From Money Heist to Lupin, some of the most action-packed, rip-roaring fun to be found on Netflix is foreign-language fare. Luckily, there’s more to come. If you’re a European drama enthusiast (or just a big fan of subtitles) March is a polyglot’s goldmine. There’s a French language revenge flick, a found-footage drama series and a new Spanish-language show from the creators of Money Heist.
Also appearing on the streaming service are the third season of Netflix’s Formula 1 docu-series, a new dystopian spin on Sherlock Holmes and an underrated Aaron Sorkin gem. Take a look at our top picks below…
Into the Wild, March 12th
Let’s jump straight in with Into the Wild. Written, produced and directed by Sean Penn, this 2007 biopic tells the quietly devastating tale of Christopher McCandless — a young man who hiked his way into the Alaskan wilderness in the early nineties. After making camp in an abandoned bus, Emile Hirsch’s McCandless remembers his life in flashback. It’s arresting, affecting — and has a cracking soundtrack, too.
The Irregulars, March 26th
When Gentleman’s Journal interviewed Henry Lloyd-Hughes last year, he shared his reservations about taking on the iconic role of Sherlock Holmes. “It’s an exciting pair of slippers to pull on,” he said. “But also a bewildering set of slippers.”
Gladly, the actor only had to support the stars of The Irregulars. This new take on Conan Doyle’s mysteries is set in a dystopian version of Victorian London — and focuses on Holmes’ band of enterprising, investigating street informants.
Formula 1: Drive to Survive, March 19th
Intensely popular and much-anticipated, Netflix’s high-octane Formula 1 docu-series returns for a third whirl around the track in March.
But it wasn’t any ordinary season, and the Drive to Survive team capture in vivid, excruciating detail the worry and confusion that swept through the season — from the Austrian Grand Prix to the doomed Australian race. In the words of McLaren Racing’s CEO Zak Brown: “We have no idea what’s going to happen”.
Sentinelle, March 5th
Next up, the first of those foreign-language titles we promised. And this one looks to be a doozy. Featuring Olga Kurylenko in the lead role (she who played a tough-as-nails Bond girl in the iffy Quantum of Solace), Sentinelle follows an interpreter in the French Army who must battle Russian oligarchs and gangsters along the French Riviera, mercilessly hunting down and avenging the men who savagely attacked her sister.
Blinded by the Light, March 16th
This one’s a little lighter than the blood-soaked Sentinelle above. Set around Luton in 1987, Gurinder Chadha’s fantastically feel-good film is a coming-of-age story based on the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor. Decked out in double-denim, watch a young British Pakistani find his place in the world through the unexpected, slightly jarring — but always foot-tapping music of Bruce Springsteen.
The One, March 12th
Based on a novel, and brought to the screen by the man behind Misfits, this new 8-part series asks the question: What would happen if you could find your soulmate by taking a simple DNA test? Set in an eerily familiar world, The One sticks its sci-fi conceit into the heart (and hearts) of contemporary London — following the CEO of ‘MatchDNA’ and the intertwining lives of those caught up in her intimate empire.
The Sisters Brothers, March 12th
Another project based on a book, The Sisters Brothers was initially released in 2018 — but was a box-office bomb. Yet it’s a film undeserving of the flack.
Starring John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix (who has, of course, since won an Oscar) as notorious fraternal assassins, The Sisters Brothers is a Western crime drama that sees the gun-toting killers chase down a pair of opportunistic gold-hunters (played with innate watchability by Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed).
Dealer, March 10th
Dealer offers another original French thriller; this one a series. Based on the 2017 film Caïd, each exhilarating episode in the 10-strong series is filmed with shaky handheld cameras. It adds another layer of legitimacy to the story — of two filmmakers infiltrating an area ruled by gangs to shoot a music video for an emerging rapper. People are crossed, toes stepped on, and tensions erupt.
Molly’s Game, 19th March
Like The Sisters Brothers above, Molly’s Game never got the recognition it deserved upon its 2017 release. But here’s hoping that Netflix can give the crime drama a second wind. The film, starring Jessica Chastain as the titular skier, gambler and entrepreneur, is the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin — he of Moneyball, Steve Jobs and The Social Network. Look out for Idris Elba and Michael Cera as particular supporting standouts.
Sky Rojo, March 19th
To round-out Netflix’s March releases, we’ve chosen another European title. Sky Rojo shares DNA with Money Heist (it too was created by Álex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato) and traces the escapades of three prostitutes fleeing from their shady underworld boss. It looks like an action-packed, sequin-studded ride, but the creators promise that the series also takes seriously “the impunity, ambiguity and brutal reality of prostitution”.
Looking a little further ahead? These are the films we’re watching out for this year…
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