Paul Mescal's most heartbreaking movie is on Netflix in June

EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024 Nominees' Party, Supported By Bulgari - Arrivals
EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024 Nominees' Party, Supported By Bulgari - Arrivals / Jeff Spicer/GettyImages

You're probably thinking, "Aren't most of the movies and shows Paul Mescal stars in heartbreaking in some way?" And you're right to think that. If there's one thing the talented actor likes to do, it's break our hearts in devastating stories, like in Hulu's hit limited series Normal People and the queer drama film All of Us Strangers co-starring Andrew Scott.

But in 2022, Mescal appeared in a truly heart-shattering drama film that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The A24 movie Aftersun was released in theaters in November 2022, but if you missed out on seeing the movie back then and haven't checked it out on another streaming service, you will have the chance to watch it on Netflix when it arrives on Friday, June 21.

Paul Mescal in Aftersun, coming to Netflix on June 21, 2024
Aftersun /

The coming-of-age film tells a father-daughter story in the 1990s. Mescal plays a young father named Calum who travels with his pre-teen daughter Sophie, played by Frankie Corio, to a resort in Turkey. Aftersun also follows Sophie as an adult 20 years into the future as she looks back on taking that vacation with her father. It's an emotional ride, so you've been warned!

Here's the official synopsis via A24:

"At a fading vacation resort, 11-year-old Sophie treasures rare time together with her loving and idealistic father, Calum (Paul Mescal). As a world of adolescence creeps into view, beyond her eye Calum struggles under the weight of life outside of fatherhood. Twenty years later, Sophie's tender recollections of their last holiday become a powerful and heartrending portrait of their relationship, as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn't, in Charlotte Wells’ superb and searingly emotional debut film."

Charlotte Wells wrote and directed the movie, which was her feature directorial debut. For a directorial debut, Aftersun was received warmly by critics and audience. It holds a near-perfect 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won multiple awards, including a BAFTA, an Independent Spirit Award, and a Directors Guild of America Award. As mentioned above, Mescal landed his first Oscar nomination for his performance in the film.

Even though it's not an uplifting movie, it's definitely one that's thought provoking and worth the watch — and the inevitable ugly cry. It's beautifully written, directed, and acted. If you're a fan of Paul Mescal and his past work (and future work — he'll next be seen as the lead in this fall's Gladiator II), it's a must watch when it begins streaming on Netflix on June 21.

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