There’s a bottomless pit of stuff dropping on all streaming services this month (the likely culprit: Emmy nominations, cut-off on May 31st).
And because it’s too hard to keep up with who’s streaming what on which platform, here’s a general sweep of the best in film and TV coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Hulu, and Stan this month. Don’t say I don’t do anything for you.
Saint Maud came out in 2019, and this May will be the month I finally work up the courage to watch a crazed palliative care nurse squeeze her foot into a shoe filled with nails (pointy side up). Demonic Christian devotion has provided the inspiration for too many films throughout history to count, and by all accounts, director Rose Glass lives up to the trope with this truly deranged story of young Maud’s attempts to save the soul of her patient with, spoiler, hellish results.
Streaming on Hulu May 13th.
Some Kind of Heaven
The world’s largest retirement community is located in a place called The Villages in Florida. Referred to as the ‘Disneyland for retirees’ the community is sold as a pensioner’s utopia—a kind of all-inclusive bubble that sounds like a claustrophobic fever dream to me, but is paradise to thousands looking to live out their days on permanent vacay. But below its Truman Show facade, it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be—not for all the residents, anyway. There’s drugs, loneliness, relationship drama and even an 80-year-old Lothario who’s camping out illegally on the grounds, determined in his quest to ensure his retirement plan (aka, bag a rich GF). Sounds like 90210 for the boomer generation and I’m in.
Streaming on Hulu May 13th.
The Crime of the Century
Well, this trailer has successfully ruined today’s zen. When you put big pharma under the microscope, things look pretty dirty—we already know that, thanks to documentaries like Oxyana, Drug$, American Addict and numerous other exposés. There’s perhaps nothing more blood-boiling than the birth of the billion-dollar opioid business, and the thousands of lives that have been lost at the hands of ‘drug dealers wearing suits and lab coats’. The Crime of the Century, from director Alex Gibney (Going Clear, Dirty Money), explains the when, why and who of how America got hooked on opioids, and it’s just as sinister as you’d expect.
Streaming on HBO Max May 10th.
You either know the Halston story inside out or have no clue who the man is, so for the unacquainted, a quick intro: like all mononymous people (Bowie, Rihanna, Jordan, Cher), Halston truly was in a league of his own. The American fashion designer was the guy in the 70s, clothing everyone from the Kennedy’s to Studio 54 regulars Bianca Jagger and Liza Minelli. He’s got a fascinating story—chronicled also in the 2019 documentary titled Halston—and for this new Netflix series, Ewan McGregor takes on the momentous task of playing the iconic designer. I’m thinking he’s up for the job.
Streaming on Netflix May 14th.
The Underground Railroad
Adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and helmed by Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins—it’s almost a sure thing. This new ten-part series follows Cora Randall’s dangerous journey on the famed Underground Railway of pre-civil war America—an actual subterranean railway that helped slaves escape from plantations and criss-cross unfriendly territory in the South to freedom. Just look at that trailer… a masterpiece. Here’s hoping (and assuming).
Streaming on Amazon Prime May 14th.
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Hang on… what? I have a laundry list of questions, so looks like I’ll be watching middle-aged David Arquette stepping into the ring on May 29th to have them answered. The last time I saw Arquette was as the goofy big bro of Drew Barrymore (aka Josie Gross-y) in Never Been Kissed; turns out he didn’t get stuck at the Tiki Post after all, he just got involved in a highly controversial WCW World Heavyweight Championship promo stunt at the turn of the century, became the ‘most hated man in wrestling’, got shut out of his blossoming Hollywood career, and received two heart stents. It’s a lot, I know.
Streaming on Stan May 29th.
1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything
What’s so special about the year 1971? Well, according to this documentary from the people that brought you Amy, it was one of the most important years for music and culture at large, ever. Artists like Marvin Gaye, John Lennon, and the Rolling Stones made some of their best ever music in ’71, war and protest movements were on the front pages, Charles Manson and his deranged cronies were thrown in jail… if you thought the year 2020 was one for the books, wait till you watch this.
Streaming on Apple TV+ May 21st.