The best movies of 2019, dog stories, French films and Jack

Sometimes, nothing will do but a Jack Nicholson movie, but let’s concentrate on his lighter films.

Isle of Dogs by Wes Anderson (photo credit: Courtesy)
Isle of Dogs by Wes Anderson
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Knives Out, one of the surprise hits of 2019, will start running on HOT VOD Cinema on April 2. It features an all-star cast in a black comedy/mystery/psychological thriller about a wealthy mystery writer (Christopher Plummer) who is surrounded by relatives who live off of him. When he is suddenly found dead, suspicion falls on his young Latina nurse (Ana de Armes, who has become today’s It-girl and is currently dating Ben Affleck and gracing the cover of Vanity Fair). Daniel Craig plays a detective investigating the death, and the cast features Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Toni Collette and Don Johnson, who is a better actor than you might remember from Miami Vice. It’s witty and full of twists. Writer/director Rian Johnson is currently working on a sequel.
Cellcom TV and YesVOD are presenting some of the other acclaimed movies of the past year, among them 1917, the World War I epic by Sam Mendes, and Judy, the Judy Garland biopic that won its star, Renee Zellweger, a Best Actress Oscar. The surprise Best Picture winner, the Korean film Parasite by Bong Joon Ho, is also available on these networks, as well as on Partner TV.
Yes is doing its best to keep people entertained with its Quarantine Channel, and this week they are offering movies about dogs. You may enjoy the truly bizarre animated film Isle of Dogs by Wes Anderson, which tells the story of a virus carried by dogs that harms people, so all the canines are exiled to an island, where they are left to fend for themselves.
In this series, the Quarantine Channel is also featuring A Dog’s Journey, which also starts running on HOT Cinema 1 on March 27. It is the slightly less successful sequel to the 2017 film A Dog’s Purpose, and follows the formula of looking at the lives of different people through a dog that comes into their lives. A Dog’s Journey stars Dennis Quaid, Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) and Betty Gilpin (GLOW) and features Josh Gad as the voice of Bailey, the dog.
Yes is adding a new channel on April 1 devoted to French-language programming, France 3, and it will feature movies from the French Film Festival that was planned for March but had to be cancelled due to the virus, along with many other French films. One highlight will be Francois Truffaut’s second film, Shoot the Piano Player, a mixture of noir and psychological thriller, starring Charles Aznavour.
Sometimes, nothing will do but a Jack Nicholson movie, but let’s concentrate on his lighter films.
Netflix is streaming As Good as It Gets, the 1997 movie by James L. Brooks. It’s a dramedy about three misfits who are drawn together. Nicholson plays a romance-novel writer who hates people and suffers from crippling OCD. The only place he feels comfortable eating is a certain coffee shop, and the only waitress he will allow to serve him is a single mom (Helen Hunt), whose son has severe asthma. Without wanting to, he gets involved in her life, and the life of his neighbor (Greg Kinnear), a gay artist who was beaten up by homophobes. Out of this odd mixture, Brooks, who was one of the writers behind The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Taxi, creates a compelling story. Nicholson and Hunt won the Best Actor and Best Actress Oscars for their work here.
On April 1, Netflix will start showing Something’s Gotta Give, a comedy by Nancy Meyers that stars Nicholson as a 60-something man who always dates much younger women. But when he has a heart attack at the house of his latest girlfriend’s mother (Diane Keaton), the mother gets stuck taking care of him. To quote The Big Lebowski, “You can imagine where it goes from there.” But Nicholson and Keaton have a great time together on screen, and Keanu Reeves is a good deadpan comedian as the doctor treating Nicholson who falls in love with Keaton. This could be the perfect movie to watch right now, with wonderful actors, great clothes and triple-X real-estate porn, especially Keaton’s beach house.