'The Tender Bar,' 'The Nest', 'Moonrise Kingdom': The movies to stream this weekend

·3-min read
The Nest, Moonrise Kingdom, The Tender Bar are all new to streaming this week (Picturehouse/Focus Features/Amazon)
The Nest, Moonrise Kingdom, The Tender Bar are all new to streaming this week (Picturehouse/Focus Features/Amazon)

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Happy new year! With this new year, of course, comes new movies to stream. This first entry of the month starts somewhat gently, with Netflix adding the likes of The Nest and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (as well as Maggie Gyllenhaal’s excellent The Lost Daughter, as mentioned in our Holiday roundup), and Prime Video adding George Clooney’s latest feature as director, The Tender Bar.

The Nest - Netflix

Carrie Coon and Jude Law in The Nest (Picturehouse Entertainment)
Carrie Coon and Jude Law in The Nest (Picturehouse Entertainment)

The latest feature from Sean Durkin (his last being the excellent, unnerving Martha Marcy May Marlene), The Nest finds the filmmaker cutting into another kind of indoctrination. Jude Law transmutes his leading man charm into the wheeling and dealing of bulls*** artist Rory O’Hara, a salesman whose schemes often fall short of his ambition.

Nonetheless, he and his family move back from America into a lavish mansion in the English countryside, where his wife Allison (played by Carrie Coon) picks up horse breeding. One amusingly obvious equine visual metaphor aside The Nest is absorbing in its subtle presentation of a family collapsing under the weight of Rory’s plans and the capitalist ideals they represent, Coon’s deteriorating patience truly mesmerising as it gives way to outright vitriol.

One of the finest films of 2021, and what better way to welcome in the new year with a haunting vision of the best laid plans deteriorating?

Moonrise Kingdom - Netflix

Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Ed Norton, and Bruce Willis in Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features)
Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Ed Norton, and Bruce Willis in Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features)

His films have been accused of being too precise, too fussily obsessed with detail, or hermetically sealed under his control, but Wes Anderson’s work has always been full of heart and messy humanity, and 2012's Moonrise Kingdom might be the most stirring example, snappily funny and utterly sweet.

Set on a fictional island off the coast of New England, its the story story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love in the summer of 1965, making a secret pact and escaping together into the wilderness. The authorities try to chase the two of them down at the same time as a storm brewing, the two events upheaving the people on the island. It’s an exquisite realisation of the unique mix of idealistic, childlike bliss and weary adult melancholy bubbling under the perfectly manicured surface of all of Anderson’s work, a marvellous and achingly tender distillation of the filmmaker’s pet obsessions.

Also new on Netflix: The Lost Daughter, The Gentlemen

The Tender Bar - Amazon Prime Video

Ben Affleck and Tye Sheridan in The Tender Bar (Amazon)

If nothing else, George Clooney’s adaptation of J.R. Moehringer’s memoir The Tender Bar will make you wonder about what should and shouldn’t be in a memoir, and what is worth dramatising.

Without being able to comment on the book itself, Clooney’s choices take the least interesting possible path through Moehringer’s life story, leaving behind the peculiarities and personable characters of his childhood for a drab, navel-gazing reminiscence on first loves during his college days and his brief stint at the New York Times.

At the very least the film finds something worth noting through its depiction of Uncle Charlie, J.R.’s father figure and one of the few constants of his life, played with homely warmth and roughhewn charm by Ben Affleck, handily one of the film’s highlights alongside Christopher Lloyd as J.R.’s grandfather, who find magnetic chemistry with Daniel Ranieri, playing the younger J.R..

Also new on Prime Video: 500 Days of Summer, Armageddon, Black Swan, Con Air

Also new on Sky Cinema: A Quiet Place Part II

Also new on Disney+: The Big Short, The Book Thief

Watch a trailer for The Tender Bar below

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