While local rep theaters are out of commission, we'll be putting together weekly watchlists of films readily available to stream. This week's films are all about going back to school—be it middle school, high school, college, or a prestigious prep academy that's been taken over by a helter-skelter substitute music teacher.
A young architecture enthusiast (Haley Lu Richardson) working at a college library in Columbus, Ohio, finds her dreams reinvigorated after meeting Jin (John Cho), who's visiting from South Korea to care for his comatose father. Director Kogonada's moving drama is impeccably shot and profoundly human—a celebration of the beauty of architecture, vulnerability and passion. Amazon Prime, Criterion Channel, Google Play, Kanopy, YouTube.
School of Rock (2003)
In Richard Linklater's megahit musical comedy, guitarist Dewey Finn (Jack Black) masquerades as a substitute music teacher at a prep school in order to make rent after being kicked out of his band. When he realizes the talent brewing in his fifth graders, he enters them in a Battle of the Bands competition, transforming the kids from stuffy classicists into mini rock stars. Amazon Prime, Google Play, HBO Go, HBO Max, Hulu, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube.
Miss Stevens (2016)
This tender indie dramedy from writer-director Julia Hart follows a high school English teacher (Lily Rabe) tasked with chaperoning a group of theater kids on a weekend trip for a drama competition. A pre-fame Timothée Chalamet co-stars as her talented but unstable student, delivering a star-making monologue from Death of a Salesman. Amazon Prime, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Kanopy, Vudu, YouTube.
Eighth Grade (2018)
Comedian Bo Burnham's directorial debut is a far cry from his deliciously cynical standup material—instead, it follows an anxious 14-year-old girl as she clumsily attempts to navigate the tempestuous waters of her last week of eighth grade. Imbued with warmth and sympathy, it's one of those few dramedies that successfully conjure both laughter and tears. Amazon Prime, Google Play, Kanopy, Vudu, YouTube.
One of last year's best comedies, actress Olivia Wilde's directorial debut follows two overachieving high school seniors (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) who realize they wasted their teen years studying instead of partying. Now, on the eve of graduation, the girls set out to cram four years of fun into one night of debauchery. Amazon Prime, Google Play, Hulu, Vudu, YouTube.