Skooby's picks: three movies where characters testify before Congress that you can stream this weekend
There are thousands of movies available to stream all the time. This is good, but it’s also overwhelming: when you have that many options, how can you choose just one? Every Friday, I’m presenting you with just three movies available to stream that you should watch to avoid that stress. I’ll hand out different movie recommendations every week.
This week, after President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee, I’m presenting three movies in which characters testify before Congress.
Available On: Netflix
The 1994 Best Picture nominee field is a powerhouse lineup: Three of the five films (The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, and the winner, Forrest Gump) are all in the top 12 of IMDb’s all-time highest-rated movies. One of the films, Four Weddings and a Funeral, is an all-time rom-com that propelled Hugh Grant to stardom. And the fifth is an excellent but overlooked little drama called Quiz Show.
Quiz Show stars Ralph Fiennes as Charles Van Doren, a well-mannered game show contestant on an unbelievable hot streak, so unbelievable that he’s soon the subject of an investigation into whether the show is fixed. Directed by Robert Redford, the film dives into entertainment and public morality and feels especially prescient right now. It might not be as remarkable as the films it went up against at the 1995 Oscars, but it deserves to recognized more than it is currently.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Available On: HBO
Brutally snubbed at this year’s Oscars ceremony, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is a straightforward look at the life of Fred Rogers and the imaginative universe he created on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. To a certain extent, this is standard fare: old television footage, talking head interviews, sweeping montages. But the film is a delicate argument in favor of the power of kindness, and no moment exemplifies this better than Rogers’s testimony before Congress in favor of PBS funding. In the wake of the sordid Cohen saga, it’s a reminder that positive actions can still take place on this national stage.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Available On: Watch Documentaries (watchdocumentaries.com)
Ok, yes, I struggled to come up with three movies with Congressional testimony. And when I thought of a few, I struggled to find streaming platforms that they actually existed on. But Alex Gibney’s excellent 2005 documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is available to stream on this seemingly legitimate documentary website, so I am including it.
For the impact Enron had on the American economy, it has surprisingly low name-recognition today, at least among young people; I certainly hadn’t heard of it before seeing this documentary. But when the tech giant built on corrupt business practices came crumbling down it rocked our economic system, and this documentary lays out every detail of the ordeal with an entertaining and informative approach. It also feels ahead of its time, exposing a small sample of the corrupt financial maneuvering we would all discover after the financial crash of 2008.