What to watch this weekend June 9, 2023: Movie awards contenders

At the top of this week’s streaming heap is a movie from one of Hollywood’s renegades, someone whose blunt Facebook posts prompt the studios distributing his films to ask him to please shut the hell up. I’m talking, of course, about the one and only Paul Schrader. He’s not the only A-list director with a new release available, though. This list is loaded with them. 

The contender to watch this week: “Master Gardener” 

It’s hard to believe that Paul Schrader’s nearly 50-year career has only netted him one Oscar nomination (for writing 2017’s “First Reformed”). He still has time. “Master Gardener” is Schrader’s latest provocation, starring Joel Edgerton as a former white supremacist having an affair with the widow (Sigourney Weaver) whose immaculate garden he maintains. The film doesn’t rise to the heights of the director’s best work, but it nonetheless proves he is still one of Hollywood’s great independents. Rent it on VOD. 

Other contenders:

  • “Dalíland”: Now in theaters and available on VOD, the latest film from Mary Harron (“American Psycho,” “Charlie Says”) is a Salvador Dalí biopic featuring Ben Kingsley as the aging Spanish painter. Harron focuses on a gallery show Dalí launched in 1974, as well as his long marriage to the woman (Barbara Sukowa) who often functioned as his muse. 
  • Creed III“: After grossing $274.4 million worldwide in March, the newest installment in the Adonis Creed franchise is newly streaming on Prime Video. Michael B. Jordan took over the director’s seat this time around, proving to be as talented behind the camera as he is in front of it. Some Oscar pundits felt the first “Creed,” released in 2015, deserved a Best Picture nomination. “Creed III” isn’t likely to drum up the same support, but we shouldn’t discount the slick cinematography by Kramer Morgenthau, an Emmy nominee for “Boardwalk Empire” and “Fahrenheit 451.” 
  • “Living”: Bill Nighy and screenwriter Kazuo Ishiguro earned their first Oscar nominations for this 2022 drama about a 1950s English bureaucrat whose terminal cancer diagnosis awakens his uninspired existence. It’s streaming on Netflix thanks to the company’s exclusive deal with Sony
  • Avatar: The Way of Water“: Still haven’t seen James Cameron‘s latest Na’vi epic? Catch it on Disney+ or Max.

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