James Spader with Maggie Gyllenhaal in scene from the film Secretary.
James Spader with Maggie Gyllenhaal in scene from the film Secretary.

Sexually charged movie to make you blush

For your home viewing consideration this week, a fun family adventure, a darkly funny comedy and a provocative story of sexual exploration.

So fire up those remotes, pull up that blanket and start watching.

SECRETARY

 

Actor James Spader with Maggie Gyllenhaal in a scene from 'Secretary'.
Actor James Spader with Maggie Gyllenhaal in a scene from 'Secretary'.

 

Bored, middle class types thought they were being so naughty, breaking the rules by embracing the poorly written Fifty Shades of Grey books and its even worse screen adaptations.

They needn't have bothered when the far superior and sexually provocative Secretary was already out there for their BDSM impulses. And it has a Mr Grey too.

Secretary stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as Lee Holloway, an awkward young woman who goes to work for a strange lawyer, Edward Grey (James Spader). Working closely together, the pair develop a sexual bond - she as the submissive and he was the dominant partner - leading them both to discover things about themselves in a complex and ultimately healing relationship.

Watch it: iTunes

NATIONAL TREASURE

 

Our hero.
Our hero.

 

National Treasure is so wholesome and fun, a rollicking adventure quest that gives you a stealthy lesson in history and civics at the same time. Because that's what's glaring when you watch National Treasure now - it's ultimately about the principles against tyranny the US was ostensibly founded on, something the current Commander-in-Chief doesn't seem all that bothered about.

Nicolas Cage plays Benjamin Franklin Gates, descended from a family of treasure hunters who have been searching for a fabled collection consisting of historical artefacts that the world has never known, first discovered by the Knights Templar and since protected by the Freemasons. It's engrossing and joyful and there's also a sequel with Helen Mirren.

Watch it: Disney+

RELATED: Everything new to streaming in June

YOUNG ADULT

 

Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary in Young Adult, from Paramount Pictures and Mandate Pictures.
Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary in Young Adult, from Paramount Pictures and Mandate Pictures.

 

Charlize Theron is a very talented actor - she can do goofy comedy such as The Long Shot or scare the crap out of you as Furiosa. She even has an Oscar to show for her knack. So it's saying a lot that Theron has never been better than as the highly unlikeable and caustic mess Mavis Gary in Young Adult.

The Jason Reitman movie features a career-best from Theron as a mid-30s ghostwriter of young adult novels whose emotional maturity is a state of arrested development. When Mavis sees a photo of her high school ex with his wife and new baby, she interprets it as a sign to crash back into her old town and steal him back.

Watch it: iTunes/Google Play

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU

 

Not bothered at all.
Not bothered at all.

 

This surreal, wicked and very funny satire only had a small theatrical release in late-2018 so you wouldn't be blamed if you missed it. Starring Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson, and directed by activist filmmaker Boots Riley, it uses humour and absurdity to tell a story about the capitalist power structures that oppress and enslave regular people.

Set in an alternate reality, Cassius is a young guy living in Oakland, California who starts working for a call centre with no success until a colleague advices he uses a "white voice" while ads for a company called WorryFree - in which it promises room and board for signing your life over (ahem, slavery) - are rampant, trying to recruit new "workers".

Watch it: Foxtel Now

OBVIOUS CHILD

 

Obviously great.
Obviously great.

 

Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child is a fresh and clever rom-com in a genre that usually over-relies on tired and unimaginative tropes in the hopes no one will notice as long as its leads flash those pearly whites. But not Obvious Child, which knows that without a big budget or marquee names, it has to earn your respect, which it does.

It stars Jenny Slate as Donna, a stand-up comedian who, after a one-night stand, falls pregnant. When the guy, Max (Jake Lacy) comes back into her life, she has to figure out how to tell him that she's not keeping it. Obvious Child is a really wonderfully written and empathetic film with charming performances.

Watch it: iTunes/Google Play

FRUITVALE STATION

 

A film of great empathy.
A film of great empathy.

 

There are many films that explore the systemic racism that leads to police brutality against black Americans, including Just Mercy, The Hate U Give and recent release Queen & Slim. For audiences looking for stories that capture not just this current moment but the centuries of injustice before it, there are some emotionally devastating choices.

What makes Fruitvale Station, directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Michael B. Jordan, a little more distinct is that it tracks the 24 hours before Oscar Grant III is shot and killed by transport police in San Francisco while celebrating the New Year's - it's a humanising portrait of a real person, someone who was flawed, loved and deserved to live the rest of his life.

Watch it: Stan

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SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD

 

Battle royale.
Battle royale.

 

Edgar Wright's dazzling, pulsing action-comedy featured a cast of some of the most exciting young actors of its time when it was released in 2010, and the fact that most of them continue to do great work and are in the cultural conversation still is only a credit to this movie. Those names include Chris Evans, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michael Cera, Brie Larson, Kieran Culkin, Alison Pill and Anna Kendrick.

Scott Pilgrim is an aspiring musician who has to do literal battle with his girlfriend's evil exes to win a record contract. Highly stylised and flashy (in a good way), it draws from the visual designs of comic books, video games and other pop culture. The movie didn't make its budget back at the box office but it's a beloved cult classic.

Watch it: Binge/Foxtel Now

Originally published as Sexually charged movie to make you blush



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