Add these titles from Netflix to your list of must-see movies this month.
Pieces of A Woman
- Directed by Kornél Mundruczó
- Starts January 7
This well-received film started out as a dramatic play penned by Hungarian playwright/screenwriter/actress Kata Weber. It tells the story of a home birth that ends in tragedy and how the characters involved in this emotionally wrenching experience deal with grief as their relationships with each other become more and more fractured. Vanessa Kirby (The Crown, Mission Impossible: Fallout) plays Martha, the woman whose life changes irrevocably after suffering a devastating loss, while Academy Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist, Requiem for A Dream) portrays her domineering mother. Kirby, winner of The Volpi Cup for Best Actress in last years’ 77th Venice International Film Festival, has received rave reviews for her harrowing and intense depiction of Martha. Critics have called her performance “memorable” (Roger Ebert), “phenomenal” (Wendy Ide, The Guardian), and “raw and dynamic; an unforgettably vulnerable performance that deserves attention and consideration this awards season” (Lindsey Barr, ABC News).
The White Tiger
- Written and directed by Ramin Bahrani
- Starts January 22
Adapted from the 2008 Booker Prize winning novel of the same name by Indian-Australian author Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger is about an impoverished urchin who reinvents himself as a savvy entrepreneur in India’s rapidly evolving economy. The film’s title refers to a statement made by former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi in which she recognized the potential for any citizen, no matter what class they were born into, to find success. Adarsh Gourav, in his first lead role, plays Balram, the poor but ambitious driver of a wealthy couple portrayed by Priyanka Chopra-Jones and Rakjummar Rao. In the film, Balram exploits his position as a servant and eventually becomes a scheming opportunist. Critics have called this adaptation a “Balzac-worthy satire of submission and power” (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian), and “an immersive plunge into the chasm separating the servant class from the rich in contemporary India,” (David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter).
- Directed by Simon Stone
- Starts January 29
Based on the 2007 novel of the same name by John Preston, The Dig re-imagines the events of the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, England, the site of two early medieval cemeteries that date from the 6th to 7th centuries. It stars Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby, Promising Young Woman) as Emily Pretty, the wealthy English landowner on whose site was discovered an undisturbed ship burial with a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artefacts. Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List, The English Patient) plays Basil Brown, the archaeologist hired by Emily to find out if anything lay beneath the mounds on her property. The film also stars Lily James (Downton Abbey, Cinderella) and Ben Chaplin (The Remains of The Day) and is helmed by Australian theater and film director Simon Stone.