Next week, Season 3 of House of Cards premieres on Netflix; that is, if you don’t count the spontaneous leak of the episodes a few days ago.
In the years since it first aired the political drama House of Cards has gained immense popularity, with its lead Kevin Spacey pulling an astounding performance as the series’ protagonist, devious politician Frank Underwood. For those who haven’t seen it, I suggest watching it immediately.
If you look at Spacey’s filmography, he’s had a lot of roles to prepare him for House of Cards in a lot of astounding and culturally important movies. Here’s a few examples:
American Beauty (Movie)
Probably the role that really launched Spacey into the spotlight and arguably one of the greatest performances of his career, American Beauty is a classic of the late 90s. Sam Mendes’s American Beauty is still referenced in popular culture today.
Focusing on a middle-aged man going through a nervous breakdown, American Beauty explores themes ranging from sexual repression to materialism. Every character is incredibly detailed and deep, and the movie’s plot curves into an amazing and memorable story. American Beauty is a must watch.
American Beauty is available on Netflix, YoutubeVOD, and Amazon Instant Video
Swimming with Sharks (Movie)
There was probably no role that better prepared Kevin Spacey for the character of Frank Underwood, than that of Buddy in “Swimming with Sharks.”
Swimming with Sharks focuses on a quiet and hopeful writer who becomes the new personal assistant to a successful and abusive producer played by Spacey. The movie quickly establishes the producer’s anger management issues, and how they eventually lead to the assistant taking revenge.
Imagine the “Devil Wears Prada” but darker, bloodier, and excellent. Kevin Spacey was nominated to the American Film Institute’s list of 100 best heroes and villains for his performance as Buddy the producer.
Swimming with Sharks is available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Youtube VOD
For something less serious, there’s Inseparable. The Chinese superhero comedy movie follows a depressed and suicidal Chinese man whose life is changed when he meets his eccentric American neighbor, Spacey’s character. Note: This movie is not in English.
After talking about his issues Li decides he wants to do more with his life, and under the tutelage of his neighbor, becomes a superhero determined to take revenge on the sketchy businessmen of Guangzhong, China. The movie isn’t a grade-A masterpiece, but it’s campy and ridiculous, and an absolute joy to watch.
Inseparable is available on Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Youtube