If you find yourself at a loose end for the next couple of days (or weeks) and you're looking for a decent drama to watch, Amazon Prime Video has a decent selection of both classics and more recent fare.
Here's a selection of movies we'd recommend if you're in the mood for something a little bit dramatic...
This musical drama stars up-and-comer Jessie Buckley as a single mother of two in Glasgow who's freshly released from prison and struggles to readjust to life on the outside. Having previously been the lead singer in a local country music bar and no prospects in Glasgow, she tries to find her way to Nashville but must juggle her complicated life in Glasgow with her dreams. Buckley ended up receiving a BAFTA nomination for Best Lead Actress, but it's both her singing and the dynamic she has with her on-screen mother, Julie Walters, that makes this particularly special.
Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly star in this affecting, heart-warming biopic about the final days of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as they embark on a tour across the UK and Ireland in a bid to jumpstart their career. Naturally, the long years of working together has meant that there's plenty of resentments along the way, but the bond of friendship that exists between them pulls it through. Coogan and Reilly bounce off each other in a way that speaks to the depth of their talent as performers, but it's the crisp direction and script that gives it all a sheen of old Hollywood.
Saorise Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent and Emory Cohen star in this weepy melodrama about a young woman in the '50s who leaves behind her hometown of Enniscorthy for Brooklyn, New York to find a better life. While she initially struggles with the change of pace, she finds love in an Italian-American and begins to build a new life with him. It's not before long, however, that she has to return to Ireland following a personal tragedy and, while home, begins to question where she truly belongs. Ronan received an Oscar nomination for her performance, but what 'Brooklyn' does so well is capture the plight and tragedy of immigration, and how it can split your heart in two. Also, if you don't well up at the sean-nós song, you're not human or you're not Irish.
Although most Vietnam War movies take place deep in "The Shit", as it were, 'Tigerland' takes a different tack and places it in the run-up. Colin Farrell, in what was his star-making role, plays a petty criminal forced into the Army who refuses to tow the line through training. Placed with him are an array of characters, but what director Joel Schumacher does so eloquently is that it never really plays all that hard into stereotype or cliche. If anything, it has more in common with 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' than any war movie you've seen.
Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci star in this courtroom drama / marriage story about a high-powered judge (Thompson) who's presented with an unusual case - a young man with leukemia is refusing a blood transfusion on the grounds that it goes against his principles as a Jehoavh's Witness. All while this is happening, however, her marriage is falling apart and as the case continues, the young man becomes infatuated with the judge. It's one of Thompson's best performances in years, and has a real mature and strong story to it that you really don't see that much of anymore.
Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett star in this fantasy drama directed by David Fincher that used then cutting-edge technology to showcase a desperately old Brad Pitt right through to a teenaged Pitt in the space of one movie. Pitt plays the titular character, a man who ages backward and begins life as an elderly man before growing backward to middle age, adulthood, and eventually his teenage years - all while falling deeply in love with Cate Blanchett's character. It's a weird, affecting piece and completely unlike anything Fincher - or anyone else, for that matter - has done before.
This ensemble drama takes in some powerhouse performances from the likes of Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Demi Moore, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci and Kevin Spacey. While you might have seen dramas about the financial crisis along the lines of 'The Big Short', 'Margin Call' turns it into a Sidney Lumet-esque drama along the lines of '12 Angry Men' with some big ideas and big scenes attached. It's not for everyone, but it's one of the most realistic movies about the 2012 global crash and how it sparked to life in one place at a time.
Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper star in this crime drama that splits itself across three distinct time periods to tell the story of a small-time criminal and the repercussions of a crime-spree across a small town. Gosling is all James Dean-esque coolness, but it's how the story's emotional heartbeat maintains throughout, and how the impact of broken family relationships play out from generation to generation, all told with vulnerability and openness that makes it all the more affecting.
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in this sumptuous melodrama set in the '50s about a young woman who embarks on a relationship with a married, glamourous socialite at a time when it was not only unheard of, but done in incredible secrecy. As a drama, 'Carol' works so effectively because the two leads have an instant chemistry that's hard to ignore, but is always right under the surface and restrained in a way that makes it all the more potent. The cinematography, the costume design and the music all blends together to make it something truly special.
This excellent German-language drama is set during the Cold War and sees a Stasi officer tasked with monitoring a playright get involved with his life and attempts to warn him about the dangers surrounding him from the oppressive government. Even though the scenery and the central premise might be dated, 'The Lives of Others' works as an effective drama on the basis of its incredible central performances by Ulrich Muhe, Sebastian Koch and Martina Gedeck.