Here is an interesting new release available through digital and cable providers for rental as well as some new titles that hit streaming on Friday.
Video on Demand
"Monsoon": This slow-moving queer drama from director Hong Khaou ("Lilting") should gain more eyeballs than most independent films that began life on the gay film festival circuit thanks to star Henry Golding ("Crazy Rich Asians"). He plays Kit, a British Vietnamese expat who heads back to Ho Chi Minh City for the first time since he was a child. After fleeing the country at the tender age of 6 because of the Vietnam War, he mostly has hazy memories of his young life there that he must face after landing in the the city to spread his parents' ashes across their homeland. Along the way, Kit reconnects with a cousin he was very close to as a kid and meets a handsome American fashion designer (Parker Sawyers) who helps him feel less alone. Despite the languid pacing, Khaou's story is compelling, and the gorgeous cinematography from Benjamin Kracun will have you adding Vietnam to your post-COVID travel bucket list. (Available in virtual cinemas now; cable and digital VOD on Nov. 13)
Also on streaming services:
"I Am Greta": Swedish filmmaker Nathan Grossman began following 15-year-old Greta Thunberg from the very beginning of her climate activism. Armed with just his camera and lacking an unwieldy crew to minimize his carbon footprint in production, he was able to capture everything from small personal moments to her speaking in front of 30,000 people at the United Nations. This inspirational documentary had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival earlier this fall. (Hulu on Nov. 13)
"The Life Ahead": Legendary actress Sophia Loren hasn't appeared in a feature film over a decade, and it has been many more years beyond that since she had a leading role. Now, at 86 years young, she is earning serious awards season buzz for this Italian drama directed by her real-life son Edoardo Ponti. Loren stars as a Holocaust survivor who babysits children in her neighborhood and begins to look after a young immigrant boy named Momo (played by Ibrahima Gueye in his first ever acting role). This is an adaptation of a 1975 book called "The Life Before Us," which has been brought to the screen before in the Oscar-winning 1977 film "Madame Rosa." Ponti moves the plotline to southern Italy, and the timely story explores friendships between people of different cultures, backgrounds and generations. Transgender actress Abril Zamora, who has mostly worked on European television in recent years, wonderfully holds her own against the screen legend. (Netflix on Nov. 13; 4K Ultra HD available)