Stay-At-Home Seven: May 18-24

Movies to catch on UK TV and streaming services this week

by Amber Wilkinson

Mahershala Ali in Moonlight
Mahershala Ali in Moonlight
Welcome to 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 Sundance here. Feel free to suggest a topic for that on Facebook or Twitter.

Apollo 13, Amazon, Chili, GooglePlay and other platforms, Saturday, May 23

Since the lockdown began any number of watch parties have sprung up, both distributor organised, like those for Curzon Home Cinema, and more impromptu gatherings on Twitter (check out, for example, @BeyondHollywood'sweekly #BeyondFriday fun).  Now Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is getting in on the act. This week, former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly will be playing host on Twitter for Ron Howard's gripping Oscar winner about the ill-fated Moon mission. The idea is that everyone presses play at the same time - 9pm in the UK (1pm PT/4pm ET) and joins in with the hashtag #Apollo13AtHome. Read our full review here.

The Changin' Times of Ike White, BBC4, Monday, May 18,  10pm

Jennie Kermode writes: It was an extraordinary album – one of the most widely praised of the Seventies. Critics spoke of Ike White in the same breath as Jimi Hendrix, hailing him as an extraordinary talent, and not least because he had written and recorded the entire album from his prison cell, where he was serving time for shooting dead a shopkeeper during a robbery (something he always maintained was an accident). But this was Ike’s only album, What became of him after its – and his – release? Setting out on his trail, filmmaker Daniel Vernon uncovers a still more remarkable story. The various wives who supported him; the literally thousands of lovers; the children, some tragically killed, one falsely told that he was dead; the psychedelic art; the violence; the second musical career in Las Vegas under an assumed name. It’s a story that just keeps unfolding, drawing on a rich archive of material, all the way to its shocking ending. The great rock n’ roll legend you never knew. Read our full review here.

A Taxi Driver, Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), Tuesday, May 19, 1am

Jennie Kermode writes:  South Korea in 1980 was a severely troubled nation, but Kim Man-seob (Song Kang-ho) is an ordinary taxi driver who has never paid attention to politics. A single dad who is behind on his rent, he’s just focused on making ends meet, and when he agrees to drive foreign journalist Peter (Thomas Kretschmann) all the way from Seoul to the southern city of Gwangju, he has no idea what he’s getting into. Based on a true story, the film follows Kim’s brutal discovery that Gwangju is under siege, that student protesters are being gunned down in the streets and that nothing he’s seen on the news about the city is true. Reluctantly acting as Peter’s translator and just trying to stay alive, he gradually finds himself bonding with the journalist and discovering a side to his own character that he didn’t know existed. The film is by turns thrilling, terrifying, funny and moving, and Song delivers one of the best performances of 2017. Read our full review here

No Country For Old Men, Paramount Channel (Freeview Channel 31), Tuesday, May 19,  10pm

Cormac McCarthy's source material and the Coen Brother's dry wit prove a perfect match in this stripped back cat-and-mouse thriller that plays out against the arid empty landscapes of Texas in 1980. A man (Josh Brolin) finds a suitcase of cash tough to resist and is soon on the run from a psychopathic killer (Javier Bardem, never better than here), while the murderer is, in turn, being chased by a sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) and a bounty hunter (Woody Harrelson). Playing around with archetypes - the saint the abject sinner and someone hovering in between - this is a tense and blackly comic ride. Props too to Kelly Macdonald and Garret Dillahunt putting in small but excellent supporting turns. Read our full review here.

Paddington, E4 (Freeview Channel 13), Sunday, May 24, 7.10pm

We recommended the excellent sequel to the Peruvian bear's adventures a couple of weeks ago and now there's a chance to catch the first movie outing. As big-hearted as film adaptations come, the story of Paddington's arrival in London is told from the beginning and features plenty of moments youngsters will remember from the books, including plenty of glorious slapstick. Hugh Grant might have gone on to take the glorious villainy crown in the sequel, but Nicole Kidman's evil taxidermist is a close second. Have marmalade sandwiches on standby for snacking. Read our full review here

Moonlight, Until Tuesday May 19, Film4 on demand

Famous for being at the heart of an Oscar mix-up with La La Land - which was mistakenly named best picture in 2017 before things were corrected - Barry Jenkins' study of the shifting nature of identity was a most deserving winner. His three-part study of the life of gay African American Chiron also saw Mahershala Ali pick up an Academy Award for Best Supporting Role, although any of its three faces of Chiron - Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes - are equally deserving of plaudits. The world is full of cliches about African-American life but Jenkins lifts the cloak to show the multi-faceted reality. Listen out for Nicholas Britell's evocative scoring as full of burgeoning imagery as Jenkins' visuals. Read our full review here.

Slow West, Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), Sunday, May 24, 12.40am

If watching the Coen Brother's No Country For Old Men puts you in the mood for some Western-inflected watching then you could do a lot worse than check out this late-night watch on Channel 4. John Maclean's debut feature is part boy's own adventure, part fable, part buddy comedy and a whole lot of fun as we follow lovelorn Scot Jay (Kodi Smit-McPhee) as he heads to the New World in search of his love. He finds himself heading west with outlaw Silas (Michael Fassbender). Loss of innocence is on the horizon and there will be bullets before bedtime. Read our interviews with John Maclean, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Mendelson and our full review.

We're sticking with Maclean and Fassbender for this week's short film recommendation - the director's BAFTA-winning Pitch Black Heist - shot in sharp black and white, this tale of safe cracking comes with a twist.

Pitch Black Heist - from UKfilmNet on Vimeo.

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More news and features

We're looking forward to the Fantasia International Film Festival and Frightfest.

We've recently been covering Sheffield DocFest, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Cheltenham International Film Festival.

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