2021 Oscar winners Minari and Tenet; 2020 Oscar winner Judy; Jude Law in The Nest; Janelle Monáe in Antebellum: Rush Hour 1-3; Sex and the City 1-2
MINARI | Stream from 9 September 2021, first on Showmax
Winner of over 100 awards, Minari is a moving semi-autobiographical drama about a family of South Korean immigrants who try to start a farm in rural Arkansas in the 1980s.
Yuh-jung Youn made history this year as the first Korean to win an acting Oscar, taking home Best Supporting Actress. Minari picked up a further five Oscar nominations – Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Score and Actor, for Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead’s Glenn). Child actor Alan S Kim was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at this year’s BAFTAs, where Youn won Best Supporting Actress and the film picked up a further four nominations. Minari also won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
Minari has a 98% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Empire Magazine calling it, “A profound, detail-perfect and soulful slice of American family life, with some of the year’s most sincere performances to date” and Los Angeles Times saying, “Minari in its entirety feels like a balm right now, a gentle, truthful and tender story of family filled with kind people trying to love one another the best they can.”
TENET | Stream from 27 September 2021
The fifth biggest box office hit globally of 2020, Tenet won the 2021 Oscar and BAFTA for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, with a further Oscar nomination for Production Design.
Directed by five-time Oscar nominee Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy), the sci-fi action thriller follows Protagonist. Armed with only one word: “Tenet”, he journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Not time travel: inversion…
Golden Globe nominee John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) was nominated for Best Actor at the 2021 Critics’ Choice Super Awards for his lead role, with MTV Movie + TV Awards, People’s Choice and Teen Choice winner Robert Pattinson (The Twilight Saga) nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror films. The support cast also includes Elizabeth Debicki (The Crown S5-6’s Princess Diana), Oscar winner Sir Michael Caine (Inception, Alfred in Nolan’s Batman trilogy), and Oscar nominee Sir Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express), as well as Teen Choice nominee Himesh Patel (Yesterday, The Luminaries), and Clémence Poésy (In Bruges, Genius).
Rolling Stone calls Tenet “pure, ravishing cinema…”; London Evening Standard “an eye-popping, ground-breaking blast”; and Empire “ferociously entertaining.”
JUDY | Stream now, first on Showmax
Renée Zellweger (Bridget Jones’s Diary) won a 2020 Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for her stellar performance as Judy Garland in the biographical drama Judy. Adapted from the Olivier- and Tony-nominated West End and Broadway play End of the Rainbow, the film was also nominated for an Oscar for the makeup and hairstyling that transformed Zellweger into the late silver screen legend still best remembered for her roles in The Wizard of Oz and A Star is Born. Incorporating flashbacks to Garland’s teenage years, the story traces the final year of the actress’s life as she arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts.
Emmy nominees Rufus Sewell (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story, Ratched), and Sir Michael Gambon (Gosford Park, Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter) co-star, alongside BAFTA nominee Jessie Buckley (Fargo, Chernobyl).
Judy has an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Rolling Stone saying, “Renée Zellweger performs miracles playing Judy Garland: singing her heart out, baring her bruised soul and acting with a ferocity that ultimately rises to a state of grace.”
THE NEST | Stream from 23 September 2021
Oscar nominee Jude Law (The Young Pope) and Emmy nominee Carrie Coon (The Post, Gone Girl) star in the psychological drama The Nest, which sees a successful entrepreneur’s idyllic life begin to unravel after he moves his American family to a grand old English country manor.
The Nest has an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with IndieWire saying “Carrie Coon delivers one of her most riveting performances to date” and Guardian praising “Jude Law at his best”.
Helmed by Sundance and Cannes-winning writer, director and producer Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene), The Nest was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Sound Editing at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it, “A hyper-nuanced study of marriage mind games… Lingers long after the final credits.”
ANTEBELLUM | Stream from 16 September 2021
Black Reel and Teen Choice Award winner Janelle Monáe (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) stars in the horror drama Antebellum as modern-day sociologist and author Dr Veronica Henley, who becomes trapped in a waking nightmare on a slave plantation.
Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe (Empire, Precious) was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress at this year’s Black Reel Awards, as well as at the 2021 Image Awards, where Monáe was also nominated for Outstanding Actress. Monáe also won both the Courage in Acting Award and Best Female Action Hero at the 2021 Women Film Critics’ Circle Awards, while director of photography Pedro Luque (Don’t Breathe, The Girl in the Spider’s Web) was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 2020 Fright Meter Awards.
Produced by two-time Oscar nominee Sean McKittrick (Get Out, Us, BlacKkKlansman), Antebellum’s cast also includes award-winning Zimbabwean actor Tongayi Chirisa (Palm Springs, iZombie).
New York Post calls Antebellum “a breathless watch” and Variety a “terrifying – and incredibly timely – horror movie.”
SEVEN | Stream from 13 September 2021
The Oscar-nominated 1995 blockbuster psychological crime thriller Seven is still ranked at #20 on IMDb’s list of Top Rated Movies of all time, with an 8.6/10 rating there and an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus calls it, “A brutal, relentlessly grimy shocker with taut performances, slick gore effects, and a haunting finale.”
Seven follows retiring police Detective William Somerset (Oscar winner Morgan Freeman) and rookie David Mills (Oscar winner Brad Pitt) on the trail of a serial killer who’s theming elaborate and grisly murders around the seven deadly sins.
Directed by triple Oscar nominee David Fincher (Mank, The Social Network), with a BAFTA-nominated screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker (Sleepy Hollow), Seven also stars Oscar winners Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey.
