Political documentary looks back at Obama’s last months in office


Here’s a look at an interesting new release available to rent from cable and digital providers as well as some titles that have recently become available to stream.

Video on Demand

“The Final Year”: If the current administration is stressing you out, this new documentary from Greg Barker will allow you to slip back in time and gain some insight into President Barack Obama’s last nine months in office. The film focuses specifically on his foreign policy team and provides revealing access to former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, Secretary of State John Kerry and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. The filmmakers followed this team around on visits to 21 countries, and the end result is a fascinating slice of history that ultimately details the transition of power and tries to estimate the value of a legacy. We also get a sobering look at an Election Night 2016 party hosted at Power’s home that was obviously intended to celebrate an assumed Hillary Clinton victory. Currently available in a limited theatrical release and on VOD, you can also catch this HBO Documentary Films release on the premium cable network later this spring. (Cable and digital VOD)

Also on streaming services

“Ingrid Goes West”: Nominated for best first feature and best first screenplay at this year’s Independent Spirit Awards, Matt Spicer’s debut film is a piercingly dark comedy about obsession and the perils of social media. Aubrey Plaza is magnetic as the titular character, an unstable young woman who becomes fueled by Instagram likes and comments. She abandons her dreary real life for what is essentially a fake identity on social media where her carefully curated photographs present life as she wants it to be, not as it actually is. Ingrid begins to infiltrate the life of Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen), an “influencer” whose life appears to be “hashtag perfect,” and things only get weirder from there. Both leads are outstanding, but O’Shea Jackson Jr. (“Straight Outta Compton”) is the real MVP as Ingrid’s landlord/love interest. (Hulu)

“Wonderstruck”: If you are familiar with the work of Todd Haynes (“Carol,” “My Own Private Idaho”), a family film is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. He brings Brian Selznick’s book to life with stunning results by telling two stories intertwined — that of a young deaf girl named Rose (Millicent Simmonds) in 1927 on the hunt to find her favorite film star, and a young boy in 1977 who has lost his mother (Michelle Williams) and goes deaf after being struck by lightning. The different eras are represented by blending black-and-white and color film, while large chunks of the captivating story play out like a silent movie punctuated only by Carter Burwell’s breathtaking score. An overlooked gem. (Amazon Prime, 4K available)



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Movies & TV

Lamb, a meat hated by 13 percent of American diners, is gaining ground
Lamb, a meat hated by 13 percent of American diners, is gaining ground

Lamb, of all things, is making a comeback in America. Arby's, the king of roast beef, will soon start peddling lamb gyros year round. Sandwich seller Potbelly Corp. is offering a gyro flatbread; Darden Restaurants Inc.'s Yard House brewery, a lamb burger topped with feta cream cheese; and Romacorp Inc., lamb ribs at more of its Tony Roma's restaurants...
U.S. consumers confident their food is safe as grilling season kicks off
U.S. consumers confident their food is safe as grilling season kicks off

About three-quarters of  Americans plan to don an apron and grab a spatula to grill their  favorite steaks, burgers or chicken this year. But can consumers trust  their food is safe as grilling season kicks into high  gear? Ninety-four percent of American say yes, and that's good news as  Americans enter the heavy summer grilling...
Silvaner, a lovely yet unloved Spring wine, needs friends
Silvaner, a lovely yet unloved Spring wine, needs friends

With the overwhelming number of wines available today from all over the world, in a vast diversity of styles, many made from grapes virtually unknown a generation ago, consumers have had to resort to shortcuts and workarounds to slice through the confusion. Some buy only wines made from familiar grapes that have been critically praised over time. Others...
Chick-fil-A increases scholarship investment with $14.5 million to team members
Chick-fil-A increases scholarship investment with $14.5 million to team members

Chick-fil-A@ is awarding more  than 5,700 Team Members $14.5 million in scholarships. The investment  in this year's program marks a $5.7 million increase since 2017 and is  the one of the highest unrestricted per-employee scholarship  investments in the industry. Team Members who are beginning or  continuing their higher education...
Your kid's buddy has severe food allergies. Here's how to host a safe play date.
Your kid's buddy has severe food allergies. Here's how to host a safe play date.

I take it for granted that I can bring my daughter to any playground and let her climb the monkey bars. I can send her to school without worrying that lunchtime could be dangerous. Boarding an airplane doesn't put me on high alert, and I never fret that another mom may have left peanut butter residue on the cutting board where she is now making my...
More Stories