Broad City, Kindred and The 400 Blows: what’s new to streaming in Australia this February

Plus David Cronenberg’s latest grisly experiment, a very rich dog, so much queer content, and the Jennaissance continues with another Coolidge film


Gunther’s Millions

TV, USA, 2023 – out 1 February

He loves caviar. He travels by private jet. He has 27 employees. He’s reportedly worth more than US$400m. He’s … a dog! Netflix’s latest stranger-than-fiction docuseries with an animal twist (see also: Tiger King, My Octopus Teacher) revolves around the world’s richest pooch – a German shepherd who inherited a fortune from a countess following her death in 1992. The film-makers reveal a wild web of salacious activities involving the dog’s entourage – from sex parties to tax fraud and various other scams and debacles. It will definitely get people talking.

We Have a Ghost

Film, USA, 2023 – out 24 February

Jennifer Coolidge! If, like me, you watched the second season of The White Lotus then picked your jaw up from the floor, you are ready for more Coolidge. In writer/director Christopher Landon’s horror-comedy, she plays a psychic medium with excellent hair wrapped up in a haunted house story involving a ghost named Ernest (David Harbour) who becomes an online sensation. Sadly, the film’s trailer contains a stingy amount of Coolidge, suggesting she only plays a small role. But some Coolidge is better than no Coolidge, right?

Ellie and Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt)

Film, Australia, 2020 – out 17 February

February is LGBTQ+ History Month – and the start of WorldPride in Sydney. Several queer productions are arriving on platforms to mark the occasion, including this quirky, big-hearted dramedy about a 17-year-old girl, Ellie (Sophie Hawkshaw), who comes out to her mother (Marta Dusseldorp) and hopes to take her classmate Abbie (Zoe Terakes) to the school formal. The ghost of her aunt (Rachel House) provides Ellie a chatty, imaginary friend-like companion and counsellor. Adapting her own stage play, Monica Zanetti finds a bouncy tempo, boosted by enjoyable performances and an unpretentiously sharp script.

Honourable mentions: Freeridge (TV, 2 February), Your Place or Mine (film, 10 February), In Love All Over Again (TV, 14 February), Between a Frock and a Hard Place (film, 15 February), Red Rose (TV, 15 February), Pitch Perfect (film, 16 February), Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal (TV, 22 February).


Bad Behaviour

TV, Australia, 2023 – out 17 February

Private schools have created interesting environments in various Australian dramas over the years – from The Devil’s Playground to Brides of Christ, The Getting of Wisdom and both adaptations of Picnic at Hanging Rock. The principal location in this new miniseries from director Corrie Chen (New Gold Mountain) is a girls’ boarding school located, literally, off the beaten track. Early on, one of the teachers declares to protagonist Jo (Jana McKinnon) and her family that “one year in the bush teaches you things you just can’t learn in the classroom” – a year that profoundly impacts the lives of various young women. I’ve seen the first episode and will be returning for more.

Crimes of the Future

Film, USA, 2022 – out 6 February

Body horror auteur David Cronenberg will always be remembered for his idiosyncratic sci-fi concepts with corporeal twists. Who could forget James Woods retrieving a gun from his own stomach in Videodrome, or Jeff Goldblum metamorphosing in The Fly? This late-career addition to the canon follows a performance artist played by Viggo Mortensen, whose creative work involves growing weird new internal organs then having them surgically removed in front of a live audience by his lover (Léa Seydoux). Mike Parr would probably dig it.

Broad City seasons one to five

TV, USA, 2014–2019 – out 17 February

Rightly regarded as a gamechanging “departure for women-centric comedy”, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson’s sitcom is, in essence, a tale of friendship, starring the creators as semi-autobiographical versions of themselves. The twentysomething pair attempt to make it in the Big Apple while working bad jobs, bumming around, smoking weed and posting on social media, before eventually contemplating moving on with their lives. The first few seasons in particular arrived with a bang of freshness and sass.

Honourable mentions: Groundhog Day (film, 2 February), Loveland (film, 8 February), A Good Man (film, 11 February), Blue Valentine (film, 13 February), The Humans (film, 19 February).

ABC iView


TV, UK, 2018 – out 19 February

Creator/writer Tony Marchant’s three-part series about a transgender girl and her family broke new ground in the UK and left a big imprint, moving and inspiring viewers as well as igniting debate. The story of the Duffy family, and their decision to support Maxine (Callum Booth-Ford) in her gender affirmation, drew enthusiastic responses from critics, including the Guardian’s Lucy Mangan – who described it as a “wonderfully delicate drama” featuring “fully realised characters at war with their instincts, intellects and worse or better natures”.

Honourable mentions: New seasons of Hard Quiz (TV, 8 February) and The Weekly With Charlie Pickering (TV, 8 February), Kweens of the Queer Underground (TV, 14 February), High Fidelity (TV, 21 February), A Fantastic Woman (film, 24 February), Queerstralia (TV, 28 February).

SBS on Demand

Toni Erdmann

Film, Germany/Austria, 2016 – out 1 February

I’ve only seen Maren Ade’s deeply peculiar, nearly three-hour comedy once, but it’s never stopped bouncing around my mind – particularly the sight of its titular protagonist, wearing false teeth and a funny wig, chatting and leering, like some kind of hideous cartoon rendered into live-action. Semi-retired music teacher Winfried (Peter Simonischek) AKA Toni Erdmann decides to reconnect with his more sensible, corporate executive daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller) by following her around, popping up randomly, and behaving extremely weirdly. The film is a fabulously offbeat take on a father-daughter dynamic, with something to say about the relationship between art, life, and performance.

