TIGER | Binge now, first on Showmax
HBO’s two-part Tiger Woods documentary, Tiger, offers a revealing look at the rise, fall, and epic comeback of the global golfing icon.
At age 2, Tiger appeared on TV to show off his putting skills. His father, Earl, told the presenter that Tiger had picked up a golf club at three months and started playing at eight months. According to multiple voices in the documentary, including his own, Earl believed he had been chosen by God to groom Tiger for greatness, not just on the golf course, but as a world-changer on the scale of Buddha, Gandhi, Jesus or Mandela.
As if that wasn’t enough pressure, when Tiger went pro at 20 and soon after signed a multi-million-dollar endorsement deal with Nike, he was hailed as the first superstar golfer of colour in a traditionally white sport – as “Michael Jordan in long pants.” It was a lot of pressure, especially for someone who famously told Oprah he thought of himself not as African-American, but as “Cablinasian,” an abbreviation of his mixed Caucasian, Black, American Indian, and Asian ancestry.
The documentary series contextualises Tiger’s triumphs and tragedies through never-before-seen footage and interviews with those who know him best, including his former caddy and close friend, Steve Williams; golf legend Sir Nick Faldo; Tiger’s first true love, Dina Parr; and Rachel Uchitel, the woman at the centre of the sex scandal that forever altered Tiger’s world, breaking her silence for the first time.
Based on the 2018 New York Times No. 1 best-selling biography penned by Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict, Tiger is executive produced by Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) and directed by Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, A Private War) and Emmy nominee Matthew Hamachek (Amanda Knox). Tiger has an 8/10 rating on IMDb, with Variety hailing it as “urgent and powerful viewing that withholds judgment, but nothing else.”
THE COMEY RULE | Binge now
With all eyes on America right now, the turbulent events surrounding the 2016 US election that brought Donald Trump to power come under the spotlight in the topical political drama The Comey Rule.
The four-part mini-series stars Emmy winner Brendon Gleeson (In Bruges) as Trump; Emmy winner Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) as former FBI director James Comey; and Oscar winner Holly Hunter (Succession) as acting attorney general Sally Yates.
Based on Comey’s autobiography A Higher Loyalty, The Comey Rule is written and directed by Billy Ray, who was nominated for an Oscar for his script for Captain Phillips and also wrote the box office phenomenon The Hunger Games.
AV Club says it’s “damned compelling… with a real-life tale that still beggars belief and a fantastic group of actors to tell it,” while Entertainment Weekly says, “For the pro-Trump crowd, The Comey Rule is destined to be dismissed as more #FakeNews from liberal Hollyweirdos. For everyone else, it offers the uniquely punishing experience of repeating history even as we continue to live through it.”
SHOWBIZ KIDS | Stream now, first on Showmax
Written and directed by former Broadway child star Alex Winters (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure), Showbiz Kids is a raw look at Hollywood and the toll that early success can have on young professionals.
Highlighting the shared experiences of prominent former child stars,the documentary features intimate, revealing interviews with the likes of Henry Thomas (Elliott in E.T.), Mara Wilson (Matilda in Matilda), Evan Rachel Wood, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Milla Jovovich.
Showbiz Kids has a 96% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Both a celebration of child actors and a cautionary tale about the profession, Showbiz Kids offers a revelatory perspective on the pitfalls and rewards of Hollywood stardom.”
The documentary’s soundtrack, by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and his sons Sammy and Spencer, was nominated for Best Score at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards.
BABY GOD | Stream now, first on Showmax
If you thought Three Identical Strangers was fascinating, Baby God will have you glued to the screen.
The HBO documentary is a haunting examination into the work of infamous Nevada fertility specialist Dr Quincy Fortier, a man who deceived countless women struggling to conceive by using his own sperm — without their knowledge or consent — to impregnate them.
Of course, when you have potentially hundreds of children, the odds increase that one of them will become a detective, and sign up to Ancestry.com. Using an at-home DNA kit, retired detective Wendi Babst discovers a slew of half-siblings she never knew she had. This unsettling discovery prompts her to open a personal investigation into her family tree, revealing ever more difficult truths about her father.
Through interviews with her father’s patients and children, a shocking, extensive pattern of deceit, malpractice, and sexual abuse emerges, leaving Wendi and her half-siblings to question which of their biological father’s traits they may have inherited. As Wendi probes her own identity, she wonders, “Do you want to say your father was a monster? And what does that say about you?”
“Why would Dr. Fortier do this? He was far from the only one,” says director Hannah Olson. “At least 22 others have been exposed for committing this previously undiscoverable crime, affecting many more patients than we’ll ever know. I was interested in this unraveling – how we try to make sense of ourselves through our families and what happens when we can’t connect the dots.”