February welcomes a number of TV and film favorites that are a blast from the past. From Moulin Rouge! and 9 to 5 to The Muppet Show and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, there’s plenty to cure that nostalgic yearning while cozied up this winter.
Additionally, a number of new movies featuring theatre favorites are coming to streamers, among them Tony winner Frances McDormand in Nomadland and Dianne Wiest and Peter Dinklage in I Care a Lot. Rounding out the list of new titles is The United States vs. Billie Holiday with a script by Suzan Lori-Parks.
All movies release February 1 unless otherwise noted.
Set during the American Civil War, this series follows a pair of volunteer nurses—one Union and one Confederate—working together at a hospital in Virginia. The two-season run featured a host of stage favorites making appearances, including Norbert Leo Butz, Donna Murphy, Josh Radnor, Patina Miller, Brían F. O’Byrne, and more.
This wildly romantic musical trip to turn-of-the-century Paris stars Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor and features epic and opulent musical numbers. The soundtrack mashes up a diverse song list that includes tunes made famous by Madonna, Elton John, Nirvana, and more, and theatre fans will even notice some show tunes: “The Sound of Music” and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Baz Luhrmann’s film was adapted into a Broadway stage musical in 2019, starring Aaron Tveit, Karen Olivo, Danny Burstein, and Tam Mutu.
Notes on a Scandal
Stage favorites Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett star in this psychological thriller, based on Zoë Heller’s 2003 novel. Dench plays a veteran teacher who befriends Blanchett, the school’s new art teacher, but an explosive secret threatens everything. The 2006 film has stage pedigree behind the scenes as well, with Richard Eyre directing and Robert Fox and Scott Rudin producing.
The Muppet Show (February 19)
All five seasons of the fan-favorite series are coming to the streamer. Structured like a vaudeville variety show, the show was practically Broadway-adjacent with a string of guest stars including Ethel Merman, Bernadette Peters, Pearl Bailey, Elton John, Leslie Uggams, Joel Grey, and Carol Channing.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Gene Wilder stars as Willy Wonka, who opens the gates to his marvelous—and mysterious—factory to a lucky few. That includes young Charlie Bucket, whose life definitely needs sweetening. Featuring music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, the Oscar-nominated score features favorites like “The Candy Man” and “Pure Imagination.” The film is based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, which was turned into a Broadway musical in 2017.
9 to 5
Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton star in this dark and feminist comedy about three female employees who plot to kill their boss after enduring sexist mistreatment one-too-many times. Parton, who wrote the film’s beloved title anthem, turned the property into a Broadway stage musical in 2009, which starred Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block, and Megan Hilty.
You’ve Got Mail
This charming romantic comedy—about co-workers at a book store who hate each other in real life while they’re unknowingly swapping anonymous love letters back and forth via email—is based on Miklós László’s 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie, which earlier inspired the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner, the 1949 musical film In the Good Old Summertime (starring Judy Garland), and the 1963 Broadway musical She Loves Me. The most modern of Parfumerie’s adaptations, You’ve Got Mail, features direction and a screenplay (co-written with Delia Ephron) by Nora Ephron, playwright of such works as Imaginary Friends; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; and Lucky Guy.
Nomadland (Feb 19)
Emerging director and writer Chloé Zhao weaves a story of resilience and exploration in this beautifully shot movie that will sate anyone suffering wanderlust. As mentioned above, Tony winner Frances McDormand stars as Fern, who lost all of her savings during the 2009 economic crisis. Now living in a van, she travels across the American West working job-to-job and encountering new friends along the way.
Florence Foster Jenkins (Feb 26)
Three-time Oscar winner and Tony nominee Meryl Streep stars as the vocally challenged title character in this biopic. An heiress with a devout love of music and singing with the means to make a career on the stage, but not really the voice to, Jenkins is determined to make it to the big time. Stephen Frears directs the film with Hugh Grant co-starring as St. Clair Bayfield, Jenkins’ manager and partner.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Feb 26)
Penned by Suzan Lori-Parks and featuring Andra Day as the title blues legend, this Lee Daniels-directed biopic follows Holiday’s career as fans adore her—and the authorities do not. Centered around the song “Strange Fruit,” The United States vs Billie Holiday dares to ask what really happened to the singer towards the end of her career. Trevante Rhodes and Natasha Lyonne co-star along with Garrett Hedlund, Miss Lawrence, Rob Morgan, and Da'Vine Joy Randolph.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
Revisit one of the ‘90s most enduringly popular romantic comedies before the musical adaptation premieres in the U.K. in 2021. Julia Roberts stars as Julianne Potter, a food critic who finds out her lifelong pal is getting married—only to realize that she might be in love with him. Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, and Rupert Everett round out this pitch-perfect cast.
Middle of Nowhere (February 11)
Stage and screen favorites David Oyelowo, Lorraine Toussaint, and Sharon Lawrence join the cast in Ava DuVernay’s picture. The story follows a nurse (played by Emayatzy Corinealdi) as she struggles to understand the complicated life of her husband, who is currently in prison trying to make parole, and assert the independence she once had.
I Care a Lot (February 19)
NYC stage favorites Dianne Wiest and Peter Dinklage go toe-to-toe in this crime thriller opposite Rosamund Pike. Pike plays a professional court-appointed guardian named Marla who swindles elderly clients out of their assets in what essentially mounts to a legal form of racketeering. When Marla and her business-partner/lover Fran (Eiza González) stumble across their latest victim, Jennifer Peterson (Wiest), it becomes clear that the pair have messed with the wrong senior citizen.