Can the Moviegoing Masses Handle ‘Kinds of Kindness’?

Searchlight Pictures
Searchlight Pictures

There are roughly 47,000—oh, wait, a new Netflix Original just dropped; make that 47,001—TV shows and movies coming out each week. At Obsessed, we consider it our social duty to help you see the best and skip the rest.

We’ve already got a variety of in-depth, exclusive coverage on all of your streaming favorites and new releases, but sometimes what you’re looking for is a simple Do or Don’t. That’s why we created See/Skip, to tell you exactly what our writers think you should See and what you can Skip from the past week’s crowded entertainment landscape.

Kinds of Kindness
Searchlight Pictures

See: Kinds of Kindness

Kinds of Kindness finds Yorgos Lanthimos reteaming with Emma Stone to go back to the director’s sicko roots. His latest is a triptych of stories about power struggles, god complexes, and moral quandaries, featuring knockout turns by Stone and Jesse Plemons you don’t want to miss.

Here’s Esther Zuckerman’s take:

“Yorgos Lanthimos’ most recent film, the Oscar-winning Poor Things, was ultimately a nice movie for the director. Yes, it was bizarre and filled with sex scenes, but when you really boil it down to its essence it was the uplifting story of a woman gaining her sense of self and thus unusual in his oeuvre, which is full of bleak comedies where fathers lie to their children to keep them imprisoned at home, and a happy ending means blinding yourself.

‘Kinds of Kindness’: Emma Stone’s Twisted New Film Makes ‘Poor Things’ Seem Normal

Now Lanthimos and his Poor Things star Emma Stone are back and at the Cannes Film Festival with Kinds of Kindness, a film of a much different outlook on humanity. This omnibus, consisting of three stories, is brimming with cruelty as it weaves tales of people who act out to appease the ones they love—or at least think they love. You see a limb chopped off, an organ removed, and Jesse Plemons licking a gunshot wound in Joe Alwyn’s hand, among other atrocities. The message of Kinds of Kindness is that to win the affection of their desires, humans will do the unspeakable and therefore are selfish and unredeemable. It’s great.”

Read more.

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person
Venice Film Festival

See: Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person may have a long-winded title, but its fresh take on the vamp subgenre is anything but rambling. It’s a sharp, darkly comedic romance, perfect for anyone who feels stuck in a rut they can’t get out of.

Here’s Coleman Spilde’s take:

Vampires have problems too. Sure, they’re ruthless, fiendish, bloodsucking creatures of the night. But just because they’re immortal doesn’t mean that vampires are born without hearts—just that those hearts don’t “beat” in the traditional sense! Reconciling fangs with friendliness is the problem young vamp Sasha (Sara Montpetit) faces in director Ariane Louis-Seize’s feature-length debut, Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person, a highly original take on the vampire subgenre in theaters June 21.

‘Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person’: A Vamp Who Can’t Kill and a Boy Who Wants to Die

If you’re intimidated by a title that reads more like a song by The 1975 than a film, worry not: Humanist Vampire is anything but long-winded. Louis-Seize’s film is an inviting coming-of-age tale about how a vampire gets by when she’s not inclined to kill. Sasha’s pacifist ways go against those of her undead clan—a kooky bunch of relatives that feels like a modern, very French version of the Addams Family—much to the disappointment of her mother, Georgette. (Sophie Cadieux). As if teenage girls didn’t have complicated relationships with their mothers as it is, Georgette gives Sasha a very uncool ultimatum: Start killing or move out.”

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Celina Dion
Amazon MGM Studios

See: I Am: Celine Dion

I Am: Celine Dion was bound to be upsetting, given that the doc chronicles the legend’s struggle with her rare neurological disorder. But as hard to watch as it is, the film is equally as inspiring as a tear-jerking look at perseverance and what it means to connect through art.

Here’s Kevin Fallon’s take:

“I never thought I’d cry about an apple tree. But I did when that apple tree was a metaphor for Céline Dion. In the new documentary I Am: Celine Dion, premiering June 25 on Prime Video, Dion talks at length about her experience battling a rare neurological disorder that has prevented her from performing these last three years—keeping the singer from her fans and thus forcing her to question her worth. There’s one monologue in particular that reveals how her absence from the stage because of her painful symptoms has splintered into a guilt—even a shame—over not living up to what it means to be ‘Céline Dion.’”

The Céline Dion Documentary Is a Harrowing, Upsetting Watch

‘I feel like—let’s say there’s an apple tree—I’m an apple tree,’ she says. ‘And people are in line and I give them apples. The best. And I shine them, and they all leave with a basket of apples.’ She then inserts her current condition into the metaphor: ‘And my branches are starting to fall sometimes, get crooked, and those branches are starting to produce a little less apples. But there’s still as many people in line. I don’t want them to wait in line if I don’t have apples for them.’ Her voice catches as she prepares to deliver the next part. She goes silent as her eyes well with tears, as she relays what a fan told her, something that changed her attitude about surviving her disease, performing, and her relationship with all those who adore her. ‘We’re not here for the apples,’ the fan said. ‘We’re here for the tree.’”

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Orphan Black Echos

See: Orphan Black: Echoes

Orphan Black: Echoes remarkably finds new ground to cover, even as a spinoff of the beloved sci-fi show from a decade back. This time around, there are still clones, but more scientific and human conundrums, ones that push up against our current moment in tech to examine the consequences.

Here’s Emma Stefansky’s take:

“It makes sense for the clone show to get its own clone. Almost seven years after the conclusion of Orphan Black, the Canadian drama that launched Tatiana Maslany to international stardom for her portrayal of a small army of human copies, we’re diving back into the clone-iverse with Orphan Black: Echoes. The show, premiering June 23 on AMC, presents an ominous technological future dominated by 3-D printing technology and monomaniacal scientists bent on perfecting humanity at any cost, and, like the clones in Orphan Black, the new series offers a spin on familiar territory. Echoes pointedly takes a different route through the metaphysics and ethical conundrums of scientific progress, asking us to ascribe human motivations to inhuman acts.

‘Orphan Black: Echoes’ Is the Rare Brilliant Spin-Off Series

It’s Boston in 2052: The city skyline now has spiraling high-rises reinforced with skeletal honeycomb facades, even trucks have that electric vehicle purr, and rolling hills are dotted with windmills to indicate that we’re in The Future. A scientist played with quiet melancholy by Keeley Hawes works at the Additive Foundation, experimenting on a new technology with the capability to print human organs from scratch.”

Read more.

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