Stay-At-Home Seven: May 11-17

Films to watch on UK TV and streaming services this week

by Amber Wilkinson

A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart in Tangerine.
A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart in Tangerine. Photo: Radium
Here's our latest selection of films to catch on television or streaming services in the UK this week. If you're looking for more inspiration, read our latest Streaming Spotlight on healthcare workers in film here. Feel free to suggest a topic for that on Facebook or Twitter.

Hobson's Choice, Talking Pictures TV (Freeview Channel 81), Sunday, May 17, 6.50pm

The passing of more than 65 years has done little to diminish the charms of this adaptation of Harold Brighouse's play about a domineering bootmaker whose daughter falls for his beleaguered emplolyee. Lean gets an opportunity to show his touch for comedy here, particularly in the boozy hallucinations of Hobson - played with suitable verve and bombastic screen presence by Charles Laughton. Featuring Prunella Scales in one of her earliest film roles, this remains an adept skewering of the class system with a sweet romance at its heart. Read our full review here.

Shaun The Sheep the movie, BBC until Wednesday morning

When Shaun the sheep made his appearance in 1995's Wallace And Gromit adventure A Close Shave, a baa - sorry - a star was born - and 10 years and a CBBC series later he finally got his own film. It was worth the wait and this is, essentially, more of what you've come to expect - which is to say woolly mayhem with visual gags to the fore as our plucky hero and his mates head to the city to find their missing farmer. The lack of dialogue makes this readily accessible to all ages and the sheer amount of inventive slapstick makes this an easy repeat watch even for older members of the family. Read our interview with composer Ilan Eshkeri and our full review.

The Masque Of The Red Death, Talking Pictures TV, Friday, May 15, 10pm

Jennie Kermode writes: Roger Corman, Vincent Price and Edgar Allan Poe – was there ever a trio of artists so well suited to each other? Yes, it’s only a loose adaptation of the latter’s work, but this spectacular visual feast, loaded with symbolic import, certainly captures the spirit. It’s also highly relevant today, focusing as it does on a cruel prince who barricades himself inside his castle with a collection of sycophantic courtiers to escape a plague which is killing the peasants over whom he has dominion. Holding gaudy revelries and toying with a peasant girl whom he hopes to corrupt, he turns his back on what he takes to be an uncaring God and seeks to ensure his safety and power by devoting himself to Satan. What he doesn’t realise is that Death knows no master. Enlivened by David Lee’s haunting score and spiced with wit, the film unfolds like a Medieval epic, full of mythic weight. Sic transit gloria mundi. Read our full review here.

Wind River, Film 4 (Freeview Channel 14), 9pm, Tuesday May 12

After what seemed like an eternity of being miscast in everything from The Bourne Legacy to the Avengers franchise, Jeremy Renner shows a real return to form in Taylor Sheridan's crime drama. He slips into the old-fashioned groove as a wildlife officer with a tragic past who finds himself teamed up with a fish-out-of-water FBI agent (Elizabeth Olson) to investigate a murder on a Native American reservation. Sheridan delivers on the film's thriller element but it is in its quieter, more thoughtful and character-driven moments of grief and connection that he elevates the material to something that has a more lasting resonance. Read our full review here.

20 Feet From Stardom, Netflix

I feel as though I've been picking a lot of heavy-hitting factual documentaries for this column recently - so here's one where the emphasis is, mostly, on the upbeat. Morgan Neville celebrates the backing singers who, though often not known by name, lend their "shoops" and "aahs" to any number of hits. There are plenty of star names - including Bruce Springsteen and Mick Jagger - but the real draw here are backing singers, including Darlene Love (Be My Baby, Monster Mash) and Judith Hill (I Just Can't Stop Loving you and any number of other Michael Jackson numbers), who tell their stories. Beautifully edited, with a wealth of archive, the film not only celebrates the singers at its heart but also explores the difference between "talent" and "stardom". Read our interview with Morgan Neville about the film and our full review.

Tangerine, Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), 1.25am Wednesday May 13

Another week, another late night gem on Film4. Sean Baker's film - which was shot using an $8 app on an iPhone - was a breakout surprise from Sundance, where it was not in the main competition but rather in the Next section, where many of the festival's more interesting and edgy movies have been found in recent years. This is a late night adventure through LA in the company of transgender street workers Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor) as they try to track down Sin-Dee's cheating pimp boyfriend. The whole film - from its real-time, freewheeling energy to its high-colour visuals and surprising emotional underbelly - crackles with life. Read our full review here and look out for our next Streaming Spotlight, when we'll be recommending some Sundance gems.

Mud, Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), 6.15pm Thursday May 14

This is another Sundance cracker. Jeff Nichols' 2013 film sees two teenagers try to reunite a fugitive with his long-term love. It marked something of a turning point for Matthew McConaughey, who had a serious run of good films after this, including Dallas Buyers Club, Wolf Of Wall Street and Magic Mike. Here he plays Mud, an offbeat charmer who befriends teenagers Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), who, in turn, try to help the course of true love run smooth - with unintended consequences. A coming-of-age tale that is less about the loss of innocence than the gaining of knowledge, this is a modern descendant of Mark Twain's Huck Finn. Read our full review here.

We're stepping back in time this week for this week's short. Alain Resnais may be best known for his surrealist Last Year In Marienbad and poignant Hiroshima, Mon Amour but he and the cinematographer who worked on both films, Sacha Vierny, also produced terrific short The Styrene's Song about the plastics industry. The film, with its narration scripted in verse by French poet Raymond Queneau, is visually stunning, while also striking a surprisingly philosophical note. You'll never look at a mixing bowl in quite the same way again.

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