The 400 Blows

Film, France, 1959 – out 10 February

One of the most beloved films of the French new wave, François Truffaut’s semi-autobiographical masterpiece follows a young Parisian delinquent (Jean-Pierre Léaud) who is in trouble with the law, cuts class, runs away from home, and ultimately escapes a youth detention centre. The final scene, in which he runs to the beach and stops only when he reaches the water, contains one of the most famous instances of direct address in cinema history. The boy doubles back, comes towards the camera, and looks into the lens as Truffaut zooms in then stamps “FIN” across the frame. It’s simple, moving, unforgettable.

Honourable mentions: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (film, 1 February), Chevalier (film, 1 February), Lantana (film, 1 February), Amelie (film, 1 February), Alphaville (film, 1 February), A Criminal Affair (TV, 2 February), The Walk-In (TV, 2 February), The American Presidency With Bill Clinton (TV, 2 February), Carmen Curlers (TV, 9 February), Belle De Jour (film, 10 February), Devils (TV, 16 February), Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (TV, 17 February), Django (TV, 23 February), Midnight Oil 1984 (film, 24 February).

Amazon Prime Video

Somebody I Used to Know

Film, USA, 2023 – out 10 February

Alison Brie delivers an appealing, anchoring performance in Dave Franco’s romantic drama, playing Ally, a reality TV content creator who wanted to be a film-maker but landed in an industry where souls go to die. “What I’m doing now is basically still doc film-making, except people actually watch it,” she says, defensively, to an old flame, Sean (Jay Ellis), who she discovers she still has feelings for. Buuuttttt, he’s engaged! So the key question becomes – in the words of Sean’s fiancee, Cassidy (Kiersey Clemons) – whether she’s “going to pull some Julia Roberts, My Best Friend’s Wedding type shit.” The film doesn’t reinvent the wheel (and it’s not as good as My Best Friend’s Wedding) but it’s pleasant, slightly trashy viewing.

Honourable mentions: The Estate (film, 3 February), Carnival Row season 2 (TV, 17 February), Die Hart (film, 24 February), The Consultant (TV, 24 February).


Emily the Criminal

Film, USA, 2022 – out 26 February

The dynamic Aubrey Plaza – who rose to fame in the sitcom Parks and Recreation – continues to expand her oeuvre as a dramatic performer, recently delivering a tense, simmering performance in season two of The White Lotus. She also generated much acclaim for her lead part in this Sundance-featured crime drama about a working-class woman who participates in an elaborate credit card scam. Katie Rife from Polygon described Plaza’s performance as one that oscillates “from drawn and defeated to fierce and unfuckwithable”.

Honourable mentions: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy season one (TV, 1 February), Boy (film, 3 February), Nolly (TV, 10 February), The Black Phone (film, 12 February), Downton Abbey seasons one to six (TV, 15 February), Starstruck seasons one and two (TV, 17 February), Absolutely Fabulous box set release (TV, 24 February).



TV, USA, 2023 – out 8 February

Mallori Johnson plays protagonist Dana James in this loose adaptation of Octavia E Butler’s novel about a black woman who time travels between contemporary LA and a pre-Civil War plantation. The New York Times described the book as a “meticulously imagined depiction of the lives of slaves and slave owners in the antebellum South”, so the show has a lot to live up to, translating a beloved text as well as updating the setting from 1976 to 2016. The Guardian’s Lauren Mechling described Johnson’s performance as “the greatest thing the show has going for it”, anchoring the series “with stunning maturity and delicacy”.

Honourable mentions: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (film, 1 February), Not Dead Yet (TV, 9 February), Stan Lee’s Superhumans seasons one to three (TV, 22 February).

Apple TV+


Film, USA, 2023 – out 17 February

The always bankable, gravitas-imbuing Julianne Moore stars in and executive produces this psychological thriller directed by Benjamin Caron, who helmed episodes of the excellent Andor. The story revolves around two con artists – single mother Madeline (Moore) and her son Max (Sebastian Stan) – who target the mega-wealthy, including, it seems, a billionaire played by John Lithgow. Caron described the film as a thriller inspired “by a long line of great films that love to keep audiences guessing up until the end”. So expect twists, double twists, and … triple twists? Is that possible? We’ll see.

Honourable mentions: Dear Edward (TV, 3 February), Hello Tomorrow! (TV, 17 February), Liaison (TV, 24 February).


Last King of the Cross

TV, Australia, 2023 – out 17 February

The press kit for this Underbelly-ish series, inspired by the autobiography of the nightclub mogul John Ibrahim, begins with a legal notice, advising that any reportage about it “may raise legal issues”. For television critics, this presents the horrifying possibility that we might actually be accountable for what we say, like real journalists. Ergo: I’ll be publishing my review in my own time, thank you very much, with my own (well, the Guardian’s) legal team scrutinising every word. I’ll try to get them to smile by including funny words in my copy such as “pumpernickel” and “dingleberry”.

Honourable mentions: The Followers (TV, 3 February), Munich Games (TV, 6 February), At Midnight (film, 10 February), Murder of God’s Banker (TV, 24 February).


Luke Buckmaster

The GuardianTramp

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