SCOOB! | Stream from 20 September 2021
Scooby-Doo and the gang are back in the animated adventure comedy, Scoob!, where they must face their most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this dogpocalypse, the gang discovers that Scooby has an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.
Nominated for a 2021 Image Award for Outstanding Animated Motion Picture, this box office hit is recommended for ages 7+ by Common Sense Media.
Scooby is voiced by Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award-winning voice artist Frank Welker (who’s voiced Fred since 1969 and Scooby since 2002), with multiple-Emmy nominee Will Forte (Sweet Tooth, The Last Man on Earth) as the voice of Shaggy; Emmy, Kids’ Choice, Teen Choice and People’s Choice multi-award winner Zac Efron (High School Musical) voicing Fred; Oscar nominee Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables, Mank) as the voice of Daphne; and Golden Globe and Teen Choice winner Gina Rodriguez (the voice of Carmen Sandiego, and Jane in Jane the Virgin) as Velma. Also listen out for Mark Wahlberg as Blue Falcon and Jason Isaacs as Dick Dastardly.
THE SECRET GARDEN | Stream from 6 September 2021
The enchanting fantasy adventure The Secret Garden follows Mary Lennox, an orphaned girl who is sent to live at her strict uncle’s estate, only to discover it conceals a magical garden.
This newest adaptation of the beloved 1911 classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett is led by newcomer Dixie Egerickx as Mary, with Oscar nominee Dame Julie Walters as Mrs Medlock, Edan Hayhurst (The Midnight Sky) as Colin Craven and Emmy nominee Amir Wilson (His Dark Materials, The Letter for the King) as Dickon. Oscar winner Colin Firth (Mary Poppins Returns, The King’s Speech, Bridget Jones’s Diary) plays Lord Archibald Craven, returning to the tale 34 years after he played the adult Colin in the 1987 TV movie of the same name.
Nominated for Best Costume Design at the 2021 British Independent Film Awards, The Secret Garden is adapted from the novel by triple BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne (Enola Holmes, Wonder, His Dark Materials), and produced by triple Oscar nominee David Heyman (the Harry Potter films) and the Emmy-winning team behind the Paddington movies, Rosie Alison and Ron Alpern, with International Emmy and triple BAFTA winner Marc Munden (Utopia, National Treasure) directing.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
THE LORD OF THE RINGS AND THE HOBBIT BOX SETS | Stream on Hobbit Day on 22 September 2021
22 September 2021 is Hobbit Day, when we celebrate Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ birthdays and, of course, undertake an epic 17-hour quest to binge all three of Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies and The Lord of the Rings trilogy on Showmax. If you start at 7am, you can be done by midnight, with five minutes to spare.
The ultimate epic fantasy binge, all three films in The Lord of the Rings trilogy are in the top 20 on IMDb’s Top Rated Movies of all time. The first film, The Fellowship of the Ring, is at #10. The Two Towers is #14, and the concluding chapter, The Return of the King, is at #7. The trilogy won 17 Oscars, grossed almost $3billion worldwide, and is still considered one of the most influential film series ever produced.
Set in the fictional world of Middle-earth and based on the classic, bestselling novel by Bloemfontein-born JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings follows hobbit Frodo Baggins (Critics’ Choice winner Elijah Wood) as he and the Fellowship undertake a dangerous quest to destroy the One Ring and ensure the downfall of its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron (Bram Stoker Awards Lifetime Achievement winner Christopher Lee).
The prequel trilogy – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of the Five Armies – follows Bilbo Baggins (Emmy winner Martin Freeman) on his quest to the Lonely Mountain to confront the dragon Smaug (voiced by Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch).
RUSH HOUR 1-3 | Stream now
Kick back with the hilarious East-meets-West buddy-cop action-comedy classic films Rush Hour 1, 2 and 3. Starring martial arts legend Jackie Chan as dedicated Hong Kong Chief Inspector Lee and Chris Tucker as reckless LAPD Detective James Carter, the three films won MTV, Kids’ Choice and Teen Choice Awards, and earned just shy of $850 million globally.
SEX AND THE CITY 1-2 | Stream from 9 September
In the late 90s, Carrie Bradshaw and her besties Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda took New York by storm in TV’s most stylish series, Sex and the City, which racked up Emmys and Golden Globes among its many awards. (Binge it all on Showmax.) With production on the sequel series on the go, this is the perfect time to indulge in a catch-up with Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and the all-star cast in Sex and the City: The Movie and Sex and the City 2.
ST. VINCENT | Stream from 20 September
From Oscar nominee Theodore Melfi (Hidden Figures), comedy-drama St. Vincent stars Bill Murray as a cantankerous, misanthropic war vet and very unlikely mentor to his new neighbour, a scrawny kid whose parents have just divorced. Nominated for two Golden Globes, St. Vincent also stars Oscar nominees Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, and Terrence Howard, Emmy winner Chris O’Dowd, and It and Knives Out star Jaeden Martell.
FOSTER BOY | Stream from 23 September
Inspired by true events, Foster Boy tells the story of Jamal, a young man imprisoned after years of abuse in the foster care system, and the lawyer who must help him seek justice.
Foster Boy picked up seven awards on the international festival circuit, including at the 2020 Pan African Film Festival, and holds an 80% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Foster Boy stars Shane Paul McGhie (Greenleaf, Unbelievable), Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Matthew Modine (Stranger Things) and Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. (Watchmen’s Will Reeves), with Screen Actors Guild Awards nominee Julie Benz (On Becoming a God in Central Florida, Dexter), and Teen Choice nominee Greg Germann (Grey’s Anatomy, Ally McBeal) co-starring.