A feminist infiltration of a beauty pageant from several angles tops the new DVD releases for the week of Nov. 3.
“Misbehaviour”: Sally Alexander (Keira Knightley), a “mature” University College London student and a mother, clashes with young feminist Jo Robinson (Jessie Buckley). But when Sally quickly discovers her seat at the academic table is more of a high chair (her words), she joins forces with Jo and the brand-new women’s liberation movement. Exhausted and angry with patriarchal standards equating physical attractiveness with a woman’s worth (not to mention self-worth), their target is the 1970 Miss World Competition, hosted by comedian Bob Hope (Greg Kinnear). Meanwhile, we meet some of the pageant’s competitors, including the fed-up and favored-to-win Marjorie Johansson aka Miss Sweden (Clara Rosager), aspiring broadcaster Jennfier Hosten aka Miss Grenada (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), and an overwhelmed Pearl Jansen aka Miss Africa South (Loreece Harrison), the first Black South African contestant.
Directed by Philippa Lowthorpe and written by Gaby Shiappe and Rebecca Frayn, the film masterfully explores the dynamics of the dawn of the women’s liberation movement in the UK, showing the intersections of class and race without pandering. Jessie Buckley’s Jo brings the fire, while Mbatha-Raw’s reserved Miss Grenada carries the tremendous weight of not only the patriarchy but white supremacy. Bonus: Leslie Manville is an absolute delight as Hope’s wife, Dolores, teeming with resentment of his womanizing and eventually reveling in the women’s liberation efforts during the show.
From witnessing the power of women organizing and Hosten making history, and the ultimate reactions to Hope’s pageant bit about preferring “feeling women” to honoring “women’s feelings,” it’s a cathartic watch.
ALSO NEW ON DVD NOV. 3
“Amigo Skate, Cuba”: Documentary follows illegal skateboarding in Cuba.
“Antebellum”: A writer (Janelle Monae) is ensnared by past and present horrors of the Black experience in the United States.
“Blackbird”: A mother (Susan Sarandon) suffering from ALS attempts to resolve issues with her daughters (Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska) while planning her assisted suicide.
“Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy, Season 1”: Four couples head to Los Angeles to try to fix their troubled relationships via polyamory.
“The Crown — Season 03”: The third season of the hit Netflix series follows Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) from 1964 to 1977.
“Hard Kill”: A security expert (Jesse Metcalfe) fights to save the daughter of a billionaire tech CEO (Bruce Willis) while attempting to keep his destructive technology from getting into the wrong hands.
“Kick-Ass”: The 2010 comedy-action film starring Aaron Johnson as a teenage crime-fighting power-free superhero is being released on 4K Ultra HD.
“The Mortal Storm”: The 1940 film following a family in Germany torn apart by fascism has been remastered. Stars Frank Morgan, Margaret Sullavan, James Steard and Robert Young.
“Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda”: Documentary follows the life of the Japanese composer. In Japanese and English.
OUT ON DIGITAL HD NOV. 3
“Acute Misfortune”: Young biographer Erik Jensen (Toby Wallace) is lulled into a toxic relationship with artist Adam Cullen (Daniel Henshall) over the course of their interviews.
“Attack of the Demons”: Animated film follows a trio of small-town Colorado friends who find themselves fighting murderous demons.
“Blind”: A depressed, visually impaired author (Alec Baldwin) is reawakened by an affair with a married woman (Demi Moore).
“Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary Collection”: Collection includes 60 theatrical shorts and interviews with stars, animators and historians centering on Looney Toons’ lovable stinker. Look for it on Blu-ray Dec. 1.
“Love in Dangerous Times”: A couple (Ian Stout and Tiffany Groben) begin a romance amid the worsening of the pandemic.
“Possessor Uncut”: An assassin (Andrea Riseborough) controls brain implants that force people to take out her VIP targets. Look for it on Blu-ray Dec. 8.
OUT ON DIGITAL HD NOV. 6
“Cup of Cheer”: A journalist (Storm Steenson) heads back to her hometown and hits it off with a cocoa shop owner in this spoof of TV Christmas movies.
“Kindred”: A pregnant woman believes her dead boyfriend’s family is attempting to control her and her child.
“Mortal”: A man (Nat Wolff) discovers he has powers right from ancient Norwegian gods. In Norwegian and English. Available on DVD and Blu-ray Nov. 10.