Every single streaming service has something to make this holiday weekend feel festive despite the restrictions imposed by *gestures in 2020.* Plus, it’s a time-honored Thanksgiving tradition to end the day/evening/weekend with a movie marathon. What could feel more normal than sobbing in front of the latest adaptation of Black Beauty on Disney+ in your softest pair of sweats? Or streaming Clea DuVall’s Happiest Season, a smooth transition piece to take you straight from Turkey Day to the twinkly lights of the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a heartwarmer, the type of movie that leans into the best parts of holiday cheer while giving the genre a much-needed refresh.
If you’re in the mood to laugh, try Superintelligence, HBO Max’s new Melissa McCarthy vehicle that combines her earthy humor with an out-of-this-world AI voiced by James Corden. What could go wrong?
Music fans may or may not love Stardust, the new David Bowie biopic starring Johnny Flynn, but you’re going to want to see it either way, because...we all saw Johnny Flynn in Emma. right?
If you're still lusting after that party feeling , go for Lovers Rock, Steve McQueen's gorgeous, moody film about a London house party circa 1980. 1 of 8
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Hillbilly Elegy Where to watch:
Based on J.D. Vance’s 2016 bestselling memoir of the same name, Hillbilly Elegy
is Hollywood’s answer to the question: How far will Amy Adams and Glenn Close stoop to win that coveted Oscar?
Ron Howard’s film, from a script by Vanessa Taylor, follows the Vance clan as they struggle to survive in a downtrodden industrial town, beginning in the 1990s, and jumping ahead to 2011, when a now-grown up J.D. is called away from Yale Law School to help out his mother, Bev (Adams), who has just overdosed on heroin.
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Happiest Season Where to watch: Hulu
Release date: November 25
What’s that you say? Make the Yuletide gay? That’s exactly what Clea DuVall has done with her spin on the classic “home-for-the-holidays” Christmas movie genre. Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis star as Abby and Harper, a couple who head back to Harper’s hometown in suburban Pennsylvania to meet the parents over Christmas. There’s just one problem: Harper hasn’t come out to her parents yet, and she expects Abby to keep the secret, while also pretending to be straight. With a supporting cast that boasts Victor Garber, Mary Steenburgen, Mary Holland, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza and Dan Levy, you can’t go wrong with this pick for your post-turkey TV crash.
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Stardust Where to watch:
VOD & TheatersRelease date:
Otherwise known as the David Bowie movie without any David Bowie songs
is a bit of a stretch for true fans. The movie gets around that particular hiccup by having the protagonist (Johnny Flynn) sing covers of other band’s songs that the real Bowie would have performed at the time. This biopic follows the singer through Bowie’s 1971 tour of America, and his creation of the now-iconic Ziggy Stardust alternate personality.
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Uncle Frank Where to watch:
Amazon Prime VideoRelease date:
Alan Ball, the man responsible for peak TV staples like True Blood
and Six Feet Under
, directs this 1970s coming out tale of literature professor Frank Bledsoe (Paul Bettany), who takes a road trip with his niece Beth (Sophia Lillis) to attend his father’s funeral. On the road from Manhattan to Creekville, South Carolina, secrets will be shared and new acquaintances made.
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Superintelligence Where to watch:
HBO MaxRelease date:
Directed by Ben Falcone, this HBO Max original marks Melissa McCarthy’
s fourth collaboration with her husband. McCarthy plays Carol Peters, a former executive (now unemployed) who is contacted by the first ever super-intelligence — an AI trying to assess whether Earth deserves to be saved. James Corden, Bobby Cannavale and Brian Tyree Henry also star. Who doesn’t need a laugh after all that stuffing?
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Lover's Rock Where to watch:
Amazon Prime Video Release date:
Parties seem like a distant memory for many of us at this point, but Steve McQueen's second installment in his Small Axe anthology
is the closest you'll get to that feeling. Running at just over 70 minutes, it's an ode to Black joy and celebration, and one you won't soon forget.
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Black BeautyWhere to watch: Disney+
Release date: November 27
Ashley Avis’ take on Anna Sewell’s 1877 book of the same name casts Kate Winslet as the voice of the titular horse, a small comfort to those of us who were left traumatized by the story in childhood. Black Beauty is a scary book, full of trauma and despair, but this sixth film adaptation offers up a charming twist: both the horse protagonist and her young owner, played by Mackenzie Foy, are women!
Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate NutcrackerWhere to watch: Netflix
Release date: November 27
For more than a decade now, students at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy have been performing their world-famous Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, a riff of the original 1892 ballet, choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In the Netflix documentary, you’ll see the blood, sweat and tears that goes into making the magic happen.