Stay-At-Home Seven: June 22 to 28 - Streaming and TV suggestions

Films to watch on telly and streaming services in the next seven days

by Amber Wilkinson

Rafiki
Rafiki
Welcome to this week's round-up of films to catch on telly and streaming services, don't forget to check out our latest Streaming Spotlight, which is all about dinosaur movies.

Pink String And Sealing Wax, Talking Pictures TV (Freeview Channel 81), Wednesday, June 24, 3.15pm

Robert Hamer would go on to direct comedy classic Kind Hearts And Coronets, but he started his career with this darker mix of comedy and melodrama. Although its shifting tone takes a bit of getting used to, this is well worth watching for Googie Withers' commanding central turn as a pub landlady who is desperate to escape the clutches of her drunken husband and who settles on an innocent mark (an almost impossibly young Gordon Jackson) to help her execute her poisonous plan. Although Withers' Pearl is a conniving, she's also shown to be a victim of circumstance as the film scrutinises the patriarchy not just of the Victorian period the film is set in but of the Forties, when it was made. Read our full review.

Withnail And I, 4onDemand, until June 30

As plans for summer breaks remain in limbo, why not "go on holiday by mistake" with Richard E Grant and Paul McGann's two out-of-work actors? Laying claim to the cult status most films can only dream about, Bruce Robinson's comedy still delivers more than 30 years after it was made, thanks to a snappy script and Grant's magnetic performance, not to mention admirable support from Richard Griffiths as Uncle Monty. While those attempting the film's infamous drinking game (more on that here) are likely to find themselves  "drifting into the arena of the unwell", everyone else can just die laughing. Read our full review.

Rafiki - Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), Friday, June 26, 2.20am

Jennie Kermode writes: Banned in its native Kenya until it became apparent that it might be an Oscar contender, Wanuri Kahiu's potent drama, loosely based on Ugandan author Monica Arac de Nyeko's short story Jambula Tree, attracted international attention when it was selected to screen at Cannes in 2018. It's the simple tale of two young women whose passionate friendship turns into something more, challenging local mores and complicating both their lives. Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) is the daughter of an ambitious politician, already regarded as odd because of her androgynous appearance, whilst Ziki (Sheila Munyiva), is the kind of girl she never thought would take an interest in her on any level, pink haired and wild. Perhaps because Kenya has no history of (overt) lesbian cinema, there's a refreshing absence of cinematic cliché here, and the raw, natural performances give the film an energy too often lacking in the West. Importantly, Kahiu refused to give in to pressure to give the film a tragic ending, so that although it doesn't shy away from addressing the homophobia currently rife in the country - and there's one scene that viewers may find particularly distressing - Rafiki (the Swahili word for 'friend') is ultimately a film full of hope - for its heroines and for society more widely. Read our full review.

Amy, 4onDemand, until July 11

Asif Kapadia's Oscar-winning documentary offers a heartbreaking and comprehensive look at the all-too-short life of singer Amy Winehouse - who died from alcohol poisoning at just 27. The Rehab star's voice rings out loud and clear from the heart of this film in the wealth of archive footage Kapadia has assembled, from her vulnerabilities to her fearlessness, while people who knew her flesh out the story. There's a raw honesty to this documentary - and a level of controversy surrounding it  - but it is a compelling and emotional dive into Amy's career and life. Read our full review.

Sing Street - Film4 (Freeview Channel 14), Monday June 22,  11.40pm,

Musicals don't come along too often these days but John Carney is responsible for two of the most memorable in recent years. After the success of delicate love story Once, he returned to Sundance with this love letter to mid-Eighties Ireland as Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, soon to be back in Sean Heder's Coda, after a few years in TV's Vikings) embarks on a will they/won't they romance with aspiring model Raphina (Lucy Boynton, who is playing Marianne Faithfull in an upcoming biopic). In order to impress Raphina, Conor starts a school band and it's the film's musical numbers that hold the draw as we watch Conor mimic first Simon Le Bon before progressing through Robert Smith stylings and on to Tony Hadley. Carey captures the spirit of the mid-80s with his obvious affection for the period proving infectious. Read the full review here.

Carol, Film4  (Freeview Channel 14), Tuesday June 23, 11.15pm

Patricia Highsmith's novel The Price Of Salt enjoys an exquisitely crafted adaptation by screenwriter Phyllis Nagy and director Todd Haynes. Described by Haynes as a film about "looking and being looked at", it tells the tale of aspiring photographer and store clerk Therese (Rooney Mara), who falls for the elegant Carol (Cate Blanchett), who is going through a messy divorce. This is a slow-burn watch, brimming with conflicting desires and featuring performances that could easily have walked away with Oscars - although the stars lost out to Brie Larson (Room) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl). As with all of Haynes' films, the look - shot by regular collaborator Edward Lachman - and costuming by Sandy Powell are also impeccable. Read our interview with Christine Vachon and Elizabeth Karlsen about the film, and what the director and stars said about it in Cannes and New York, plus read the full review here.

The Water Horse, Sony Movies (Freeview Channel 32), Thursday, June 25, 3.50am

This family charmer which transports Dick King-Smith's tale of a young boy who befriends a creature from a magical egg to the big screen is tucked away in the middle of the night but worth setting the record button for. Alex Etel, who was also fabulous in family film Millions, is terrific as the film's young lead and the Water Horse, named Crusoe, is well-realised. This is a gentle tale but one which builds an emotional but unsentimental resonance and is bolstered by strong support from Emily Watson, Brian Cox and Ben Chaplin. Read our full review here

It's a chum of a different time that takes centre stage in Pablo Larucen's funny and nostalgic My Invisible Friend - and this one's not for children.

 

MI AMIGO INVISIBLE (My Invisible Friend) -Short Film from Pablo Larcuen on Vimeo.

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