Stay-At-Home Seven: July 27 to August 2

Films to watch on television and streaming services this week

by Amber Wilkinson


Cinemas across the UK are beginning to reopen - and you can read the guidance about staying safe here but if you don't fancy venturing out to a multiplex, there's plenty of great films screening on telly and streaming services. If you're looking for more inspiration, check out our Streaming Spotlight on seven deadly sins in film.

The Salesman, BBC iPlayer until August 24

Asghar Farhadi's Foreign language Oscar-winner focuses on the aftermath of an attack that sees the relationship between a pair of actors, Emad (Shabab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) start to fracture. Like all Farhadi's work, this is a slow-burn watch as Emad becomes increasingly bent on vengeance. Although Farhadi flirts with one contrivance too many, his exploration of patriarchal pressures hits home as Emad's mounting but unfocused anger about what he sees as much as an attack on his own masculinity as on Rana takes him - and us - on a dark trajectory. Read our full review.

Ida, Film4 on Demand

It's a good week for catching Foreign Language Oscar winners on the telly - with Pawel Pawlikowski's tale of a novice nun who meets the aunt she didn't know she had also hitting the small screen. Quietly contemplative, it is an unfussy but absorbing tale, as the younger woman begins to explore her past and, by extension, the hidden history of Poland. This marks Lukasz Zal's first feature as a cinematographer but you wouldn't know it as this film is a masterclass of monochrome framing - a feat the pair would go on to repeat with Cold War (which you can catch on Film4 on Wednesday, July 29, at 9pm). Read our interview with Pawlikowski and our full review.

Wild Tales, Film4, Sunday, August 2, 1.15am

Argentinian director Damián Szifron's deliciously dark collection of short films that tap into the more sinister side of human nature lost out in the Oscar race to Ida, but in a less competitive year it could easily have won. His taut tales of the unexpected range from relationship breakdown at a wedding to a cheerfully unhinged spot of road range and chance encounters on a plane, each served with a twist. Anthology films usually have a weak spot but this remains a mordant delight from beginning to end. Read our full review.

The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn, E4, Sunday, August 2

Few directors capture the spirit of family adventure more than Steven Spielberg and he brings his customary storytelling verve to Hergé's classic, which sees him venture into 3D motion capture and come out unscathed. The boy reporter (Jamie Bell) finds himself on a treasure hunt with Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), trying to reach the prize before the evil Sakharine (Daniel Craig). Spielberg turns it into a spirited affair with a sharp and funny script (written by Stephen Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish) that has plenty to offer both kids and older fans of the comic strip hero. Read our full review.

Funny Face, Talking Pictures TV, Thursday, July 30, 3pm

Stanley Donen already had a string of musical hits on his resume, including On The Town and Singin' In The Rain when he made this frothy spectacular, but it was a flop on initial release, failing to break even. Re-released in 1964, off the back of star Audrey Hepburn's success in My Fair Lady, it finally achieved the audiences it hoped for. She plays sales clerk Jo Stockton, who is transformed into a fashion model by a magazine editor (Kay Thompson) and photographer (Fred Astaire, still incredibly light on his feet at 58). The May to December romance might stretch the bounds a bit but this is a beautifully composed, fashion fabulous, whimsical treat. Read our full review.

Laura, BBC iPlayer until August 4

Otto Preminger's superior film noir tells the tale of a detective (Dan Andrews) investigating the murder of Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney), who becomes increasingly obsessed - although it's arguably Clifton Webb as Laura's charming and sarcastic pal Waldo Lydecker, and the film's narrator, who steals the show. With its unpredictable plot and haunting ambiguity, this is every bit as gripping now as it was back in 1944. Read our full review.

Minding The Gap, BBC iPlayer for 10 months

Bing Liu's Oscar-nominted film pulls together more than a decade's worth of footage to outline the lives of three youngsters who bond over a love of skateboarding. This is a lot more than a film about a hobby, however - although the joy with which the boys' antics on their boards are captured is infectious - it is also a portrait of fractured lives, domestic violence and male identity that finds power in the honesty of self-scrutiny. Read our full review.

For our short this week, we're recommending Clara Glynn's No Man's Land. Since she made this back in 2003, she's gone on to carve a successful career in, largely, documentary making for television, but her eye for detail is already keen here in this tale of a little boy caught between his warring parents.

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