Instant Picks of the Week 9/15/17
Gone are the days of scrolling mindlessly through your queue! No longer will you have to sift through the vastness of what’s coming to the instant viewing wastelands this month! Whether you’re looking for a stellar film or an exciting new show to binge, Instant Picks of the Week brings you the hottest releases in film and television on instant viewing platforms that we know you’ll love, or at the very least not despise.
DIANA, OUR MOTHER: HER LIFE AND LEGACY (HBO GO)
20 years after her untimely death, DIANA, OUR MOTHER is a touching and intimate look into the private life behind iconic public figure, Diana, Princess of Wales. Told from the point of view of her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, as well as a selection of loyal friends and acquaintances, the HBO Original Documentary offers a glimpse into Diana’s life separate from her publicized and all too often slandered social primadonna persona. Featuring never before seen family photos and personal home videos, the film tells the story of a young woman with an infectious smile and a genuine spirit that allowed her to touch the hearts of all those that came to know her during her tragically short life. As the two Princes recall tender, insightful, and even embarrassing moments between themselves and their mother, we begin to see the complexities of a woman the world seems to know everything about—a refreshing take on the typical Diana documentary, which always seem more intrusive than celebratory. Apart from her relationship with her sons, the film highlights the Princess’s philanthropic work, ranging from her advocacy for victims of HIV/AIDS to her humanitarian campaigns in Bosnia—perhaps her most understated legacy, which her sons continue to this very day. The greatest lesson we can take from DIANA, OUR MOTHER is that no one, not even the social figures we immortalize, is guaranteed the gift of tomorrow, and so we must do what we can to add love and meaning to each passing day. [Omar A. Cabezas]
FRANK is just as bizarre as it is highly affecting. Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), an aspiring songwriter constantly trying and failing to create the next smash hit to be loved by all, joins an incredibly eccentric and unpronounceable band, Soronprfbs. The members—a broody bassist, an apathetic drummer, an aggressive and cold synthesizer and theremin player, and a fake head-wearing, facial expression-describing frontman—are just as outlandish as the blips and twangs they create. Beneath the film and its characters’ quirky idiosyncrasies lies a deeply emotional and moving story about the bridge between creative inspiration and tragedy in one’s life, and whether or not that bridge is necessary in making art. Michael Fassbender’s performance as the eponymous singer is as honest and endearing as it is comedic. Fassbender communicates Frank’s feelings so flawlessly solely through his mannerisms and posture, that despite the large, emotionless paper-mâché face, Frank’s responses to things around him feel as real as any other expression he could have given without the mask on. While admittedly maybe a bit too quirky for certain tastes, FRANK is a gentle and poignant reminder that life and pain will always be locked in this bitter entanglement—but it also offers that creating art and connecting with those around you help to alleviate that inexorable sadness. [Jordan Valdés]