The Fountain Hugh Jackman

"The Fountain" (2006)
What It's About:
Three nonlinear, intersecting narratives of a single couple across their existence in the past, present, and future. Modern day doctor Tom (Hugh Jackman) is hard pressed to find a cure for his wife Izzi's (Rachel Weisz) cancer. While he works, she writes a novel that sees them as a 16th century Spanish queen and conquistador, then asks him to complete the tale after her death, when he's a lone astronaut in the year 2500. The three stories, united by their visual motifs as well as the main characters, employ themes of metaphysics, religion, and unconditional love. So it's like "Cloud Atlas," sort of.
Why You Should Stream It:
For his ambitious, multilayered storytelling and painstaking execution in this film, director Darren Aronofsky was compared with Stanley Kubrick—no small honor, that. Rich, saturated visuals and special effects generated largely through lighting and trick photography create a series of beautiful and daring worlds for Tom and Izzi to inhabit. Moreover, the scattered narrative style is handled deftly, its resolution a stunning meditation on human loss and mourning. Though it experienced a critical divide at the time of its release and a relatively poor showing at the box office, "The Fountain" has since garnered a cult following, and definitely deserves your attention today.
Where It's Available:
Amazon Instant, iTunes, VUDU

"I Give It a Year" (2013)
What It's About:
After a six-month whirlwind courtship, Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) decide to get hitched... and then spend the next year struggling through married life, at home and in their therapist's office. First they just get on each others nerves, then major differences in their professional aspirations appear and finally, both begin to cultivate romantic interests in other people (Simon Baker and Anna Faris). It seems that a quip from Nat's sister (Minnie Driver) during the nuptials—"I Give It a Year"—was more than a little prescient. Jason Flemyng, Stephen Merchant, and Olivia Colman also co-star.
Why You Should Stream It: The directorial debut from writer Dan Mazur, known for co-penning "Borat" and "Bruno," is at once fairly staid and fairly debauched: a traditional romantic comedy punctuated by bawdy laughs and occasional moments of naughty slapstick hilarity. Our review from the 2013 SXSW Film Festival credits the majority of laughs to Merchant and Flemyng, and admits that while the film has the potential to be "something really inventive and irreverent, sending up the romantic comedy genre in energetic and profound new ways," it ultimately falls short of deconstruction. Still, rom-com cynics should find joy in the rampant hedonism, while happy-ending-lovers won't be disappointed either. Catch "I Give It a Year" before its theatrical release on August 9th!
Where It's Available:
Amazon Instant, Cable On Demand, iTunes, VUDU, YouTube

"The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1985)
What It's About:
New Jersey waitress Cecilia (Mia Farrow) finds an escape from her unhappy marriage at the movies. After viewing "The Purple Rose of Cairo" several times, Cecilia attracts notice from protagonist Tom (Jeff Daniels), who walks off the screen and into her life. The pair quickly falls in love, but concern from producers and the actor who plays Tom (Daniels again) over the character's defection threatens to separate them forever and send Cecilia back to her humdrum life. Danny Aiello and Dianne Wiest co-star.
Why You Should Stream It:
This Depression-set comedy, which blends reality and fantasy with typical Woody Allen flair, is as much a wistful love letter to classic cinema—it shares its premise with Buster Keaton's 1924 silent film "Sherlock Jr."—as it is a feminist parable and a satire of the modern Hollywood dream machine. The young Daniels is charming in his bashful jocularity, and like Allen's latest production, "Blue Jasmine," this picture offers up a very strong female lead, with Farrow showing off her best wide-eyed naif. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay and winning the BAFTA Award for Best Film, "The Purple Rose of Cairo" is a delightful artifact from the auteur's enduring collection.
Where It's Available:
Amazon Instant, iTunes, VUDU

Also Available to Stream

Despite not making our top six picks, the following films are certainly still worthy of your movie-loving attention, and are newly available via various streaming services. Links to our reviews are provided where available.

"Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me"
"Charles Bradley: Soul of America"
"Day For Night"
"Enter the Dragon"
"The Expendables 2"
"Get Carter"
"G.I. Joe: Retaliation"
"Ginger & Rosa"
"Hell Baby"
"The Human Resources Manager"
"Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp"
"Olympus Has Fallen"
"The Place Beyond the Pines"
"Red Flag"
"The Sapphires"
"Shallow Grave"
"Shaun of the Dead"
"The Silence"
"Trailer Park Boys: The Movie"