New shows and movies to watch this weekend

As the streaming world continues to offer more and more options for movie lovers, it can be difficult to sort through the endless choices. Fortunately, HITPLAY has done the heavy lifting for you, and have compiled a list of must-see films available to stream right now. Eva Green gets double billing this weekend.

Liaison, the latest television series on Apple TV+, boasts a stellar cast, including Eva Green and Vincent Cassel, but does it live up to its star-studded lineup? The show’s central theme is a love affair between a French diplomat (Cassel) and his interpreter (Green), set against a backdrop of international intrigue and political turmoil.

Green’s performance as the conflicted and complex Anna is the standout of the series, as she grapples with the morality of her role and the consequences of her actions. The chemistry between Green and Cassel is palpable, and their relationship is the beating heart of the show. However, the series can feel sluggish at times, as it focuses heavily on the characters’ inner conflicts and personal relationships, leaving the political drama feeling almost like an afterthought.

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Carla Simón’s “Alcarràs” brings to life the story of a farming family in Catalonia whose way of life is threatened by big agriculture and a renewable energy company. While the film appears simplistic at first glance, it presents a nuanced, well-crafted portrayal of time and the ways in which it flattens people and situations. It won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale and is currently available to stream on MUBI.

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Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon” offers a brash and bombastic portrayal of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Rather than delivering an insightful exploration of cinema history, Chazelle’s film is more defined by an acidic unsentimentality that clashes high and low art during a period of upheaval in the fledgling industry. It’s a refutation of the well-mannered prestige drama to which nostalgic odes often conform, and it’s available to stream on Paramount+. Read our review here.

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Jerzy Skolimowski’s “EO” is a vibrant and energetic film that presents a donkey’s journey across Europe in a series of striking vignettes that highlight the totality of the human and animal experience. Inspired by Bresson’s seminal classic “Au Hasard Balthazar,” “EO” is available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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While some may argue that the revival doesn’t quite capture the magic of the original series, it’s hard to deny that the Party Down team still has plenty of chemistry and comedic gold left in them. The show’s ability to poke fun at the entertainment industry and its absurdities is as sharp as ever, making for a refreshingly cynical and hilarious viewing experience.

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In “Holy Spider,” Ali Abbasi returns to the country of his birth with a direct statement on prejudice and repulsion. The film offers a thrilling exploration of dark genre idioms, making it a transnational potential capable of enticing festivals and more commercially oriented fields. It’s available to stream on VOD.

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Simon Lereng Wilmont’s documentary “A House Made of Splinters” provides a devastating account of a young Ukrainian girl, Eva, whose phone call with her alcoholic mother is recorded from both ends. The film is a tough watch, but it powerfully demonstrates how people can be forced into premature positions of maturity in the face of insurmountable odds. It’s available to stream on VOD.

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“The Inheritance,” Ephraim Asili’s debut feature, uses history, art, ideology, and love as its four pillars, residing both inside the square rooms of a West Philadelphia house and outside the boundaries of genre. The film is a thrillingly alive depiction of the past experiences, lessons, and artistic creations of others, and it’s available to stream on MUBI.

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M. Night Shyamalan’s “Knock at the Cabin” is a high-concept thriller that packs in moments of fright as it explores the omnipresent form of a television broadcast. It’s a thrilling portrayal of how technology can be used to control our fears, and it’s available to stream on VOD.

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Gerard Johnstone’s sci-fi slasher “M3GAN” tells the story of an AI doll named M3GAN that attaches itself to a single child, making it an absurd film that highlights our reliance on technology we don’t understand. It’s available to stream on Peacock.

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Lorcan Finnegan’s “Nocebo” follows Christine (Eva Green), whose perfect life comes crashing down with a phone call on the day of her latest catwalk. Shock and horror wipe the smile from her face, and she must navigate a terrifying, upside-down world. The film is available to stream on AMC+ and Shudder.

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Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking” takes on the daunting task of adapting Miriam Toews’ 2018 novel about women in a Mennonite colony grappling with the aftermath of years of sexual assault and rape by men in their community. The book’s publication coincided with the #MeToo movement and the downfall of Harvey Weinstein, making its themes resonate deeply in the current cultural moment.

Polley’s adaptation leans heavily into the big ideas of the novel, attempting to make a commentary on where we are as a society today. However, the execution falls short, resulting in a film that feels both schematic and pedestrian. Polley’s well-meaning drama is admirable in its intent, but ultimately falls flat in its execution. Out on VOD now.

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In Darren Aronofsky’s latest film, The Whale, he returns to his indie roots by adapting Samuel D. Hunter’s Obie-winning play of the same name. The film stars Brendan Fraser in a resurgent performance as Charlie, a 600-pound man attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Aronofsky delivers a powerful meditation on the themes of love, acceptance, and redemption, all centered around Charlie’s struggles with his own body and his relationship with his daughter. With a strong focus on character-driven storytelling, The Whale successfully navigates the boundaries between comedy and tragedy, and the result is a moving exploration of the human condition. Aronofsky’s signature visual style, combined with Fraser’s incredible acting chops, make for a cinematic experience that is both heartwarming and gut-wrenching. The Whale is a small film that packs a big emotional punch, and it’s not to be missed. On VOD.

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