Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sophie Okenedo in "Dirty Pretty Things"
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sophie Okenedo in "Dirty Pretty Things"

Reiterating a suggestion I previously made... if you're a filmmaker/producer/distributor reading this, and your film is streaming on Netflix, please let me know. Netflix unfortunately doesn't have what I feel should be a more efficient search/sort method, and it can be quite a chore trying to find something worth watching. So, help me out if you can.

The same goes for non-filmmakers. If you stumble across any titles that you think should be featured in this series, let me know!

Without further ado, here is this week's list of 5:

1 - Years before much of America became very familiar with his name, thanks to his Oscar-nominated performance in a little film called 12 Years A Slave (it won the Best Picture Oscar this year), Chiwetel Ejiofor's first leading film role came in 2002's drama/thriller Dirty Pretty Things, for which he won a British Independent Film Award for best actor.

The Stephen Frears-directed British production was picked up for US release by Miramax, and was released in the summer of 2003, earning a total of just over $8 million at the box office. With numbers like that, I can only assume that many still haven't seen the film - although it's been available on DVD and Blu-ray for a few years, so maybe you rented it, or even bought it, and have seen it. 

If not, you're in luck! That is, if you have a Netflix streaming account, because it's now available on that platform as of this week! 

Dirty Pretty Things co-stars Audrey Tautou (a couple of years after she stole hearts with her performance in the whimsical Amelie), in a harrowing tale of struggle and survival for two immigrants who learn that everything is indeed for sale in London's underworld. Part of an invisible working class, Ejiofor plays one half of the pair, Nigerian exile Okwe, and Tatou is Turkish chambermaid Senay. Together they toil at a West London hotel that is full of illegal activity, including a shocking discovery Okwe makes one night, which creates an ethical dilemma for him, which drives this well-crafted, engrossing and even terrifying story of immigrant struggle in London. 

The film was honored with numerous European film awards and nominations, as well as an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay (2004). It's a must see from Ejiofor's early career.

It also features an early performance by Sophie Okonedo.

Here's a trailer, which emphasizes Tatou, because, in part, she was really the highest profile name (at the time) in the film: