The latest TV and movies for you to stream in April 2021.
By: Rayne Fisher-Quann
Death, sex, and Judaism collide in Shiva Baby
Name:Shiva Baby Where: Select theatres and VOD What: First run film, 77 mins When: April 2 Genre: Indie Why You Should Watch: Indie breakout star Rachel Sennott brings humour and complexity to this unique coming-of-age story set against a backdrop of religion, death and sexual politics.
Shiva Baby, a new dark comedy from rising Canadian director Emma Seligman, is nothing less than gospel for a modern Lost Generation. The coming-of-age film follows just a few hours in the life of Danielle, a slightly adrift student stuck in the mire of parental expectations, old relationships, uncertain futures and a moonlighting job as a sugar baby. Her life’s errant threads become hopelessly entangled at a Jewish mourning ceremony.
Seligman doesn’t shy away from frankly portraying the squirming awkwardness and mortifying petulance of early-20s confusion, and there are scenes so unflinching in their portrayal of conflict and angst that they almost hurt to watch. The film’s excellent cast plays perfectly off Seligman’s wry, quick-witted script. The characters in Shiva Baby are spared the quirky, candy-coloured kitsch that’s often imposed upon indie protagonists; on the contrary, Seligman’s characters and the actors that play them are mercifully, almost infuriatingly, human.
Shiva Baby is bitingly clever, uncomfortably honest, minimalist in its presentation and overwhelming in its emotion. But above all, the film is funny in the way that young adulthood itself is funny: just painful enough to be entirely comical; absurd in its masochism.
Where: Crave, HBO Max Original What: TV series (Season 1; 30 mins/8 episodes) When: Streaming now Genre: Dramedy Why you should watch: Take millennial phenomenon Girls, move it to California and translate it to Gen Z. This Lena Dunham-produced series, created by 19-year-old Zelda Barnz and her fathers, tracks a cast of horny high-schoolers as they explore their sexualities and cope with teenage growing pains.
Good Girls Revolt (2015)
Where: Prime Video What: TV series (one season; 50 mins/10 episodes) When: Streaming now Genre: Historical drama Why you should watch: Amid the Vietnam War, Manson Family murders and free love movement, a crew of female researchers fight for their right to be reporters in the sexist newsrooms of 1969. From The Rolling Stonespacked soundtrack to the suede miniskirts, it tastefully and believably captures a crucial moment in the history of women in journalism.
Where: Netflix What: TV series (limited run; 60 mins/8 episodes) When: April 2 Genre: Crime drama Why you should watch: In a fast-paced crime spree set on the hippie beaches of 70s Asia, this true story of homicidal con man Charles Sobhraj, also known as the “Bikini Killer,” is spiked with poison, studded with rare gems and bursting with tension.
Behind Her Eyes
Where: Netflix What: TV series (limited run; 50 mins/6 episodes) When: Streaming now Genre: Psychological thriller Why you should watch: Lucid dreams fill this series, which spins the tale of Louise, a young single mom who has an affair with her boss, a mysterious and alluring psychiatrist. When she befriends his picture-perfect wife, things begin to unhinge. Just take it from singer Tate McRae, who tells us: “You have to watch it, I literally died. It’s so good.”
Where: Netflix What: Film, 111 mins When: April 2 Genre: Drama Why You Should Watch: Idris Elba (Molly’s Game) and Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things) shine in this heart-wrenching father-son drama set against the urban cowboy scene of North Philadelphia. Though fiction, the story shines a light on the rich, deeply rooted history of Black horsemanship in North America— historically whitewashed by Hollywood. A vibrant film with an all-star cast, it sets the record straight.
Where: Disney+ What: Mini-series When: April 16 Genre: Nature Why You Should Watch: Breathtaking shots of the natural world set to a brand-new electronic soundtrack, this is a nature docuseries unlike any other. Earth Moods takes a laidback retreat through the world’s most colourful and calming corners to the tune of an original EDM soundtrack. The voiceless nature doc works well and, though far from urgent viewing, it will give you a much-needed escape.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Where: Disney+ What: Series, first season, six episodes, 50 mins When: Streaming now Genre: Superhero Why you should watch: Marvel develops narrative from Avengers: End Game as The Falcon begrudgingly joins forces with the late Captain America’s troubled sidekick Bucky Barnes. All the good stuff is here: reluctant heroes, troubled heroes, family life messing up “save-the-world” time, wry winks at the audience, shit blows up real good, gadgets galore and yes, rules will be broken.
Where: Theatres and VOD What: First-run film When: Now screening Genre: Family drama, 97 mins Why you should watch: In a career filled with remarkable performances, Anthony Hopkins may give his best yet in this Best Actor Oscar–nominated role as a patriarch waging a losing battle against dementia. The Father is nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture. The Crown’s Olivia Colman is a deserving Best Supporting Actress nominee for her complex performance. Hopkins is riveting as he struggles against his fate, a sympathetic character in spite of himself.
ContraPoints: Political Ideology Made for Youtube
Name: ContraPoints Where: YouTube What: YouTube videos ranging from 45 – 90 mins Genre: Politics/ philosophy Why you should watch: Groundbreaking You- Tuber ContraPoints has become something of a cultural icon in young political circles for her sophisticated analysis, aesthetic mastery and razor-sharp wit.
YouTuber ContraPoints (real name Natalie Wynn) is one of the most interesting, incisive and unabashedly unique voices the platform has to offer—just ask her 1.3 million subscribers. Unlike most of the 10- to 15-minute videos that thrive on YouTube, Wynn’s video essays are often the length of feature films. But she keeps her audience’s attention by using airtight reasoning, opulent sets, elaborate costumes and cutting humour to tackle decisive topics like capitalism, racism and transphobia.
It only takes a few minutes of watching to recognize Wynn’s undeniable intellect, but her opinions are only elevated by the stunning aesthetics she uses to make her points. In her most recent video—a 90-minute epic inspired by author J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans essays—she uses philosophy and sociology to expertly debunk transphobic rhetoric while lounging in a milk bath, cloaked in a diaphanous gown. In an online ecosystem of cheap thrills and quick fixes, ContraPoints’ meticulously crafted, enduring and relevant videos are a breath of fresh air.
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The Zac and Jay Show
Two British pranksters get up to ludicrous antics like sneaking into a red-carpet film premiere with Leonardo DiCaprio, setting up a lemonade stand outside Bill Gates’s house and cracking the code for getting into the famously exclusive Berghain techno club in Berlin.