Finnegan On Films: Four Great Movies On Netflix About ‘The Loner’

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, says there are some great selections on Netflix on the theme of people who, by choice or circumstance, are loners…

One of the great traditions of cinema storytelling is that of the individual taking a stand, on their own, against the majority ora challenging situation.  This week’s selections from Netflix are all variations on that theme.

First up is a classic from the 1980s.  Crocodile Dundee (1986) seems like two films in one.

Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), a reporter for a New York newspaper “Newsday”, has gone to Walkabout Creek in the Australian Outback to write a feature on Michael “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan), supposedly a real-life Tarzan.

The Australian section is the first part of the film.  However, when Mick is invited back to New York, we see how his homespun wisdom goes down with the so called sophistication of the modern world.

Continued below…


Based on Hogan’s own script, this was a major hit at the time, and while a little dated, is still a great fun Saturday night adventure comedy

Next is what I must confess is a personal favourite. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014).  This black comedy is the story of washed up Hollywood actor Riggan Thomson, played by Michael Keaton.

Thomson is best known for playing the superhero “Birdman” in a 1990s trilogy, but now wants to prove his acting talents by appearing in a Broadway adaptation of ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’.

Suffice to say, this does not go completely to plan, as egos and problems, on and off stage, mount up.

This film deservedly won the 2014 Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Cinematography and Original Screenplay, plus the Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture.

Talents such as Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Director/Writer Alejandro G. Inarritu are at the top of their game in this film which seems to be filmed in a continuous shot.

The Martian (2015) stars Matt Damon, as Astronaut Mark Watney, stranded alone on Mars when a mission goes wrong.

His colleagues think he is dead, but he ingeniously not only lets Mission Control know he is alive, but also keeps himself alive in the hope of a rescue mission.

Also starring Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig and Chiwetel Ejiofor, this is an underrated science fiction classic.

If, however, you would like to see Matt Damon stranded with his family during a global epidemic, and as you not allowed to go to Dalkey, there is Contagion (2011) but perhaps not great viewing just at the moment.

The last selection is The BFG (2016), 10 year old orphan Sophie suffers from insomnia.

During the night she sees a 24 foot giant, who takes her to Giant Country.  Here, he is bullied by his fellow giants because he does not eat children.

Sophie gives him the name of BFG (Big Friendly Giant) and they realise that these giants are a threat to all the children of England. Who can help? Only Queen Elizabeth.  Directed by Stephen Spielberg, this is one for the younger viewers. Enjoy and stay safe.

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