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Top 10 Lockdown Recommendations You Might Not Have Seen: 2021 Edition

Another year, another lockdown, and so for those of us that aren’t home-schooling, another chunk of spare time on our hands. If you’ve already binged on The Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton, and any other telly you’ve been told you must see, you might be on the lookout for some film recommendations. I’ve scoured Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and All4 to put together another list. Some quite old, some quite new, all absolutely brilliant.

Hope Gap

Annette Bening and Bill Nighy star as a married couple on the rocks in William Nicholson’s seaside family drama Hope Gap. Inspired by the writer and director’s own parents’ break-up, this is a carefully crafted, very personal project, that boasts excellent performances across the board.

Check out my interview with William Nicholson from when it had its premiere at London Film Festival in 2019.

Available to stream on Netflix.

Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer’s artsy sci-fi garnered critical acclaim on its release in 2013 but might’ve crept under the radar of the movie-going masses. The plot sees Scarlett Johansson as an undercover alien stalking the streets of Glasgow in a transit van. What else would you ever want from a film?

My full review.

Available to stream on All4 until 31st January 2021.

Fighting with my Family

Stephen Merchant’s directorial debut is fantastic fun and features Florence Pugh and Jack Lowden as scrappy siblings following their dreams to become the next big stars of WWE wrestling. It’s a proper slobberknocker and has a great cameo from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

Available to stream on Netflix.

The Hunt

Before he hit the mainstream of being a Bond villain and appearing in those Carlsberg adverts, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen starred in Thomas Vinterberg’s intense drama The Hunt. The less you know about this before watching, the better.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Morvern Callar

Born in Glasgow and graduating from Edinburgh Napier University, filmmaker Lynne Ramsay is one of the best directors working in the UK today. Her 2002 drama follows an eponymous supermarket worker than takes an impromptu road trip to Scotland after tragedy strikes at home.

Available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Dead Man’s Shoes

Dead Man’s Shoes is a savage revenge drama by low-budget masterpiece maker Shane Meadows. One of my all time favourite films, featuring a scarily good central performance from Paddy Considine.

Available to stream on All4 until 23rd January 2021.

Double Date

Writer Danny Morgan teams up with director Benjamin Barfoot for excellent comedy horror Double Date, with the former also in one of the leading roles. The plot sees pals Alex and Jim get way more than they bargain for when they go for drinks with party girls Kitty and Lulu.

My full review.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Hector

The always magnificent Peter Mullan takes the title role in Jake Gavin’s tender drama Hector. The story follows the life of a kind-hearted homeless man making his way to London to spend Christmas at a shelter.

My full review.

Check out my interview with actress Sarah Solemani who had a supporting role in the film!

Available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Rocks

Sarah Gavron’s story of friendship featured in my Top 20 Films of 2020 article and is the perfect film for these tough and testing times. The London-set tale follows the emotional highs and lows of a girl that is forced to look after her little brother when her mother goes AWOL.

My full review.

Check out my interview with the director Sarah Gavron.

Available to stream on Netflix.

Widows

Many of Steve McQueen’s are quite rightly lauded by film fans and critics alike, yet his 2018 Chicago crime thriller was overlooked and underappreciated. Packed with top-notch performances from Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Kaluuya, and more, this is a hugely compelling piece that deserves to be talked about alongside the director’s best works.

My full review.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime.

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