Premise: A filmmaker and his girlfriend return home after his movie premiere and await what the critics will say. The two get into a fight that turns into an existential argument about their relationship and love in general.
Filmed in black and white, “Malcolm & Marie” unfolds in the couple’s lavish home. It was one of the first Hollywood features to be created during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although it’s a late contender, the film has an outside shot of earning Academy Award nominations this year given the expanded eligibility window.
John David Washington and Zendaya, the only actors in the film, also produced and helped finance it. Sam Levinson, who works with Zendaya on the HBO series “Euphoria,” directed and wrote the screenplay along with producing.
Netflix descriptors: “Intimate” and “emotional”
How it starts: There’s an establishing shot of a house amid rolling hills. Crickets chirp as the focus remains on the house for a long time. Production credits that would usually appear at the end play over this establishing shot, perhaps to highlight the extra work that went into filming “Malcolm & Marie” during the pandemic, as well as a nod to old Hollywood.
Headlights appear over a hill, and an SUV pulls up toward the house.
The camera cuts into the house, focused on the front door. Zendaya’s character storms inside while John David Washington’s character meanders, singing to himself.
Notable cast: John David Washington and Zendaya
Runtime: 1 hour, 46 minutes
Bonus: Zendaya spoke about the unusual filming of “Malcolm & Marie” with “Good Morning America.”