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What to watch on Netflix in May

All the films, documentaries and must-watch series you need to know about this month...

We know you’ve probably been streaming more content than you thought humanly possible over the last six weeks – but there’s a Bank Holiday around the corner and, since you’re unlikely to be going anywhere, you’re going to need some viewing suggestions to fill the hours. Thankfully, Netflix hasn’t let us down, delivering a whole roster of content – new and classic – with which to wile away the hours. From the latest Ryan Murphy must-watch to impactful documentaries and uplifting musicals, here’s what to watch on Netflix in May 2020.

Hollywood, 1 May

Ryan Murphy – he of American Horror Story, Glee and Pose fame – is back with a new limited series exploring the Golden Age of Hollywood. Real-life stars, including Rock Hudson (Jake Picking), Anna May Wong (Michelle Krusiec) and Hattie McDaniel (Queen Latifah), mingle among fictional up-and-comers, industry titans and cunning agents in this opulent and visually lavish examination of the highest highs and lowest lows of post-World War II Tinseltown. This is the one everyone will be talking about this month.

All Day and a Night, 1 May

Written by Black Panther co-writer Joe Robert Cole, this hard edged drama tells the story of Jahkor (Ashton Sanders), an aspiring rapper whose attempts to toe the line in the midst of an Oakland gang war go awry – landing him in prison with his estranged father J.D. (Jeffrey Wright). Told across three timelines, the film explores the breakdown of the mens’ relationship, the events that led to Jahkor’s arrest and the journey they embark on while inside. Also starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, this is a film full of weighty performances, cinematic visuals and thought provoking themes.

Labyrinth, 1 May

Escapism – who couldn’t do with some of that right now? Happily Jim Henson’s classic 1986 fantasy delivers it in droves. Written by Monty Python’s Terry Jones and starring a young Jennifer Connelly, alongside David Bowie’s iconic Goblin King, Labyrinth follows 16-year-old Sarah as she encounters various otherwordly creatures as she attempts to rescue her baby brother from the centre of an enormous dream-like maze. Receiving a mixed reception on its initial release, and performing poorly at the box office, Labyrinth has gone on to gain a huge cult following – and for good reason. Is it silly? Yes. Does it always make sense? Of course not. But, we promise, it’s the delightfully absorbing content your anxiety-ridden brain needs right now.

The Eddy, 8 May

Damien Chazelle, the Oscar-winning director of La La Land, has teamed up with Emmy-winner Alan Poul, along with Houda Benyamina (Divines) and Laïla Marrakchi, on this musical drama set in modern day Paris. Written by BAFTA-winner Jack Thorne, with music from Grammy-winner Glen Ballard, The Eddy follows the fortunes of the titular jazz club as it struggles to survive in one of Paris’ seedier arrondissements. Amid ongoing tensions between co-owners Elliot (André Holland) and Farid (Tahar Rahim), things become further complicated by the unexpected arrival of Elliot’s daughter and an organised crime group nipping at the club’s heels. Expect emotional storylines, catchy tunes and (we imagine) a heartwarming ending.

Space Force, 29 May

Inspired by President Trump’s latest real-life military venture, this satirical comedy stars Steve Carell as Mark R. Naird; a general who unexpectedly, and unwillingly, finds himself leading the newly formed US Space Force. Ever the dedicated military man, Naird uproots his family and moves to a remote base in Colorado where, aided by a group of colourful scientists and ‘spacemen’, he is tasked with attaining total space dominance for the USA. A workplace comedy drawing on Carell’s The Office experience, Space Force also stars John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow and Ben Schwartz.

Trial by Media, 29 May

There are a lot of great documentaries doing the rounds on the streaming services right now and, when it drops later this month, Trial by Media is likely to gain all the buzz and discourse of its April counterpart Tiger King. Part of its appeal is that it’s so current. Across six episodes, the documentary looks at the way the rise of televised trials, along with the press and social media, shape the way we think about guilt and innocence using notable cases, such as the sensational trails surrounding the Jenny Jones TV show, the shooting of Amadou Diallo and the political fall of Rod Blagojevich, to illustrate its argument. With the force of numerous award-winning documentary makers behind it, plus executive production from George Clooney, Trial by Media is a powerful production that will make you question what you consider to be entertainment.

The Blues Brothers, TBC

We’re not exactly sure when The Blue Brothers will be hitting Netflix but we have it on good authority it will be available at some point this month – so keep your eyes peeled because, let’s face it, we’re all in need of a good musical comedy right now. And what a musical comedy this is. Based on the sketch created by John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd for Saturday Night Live, the film follows the misadventures of ex-convicts and bandmates Jake and Elwood as they try to redeem themselves by saving an orphanage. Chaos ensues – alongside stellar performances from Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker. Guaranteed to brighten even the darkest of days.

These are the best classic films to stream now…

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