Best fest flicks: The hottest indie film festival favorites hitting Netflix in April
We’ve got a spring in our steps today, folks! And no, it’s nothing to do with the blossoms on the trees, or the first glimpse of sunshine, or even the fact that awards season is finally over. Nope – we’re stoked because it’s the beginning of a new month, which means even more bingeworthy material is making its way to Netflix. Can you hear the birds chirpin’?
Always ahead of the game, Netflix has a couple of the best indie hits from Sundance and SXSW 2018 billed for release this month. In the interim, there are a couple of festival favorites already available to get those chops around. So sign in to your account. Or your buddy’s account. Or your father-in-law’s account. Or whoever you’ve chosen to leech off of. Sign in, crack a brewski, and get binging.
Release date: April 6
The critics at SXSW 2018 loved it, so we’re sure you’ll find more than six reasons to relish this harrowing drug-drama from Marja-Lewis Ryan (The Four-Faced Liar), painting the most sorrowful family portrait of a backsliding heroin addict, his enabling sister, and their quest to overcome such affliction while taking care of his young daughter.
For lead Abbi Jacobson, the role is worlds apart from Broad City, seeing her ditch the vape and that sweet angel ass (it’s still there, just minus Ilana Glazer’s running commentary) for a chance to show off her range as an actor. Same goes for co-star Dave Franco – breaking out of the older sibling’s shadow is no easy feat (James Franco folks, keep up), but he’s doing it dammit and he’s doing it well.
Release date: April 13
Lift ‘em up and say “Hallelujah!” – the Sundance fave Come Sunday is hitting Netflix and it looks mighty good. A mixture of themes all tied together with religion, Joshua Marston’s biopic stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) as American evangelical preacher Carlton Pearson, who alienated much of his massive flock by realigning his beliefs about a vengeful God and claiming there is no hell. He fought, he loved, he tried to save the world from fear and conflict. Will he succeed? Tune in on April 13 to find out (and be prepared for some serious feels.)
Release date: April 20
Yeauh! Ed Harris (Apollo 13) is back, baby, in a film that’s basically a photographer’s wet dream. This critics’ favorite at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival journeys back to when the era of Kodachrome color film was phased out. Jason Sudeikis (Colossal) plays an estranged son who embarks on a road trip with his dying father (Harris) and nurse (Elizabeth Olsen) in tow, their mission to deliver four old rolls of Kodachrome film to the last lab in the world that can develop them before it shuts down for good.
Full of homages to the power of analog technology, the film isn’t nearly as niche as it sounds. If you’re not one to drool over the entire thing being shot in 35mm, you’ll at least enjoy the on-screen chemistry between the fine-tuned actors, the conventional road trip storyline peppered with some unconventional twists, and the complex yet heartwarming father-son dynamic. Because as we all know, life isn’t always black & white.
First Match came out a winner for Netflix at SXSW 2018, nabbing the Audience Award for documentary and capturing critics’ attention for its honest portrayal of real-life struggles. Starring newcomer Elvire Emanuelle, writer-director Olivia Newman’s first feature centers on a teenage girl from Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. Hardened by years in foster care, she decides joining the all-boys’ wrestling team is the only way back to her estranged father.
While the story weaves sports into its narrative, First Match is really a father-daughter story, all the while managing to avoid tiresome family genre tropes. As the story progresses and the journey through life gets even tougher, one thing is certain: this girl is not going down without a fight.
Premiering at Sundance Film Festival 2017, Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures) & Elijah Wood (Wilfred) star in this dramedy about a pair of misfits who embark on a crime-fuelled rampage spurred on by existential despair. You know that feeling you get when you turn on the news or watch a fight on the tube? Now imagine that feeling and everyone treated you like dogshit and someone robbed your house. This is what would happen if you channeled that rage with a gun, a martial arts expert sidekick, and nothing to lose.