Stand By Me
Room, 4 on Demand until Friday, June 19
Director Lenny Abrahamson had already shown he knew a thing or two about careful pacing and shifting the mood in his previous films What Richard Did and Frank. In Room, these strengths come together with a keenly observed screenplay from Emma Donoghue, adapting from her own novel to tell the tale of the heartbreaking lengths a mother has gone to protect her son. Joy (Brie Larson) and her five-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) are living - held captive - in the room of the title, although Abrahamson shows how from Jack's perspective it's an entire universe. As things are forced to change, Abrahamson's film delivers thriller elements and a tension that could sing through the wires but - not least thanks to the finely callibrated acting of Larson and Tremblay - it is also a deeply moving testimony to love. Read the full review here.
Puss In Boots, E4 (Freeview Channel 13), Sunday June 21, 7.10pm
The swashbuckling cat with the silky voice of Antonio Banderas was so beloved by fans of Shrek 2 and its sequels that he got his own spin-off film - an origin story that's every bit as enjoyable in its own right. This adventure includes all round bad egg Humpty Dumpty (voiced by Zach Galifianakis), cat burglar Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and a magic beans quest. The film is packed with visual humour and cat comedy, with the double-act between Humpty and Puss a real family treat. Read the full review here.
Let Me In, my5.tv, until September
Remakes are frequently disasters and if ever one was set up to fail, it was Matt Reeves' English language retelling of John Ajvide Lindqvist's chilly vampire tale Let The Right One In that had already been adapted to critical and audience acclaim by Swedish director Tomas Alfredson. Reeves' version might not offer quite the same melancholy heft, but it brings with it an air of mystery and some additional sinister elements of its own - not least the disturbing idea, from a children's sweetie ad jingle - the idea of "eat one now, save one for later". Read our full review.
Stand By Me, Sony Movies Classic (Freeview Channel 32), Monday, June 15 9pm
Rob Reiner's moving drama of friendship in small-town America has lost none of its charm in the 30 or so years since Raynold Gideon did what many have failed to do and successfully adapted a Stephen King novella. This resultant coming-of-age drama is one of that small subset of films that is about children but not for them as it explores the emotions that come to light when a group of kids set out to look for a missing boy's body. The performances - from Corey Feldman, Kiefer Sutherland and River Phoenix among others - never miss and emotional beat. Make sure you have a box of tissues to hand, even if you've seen this before. Read our full review here.
Patti Cake$, Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), Tuesday, June 16, 11.20pm
The story of a New Jersey kid who dreams of being a rapper may flirt with a lot of familiar ideas but Geremy Jasper's feature debut has enough energy to make you forgive all that - not least thanks to the breakout performance from Australian actress Danielle Macdonald at its heart. She became an instant Sundance star thanks to her ability to spit rhymes like a pro and there's an authenticity to the script that cuts through cliche. The film is also notable for the supporting turn by cabaret-star-turned-actress Bridget Everett, who proves there's a lot more to her game than 'funny side-kick' as Patti's drunken and emotionally complex mum Barb. Read our film review here.
The Sessions, Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), Wednesday June 17, 1.30am
John Hawkes is magnificent in the central role of Ben Lewin's intimate and heartfelt drama. Based on the writings of poet and polio survivor Mark O'Brien, it charts the point in his life when, at 38, he decided he wanted to lose his virginity. The catch for O'Brien was that he had to spend all but four hours a day in an iron lung, so he hires a sex therapist (Helen Hunt, who doesn't get nearly as much film work as she should these days) to help. If this sounds like it could be a mawkish wallow or pity party, think again, it's a fresh, funny and philosophical look at sexuality and disability featuring two actors who know how to work emotion beyond the script. Lewin's next film, Falling For Figaro - which stars Joanna Lumley and Patti Cake$ star Danielle Macdonald - is currently in post-production and well worth looking out for. Read our full review here.
Poor Cow, Talking Pictures TV (Freeview Channel 81), Wednesday, June 17, 10.05pm
Ken Loach is a Cannes darling and household name these days - but, after a few TV outings, his film career began with this slice of kitchen sink drama, written by . It's themes about life on the breadline still resonate today and, if anything, it has gained in interest over the years for the snapshot it offers of late-Sixties Britain. Carol White plays Joy, a young mum and a free spirit who, though she makes a series of what might be considered 'bad choices' is never judged by the film, which, rather, celebrates her resilience in tough circumstances. Read our full review here.
We're turning to documentary for our short film this week. This award winner from Felipe Bustos Sierra about Glasgow factory workers who stood in solidarity against a military coup in Chile went on to be turned into a feature film that is also well worth seeking out, but you can get a taste of it in Nae Pasaran, the excellent short of the same name.