1. Winter’s Bone
Director Debra Granik’s tour-de-force drama about a teenage girl in the desolate Ozarks is nothing less than mesmerizing (see my full review here!). Star Jennifer Lawrence and her young co-stars do an excellent job of naturalistic acting, and the film’s atmosphere feels authentic to a fault. John Hawkes is unrecognizable as Lawrence’s volatile uncle, who reluctantly agrees to help her track down her no-good father before the family loses its home. A must see! Currently available on Netflix streaming.
2. Tie me up! Tie me down!
This very sexy early Almodovar film has it all: tension, drama, comedy, and lots of sex. Did I mention it’s full of sex? Antonio Banderas stars as an escaped mental patient who takes a former porn queen hostage in her home and tries to get her to fall in love with him. While clearly not a paragon of feminist ideals, as with everything from Almodovar, it’s definitely worth seeing. Currently available on Netflix streaming.
3. Don Juan DeMarco
This rom-com is as fluffy as they come, almost–Johnny Depp stars as a young man convinced he isn’t just a Brooklyn drifter, but actually the world’s greatest lover, a Mexican Casanova trained in the arts of lovemaking, sword fighting, and general swashbuckling. An aging Marlon Brando is assigned as Depp’s psychiatrist, and the two forge an unlikely connection that turns out to save both of them from the brink of despair. With Faye Dunaway as Brando’s wife. Delightful! Currently available on Netflix streaming.