Indie Fresh List

The Indie Fresh List: Women on Fateful Journeys and an Aspiring Sommelier

Check out the latest Fresh indie releases now streaming on VOD and what's coming soon.

by | March 31, 2020 | Comments

Join us weekly as Rotten Tomatoes reports on what’s indie features are streaming. From promising releases by new voices to experimental efforts from storied filmmakers – or perhaps the next indie darling to go the distance for end-of-year accolades – we will break it all down for you here each week.

For the foreseeable future, the specialty box office and all theatrical releases will be on hold as we all make efforts to socially distance ourselves and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. With that in mind, we have reshaped our Indie Fresh List to reflect the specialty box office releases that are newly available on streaming services and VOD. This week we have a drama that follows two women attempting to end an unwanted pregnancy, a drama about two sisters kept apart by their conservative parents, and a follow-your-dream dramedy about an aspiring sommelier. In our Spotlight section, we call back to an award-winning love story about a painter and her muse who fall desperately in love on borrowed time.

Streaming This Weekend

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) 99%

Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always would still be in theaters if they weren’t closed, but since they are, Focus Features has pushed the feature to VOD four months early. Hittman premiered each of her first three features at the Sundance Film Festival, including her second film, the Sundance prize-winner Beach Rats. This year, Hittman returned to the Park City festival with this powerful new drama, an intimate portrayal of two teenage girls who journey to terminate an unintended pregnancy. With little support and facing harrowing obstacles along the way, the young girls band together to defeat the odds stacked against them. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, “Eliza Hittman’s devastating abortion drama, starring a wonder of an actress named Sidney Flanigan, is an emotional wipeout that’s impossible to forget.”

Streaming on AmazonFandangoNow, Google PlayiTunes, and Vudu.

Invisible Life (A vida invisível de Eurídice Gusmão) (2019) 93%

In 1950s Brazil, Eurídice and Guida live the quiet life of two inseparable sisters struggling under the weight of their controlling conservative parents. Each girl tries to stay true to their parents’ values while they follow their personal dreams, but everything changes when a contrivance by their father forces the two apart. Never abandoning their passions or the belief they will find each other again, each sister leads a separate life, but the audience is instantly invested in both women. “This is an absolutely gorgeous film that starts off as a sort of Rio fairy tale and then turns into something a little more realistic with its feet on the ground,” says Amy Nicholson of Film Week.

Available April 3 on Amazon.

Uncorked (2020) 91%

Insecure executive producer Prentice Penny examines what happens when passion buckles under familial pressure in Uncorked. Intended to premiere at the SXSW film festival, the wine drama follows Elijah, a young man working to become a master sommelier, an elite designation given only to a handful who are able to pass its notoriously difficult exam (if you’ve seen the acclaimed documentary Somm, you may know something about it). This plan, however, ruins Elijah’s father’s own plan to pass the family BBQ shop on to his son. It’s a simple, uncomplicated tale with stellar performances by Courtney B. Vance and lead Mamoudou Athie, and Ashlie D. Stevens of called it “sweet, medium-bodied, and unchallenging. It’s the kind of movie anyone can easily curl up with, without too much thought. Just don’t forget the wine.”

Available to stream now Netflix.

Fresh & Available Now on VOD – Spotlight Pick

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) (2020) 98%

Sidelined from many awards contests by the arcane rules governing International features, Céline Sciamma‘s brilliant and haunting love story about a painter and her muse is streaming now on Hulu in case you missed seeing it in theaters. Starring Noémie Merlant as artist Marianne and Adèle Haenel as her reluctant subject, writer-director Sciamma’s period drama is a cinematic wonder and a Cannes Film Festival prize winner that Katie Walsh of the Tribune News Service called “not just a film about love between women, but a rumination on the sacredness of a feminine space and the nature of art created by and for women.

Available to stream now on Hulu.

Along with…

  • Swallow (2020) , about an affluent housewife who develops a deadly case of pica — the urge to swallow inanimate objects.
  • The Wild Goose Lake (Nan fang che zhan de ju hui) (2020) , about a Chinese gangster who meets a woman with a deadly secret.
  • The Dog Doc (2020) , a documentary about a compassionate vet who tries to save vulnerable animals.
  • Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) , a darkly comedic satire about the terrifying antics that ensue when an underprivileged family latches on to a more affluent one and things go sideways.
  • Stray (2018) , about two damaged strangers who meet and fall into a tumultuous relationship.
  • Emma. (2020) , a new adaptation of the Jane Austen novel about a naive, privileged heiress who plays matchmaker, to detriment of her own romantic prospects.
  • VHYes (2020) , a 1980s throwback anthology of comedic sketches shot entirely on VHS.
  • The Lighthouse (2019) , a surreal psychological drama about two men who are tortured by the elements and by each other while isolated at a remote lighthouse.
  • Jojo Rabbit (2019) , a satire about a naive Hitler youth who discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl during World War II.
  • Color Out of Space (2020) , a psychedelic horror film about an eerie meteorite that falls in a family’s back yard and wreaks havoc.
  • Come As You Are (2020) , a road trip sex comedy about a group of disabled men to travel to a brothel in Canada that solely caters to disabled people.
  • Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) , a drama about an aging director who reflects on his films, collaborators, and legacy after he’s sidelined by severe back pain.

Thumbnail images by Focus Features, Amazon Studios, Netflix. 

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