Netflix: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: Real Life In A Fictional Way

Netflix: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: Real Life In A Fictional Way


If you’re anything like me, you may spend far too much time browsing what’s on Netflix rather than actually watching the great stuff that (can) be on there. So we at Grow thought we’d save you a little time and give you our run down of what to watch, what to avoid and a special mention for horror and gore as Halloween is fast approaching.

We’re kicking off this three-part feature with our first instalment of ‘The Good’. It’s time to Netflix and chill, but what to put on? Whether you fancy binge watching a series or delving into a great movie, we’ve got our top picks for you.

Real Life in a Fictional Way

I have to confess, I have never thought myself to be a biopic fan until I thought about what films to put in this category and came up with quite a lengthy list (unfortunately, most were not on Netflix so I won’t tease you with them). So here we have another top two, but two films well worth watching.

The Polka King (2017) stars Jack Black (yes, that was all I needed to click ‘Play’ too) as Pennsylvanian polka legend, Jan Lewan. Polish immigrant Lewan, a believer in the American Dream, works hard trying to master several businesses and dreaming of bigger things. It is those bigger things, unfortunately, which seed his downfall. Firstly, it has to be said that the hair, make-up and costume team on this film have done a phenomenal job creating Black in Lewan’s image. Secondly, or perhaps equally, Black himself has done an excellent job studying the real Lewan in order to assume his accent and mannerisms. When I first started watching the film, I didn’t realise it was a biopic. When I did, and spoiler alert here, the scene with the Pope happened, I thought, surely not? After googling and reading some handy IMDB trivia, I was set straight. So, that was one of the first surprises the film brought. The second? That Jack Black could sing polka, like, really, really sing polka. And the third? That this film had comedy elements, but wasn’t what I had come to expect from the School of Rock, Kung Fu Panda genius. In other words, Black really got to flex his acting muscles as Lewan’s plan to get rich starts to rapidly spiral out of control. The film masters the tonal shift between comedic moments and tear jerker moments where you wish you could jump through the screen and give Lewan a big hug. This film really surprised me and I hope it will surprise you too.

Rotten tomatoes: 61%                                                                                   Grow Talk: 👄 👄 👄 👄 👄


Jackie (2016) stars Natalie Portman as iconic First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination. The film begins with Jackie inviting a reporter, played by Billy Crudup, into her home a week after her husband’s death to put the record straight and tell “her own version of what happened”. In roles such as Leon’s (1994) Mathilda, Portman has played characters who seem to have an age greater than their years and this is another such example. Despite being the youngest First Lady since Frances Cleveland, Portland plays Jackie as a woman who has seen more of the world than her age should permit. It is, undoubtedly, another example of Portman at her best, affecting the accent, poise and appearance (again, a fantastic hair, make up and costume team were clearly in place) of the iconic Mrs Kennedy. I am giving you due warning now, you will need the tissues on hand for this movie as you journey through the flashbacks, the interviews and the visceral re-enactment of the shooting of J F Kennedy. Here, the death of the president for a moment becomes secondary to the image of Portman’s Jackie, blood splattered against the left side of her face, her life irrevocably changed.

Rotten tomatoes: 87%                                                                                   Grow Talk: 👄 👄 👄 👄 👄

Stay tuned for our next instalment, Animation isn’t just for Kids, for our top picks of the animation on offer on Netflix.

Photo by on Unsplash

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