This weekend brings tears and laughter in Netflix's newest movie and TV releases, which are a mix of heartfelt drama with some comedy thrown in. There's Ricky Gervais series After Life, Alfre Woodard-led comedy-drama film Juanita, and the true story-based Walk. Ride. Rodeo.
Last week's big Netflix release was another film based on a true story, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, which marks the feature directorial debut of actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. Still to come this month are new episodes of Arrested Development season 5, Idris Elba-led series Turn Up Charlie, and the highly-anticipated second season of sci-fi drama The OA.
There's definitely a busy spring ahead for the streaming platform, but for those looking for something to watch right now, here are the best new Netflix Original releases for the weekend starting March 8.
Ricky Gervais, co-creator and star of The Office and Extras, returns on a slightly more somber note in Netflix Original series After Life. Gervais plays Tony, a man for whom everything seems to be going right until his wife, Lisa (Kerry Godliman), dies of cancer. In true P.S. I Love You form, Lisa recorded a series of videos before she passed away, with the aim of helping Tony move on with his life. Tony chooses to deal with his grief by deciding he will say and do whatever he wants, with no regards for people's feelings, and takes a kind of joy in lashing out at anyone who annoys him. Comprised of six half-hour episodes, After Life has been praised by many reviewers for its blend of humor and tragedy, and is well worth checking out this weekend.
Alfre Woodard, who memorably played Luke Cage villain Black Mariah, takes the lead in Netflix Original film Juanita, directed by Clark Johnson. Woodard plays the titular character, a mother of grown kids who is tired of being beholden to their needs, and decides to take a road trip to Montana that's all about being with herself. Along the way she trades in her fantasies of spending a romantic evening with Blair Underwood for the real thing (real romance, not the real Blair Underwood) when she meets diner chef Jess (played by Suicide Squad's Adam Beach). Juanita is a movie for anyone who needs a little time to themselves, and perhaps needs inspiration to go on an adventure.
Walk. Ride. Rodeo.
Netflix Original film Walk. Ride. Rodeo. is the heartwarming true story of Amberley Snyder, an 18 year-old barrel racer who was on her way to rodeo glory when she was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident. Despite experiencing such a devastating loss at such a young age, Amberley (played by Spencer Locke) gets back on the horse - literally. Four months after the accident, following physical therapy to build her upper body strength and learn to balance again, the young rider got back into the saddle with the goal of eventually competing again. The road to recovery is long and often difficult, but Walk. Ride. Rodeo. is all about the power of determination. The movie also features the real Amberley Snyder as a stunt double for Locke, performing the barrel racing scenes.