 novel about India in the 1950s was helmed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay, Monsoon Wedding). It sparked some controversy when it aired in the UK; members of India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party even called for a boycott because an interfaith love story. Acorn TV.

Giving Voice

While you’re waiting to watch Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, dive into August Wilson’s other works with this documentary, which captures talented young actors as they prepare for a monologue competition based on the playwright’s powerful work, and catches up with stars who have played his iconic characters, including Viola Davis and Denzel Washington. Netflix.

Let Them All Talk

Largely improvised, the Steven Soderbergh-directed Let Them All Talk puts the audience aboard a luxury cruise (for real: the film was largely shot aboard a Cunard Lines passage across the Atlantic), spending time with bantering frenemies played by Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, and Dianne Wiest.  HBO Max.

Selena: The Series

The life of Selena Quintanilla continues to fascinate, decades after her tragic death. This long-anticipated original series tells her story with greater depth and detail than the iconic 1997 biopic that we’ve all seen hundreds of times.  Netflix.

Sound of Metal

The New York Times declares that “Riz Ahmed gives one of 2020’s best performances” in this intimate indie film about a musician who descends into panic when he discovers he is losing his ability to hear–and eventually finds himself forced to adapt to a new reality. Amazon Prime.

Great British Baking Show: Holidays

A third mini-season of Great British Baking Show‘s festive spin-off hits Netflix on December 4. This edition, aired last year in the U.K. but just now getting a U.S. release, features a guest appearance by the cast of Derry Girls.  Netflix.

The Hardy Boys

Poised to be this year’s Riverdale, this original series based on the classic teen brother detectives finds the titular boys hunting down a dark mystery in their new suburban town.  Hulu.

Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

This new documentary captures choreographer Debbie Allen as she prepares the young dancers at her Los Angeles conservatory for their annual Hot Chocolate Nutcracker holiday show. “She was one of the women, one of the female forces in the world out there who made me feel like I could be whatever I wanted to be,” producer Shonda Rhimes told People. “I hope that when people watch the documentary, they will see the power and the force and the magic that is Debbie.” Netflix.

Happiest Season

This holiday rom-com is packed with star power, including Kristen Stewart, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, and Dan Levy. The plot centers on Stewart’s character planning to propose while visiting her girlfriend’s parents for Christmas–only to find out her girlfriend hasn’t come out to her conservative family, causing hijinks to ensue. Hulu.

Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s 2015 best-seller is structured a kind of long-form letter to his own son about his lived experience as a Black man in contemporary America. This film version, filmed over the summer of 2020, incorporates dozens of voices, Angela Bassett, Mahershala Ali, Phylicia Rashad, Mj Rodriguez, Angela Davis, and Oprah Winfrey. HBO will make the film available for free to non-subscribers November 25 to 30. HBO Max.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

A Charlie Brown Christmas might be the iconic Peanuts movie of the season, but before you go full-steam into Vince Guaraldi territory, take a moment to enjoy this charming chestnut from 1973. Amazon, PBS SoCal.

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square

If there is one person who can bring this country together, it’s Dolly Parton. The musical icon, theme park mogul, philanthropist, and biotech investor (she’s a financial backer of promising COVID-19 vaccine research!) will drop her first holiday album in 30 years for this strange season, and is accompanying the release with this all-new movie musical, choreographed by Debbie Allen.  Netflix

No Man’s Land

In this eight-episode drama co-created by Ron Leshem of Euphoria, a French man travels to Syria to search for his sister, whom he believes has joined the YPJ, an all-female, mostly Kurdish paramilitary organization.  Hulu

Small Axe

Originally produced for the BBC, this anthology series from artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen highlights “little known stories of Black pride and resilience” from British history, particularly the West Indian community in London. The ensemble cast includes John Boyega (Star Wars), Letitia Wright (Black Panther), and Robbie Gee (Snatch). Amazon Prime

The Right Stuff

Based on the same 1979 nonfiction book by Tom Wolfe about the early days of the U.S. Space Program that inspired a 1983 film of the same title, this new version spins the Mercury 7 mission out into an eight-part series.  Disney+

Bombshell

This 2019 film about the inner workings of Fox News in the era of Roger Ailes earned Oscar noms for Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie, playing two of the three women–Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson, and a fictional female producer–at the center of the story.  Amazon Prime

The Crown

Season four of The Crown picks up with the British royal family in the late 1970s. Gillian Anderson appears as Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin as Princess Di in what some critics are calling the best season of the show so far.  Netflix


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