What to watch when there’s nothing on
Spiral, or Engrenages in French, provides hours and hours of splendid drama. With its gritty backdrop, crack ensemble cast and realism it recalls the early days of NYPD Blue – only in contemporary Paris. Begin with the first episode from season one (2005) and if you’re a crime thriller buff, I almost guarantee you’ll make it all the way through the seasons now available. The unfamiliar justice system – a prosecuting attorney comes to each crime scene, and then presides over the chief homicide detective, assigning the case to a judge – is an easy adjustment. Soon enough, you’ll be involved in all the delicious spirals unfolding, not only each segment’s central case, but continuing story-lines in the lives of the judges, attorneys and detectives and their wives and mistresses. Yes, this is R-rated material. There’s not a predictable character in the bunch. See all the trash high and low that Paris can offer – and how the city’s finest cope. They’re not always saintly, but their intentions and actions are entertaining on lots of different levels.
ONLINE Extra: Another undiscovered movie gem
So you think you know what life is like in Israel? Perhaps not the corner brought to stinging reality in the film Late Marriage. What begins as a charming romance to our American tastes soon devolves into a devastating clash of cultures in this first film by Russian director Dover Koshashvili. At times humorous, at times erotic, at times deadly serious, the love tale of a handsome 30-year-old bachelor and his sexy divorcee girlfriend is brimming with life and love. The actors who played the lovers won Best Actor and Best Actress awards in Israel’s equivalent of the Oscars in 2001. The film’s original languages are Hebrew and Georgian, the producers Israeli and French, and it is available instantly for Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers.