The Angry Silence
Here's our latest batch of suggestions for films to catch on TV and streaming services this week - along with a short to watch at home. If you're looking for more inspiration, check out our Streaming Spotlight on photographers on film this week. You can also read last week's Stay-At-Home Seven here.
Manhunter, ITV4, Monday, August 24, 9pm
From its moody colour scheme to the chilling performance from Brian Cox as Hannibal Lecktor - a masterclass in moderation - Michael Mann's adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel is a compelling watch. Silence Of The Lambs might have been a splashier affair but there's a subtler and just as satisfying psychological interplay at work between William Peterson's damaged FBI agent Will Graham and Cox's manipulative murderer as Graham faces a race against time to discover the true identity of another killer, known as the Tooth Fairy. Although a film regular these days, this role marked a step up for Cox - recommended to Mann for the role by Brian Dennehy - who had mostly been confined to the small screen before then. Read our full review.
The Escapist, My5.tv, until next year
If watching Manhunter puts you in the mood for more incarcerated Brian Cox, then look no further than this slick film debut from Ruper Wyatt (also co-writing with Daniel Hardy), who would go on to burnish his CV with Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes three year's later. When Cox's Northern Irish convict Frank Perry receives a letter saying his junkie daughter is gravely ill, he sets in motion an escape plan, but must contend with the prison kingpin as well as masterminding the breakout. Cox, who was an executive producer on the film described it as a "love project" - and it shows. Tough and absorbing, the escape itself is intercut with the build up to it, resulting in double the tension. Read our full review.
Mistress America, Tuesday, August 25, 2.10am
A reminder that it's still possible to make a satisfying screwball comedy, this warm-hearted film from Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig channels a similar female energy to their previous writing collaboration Frances Ha. Gerwig plays Brooke, who blasts like a whirlwind into the life of freshman and her stepsister-to-be Tracy (Lola Kirke). As Brooke's imagination takes flight, Tracy barely has time to catch her breath - and neither do we as Baumbach takes us on a road trip to Connecticut and the edge of farce after Brooke's plans threaten to crumble, deftly skewering the American dream as he goes. Read our full review.
Madagascar, E4, Sunday, August 30, 7.15pm
A host of sequels and spin-offs followed in the wake of this animation from the Dreamworks stable. Some are a step up, in particular, Penguins Of Madagascar, but this family-friendly original is still worth a revisit. The key to its enjoyment are the carefully crafted characters, including hypochondriac giraffe Melman, wise-cracking zebra Marty and lion Alex - whose dream of experiencing life in the wild leads them all on an adventure to the African island of the title. With a voice cast including David Schwimmer, Ben Stiller and Sacha Baron Cohen as a pompous lemur, and unexpected developments as Alex begins to channel his wilder instincts, this is a likeable adventure that doesn't skimp on laughs. Read our full review.
The Angry Silence, Talking Pictures TV (Freeview Channel 81), Tuesday, August 25, 7pm
This social realist drama breaks with the usual cinematic portrayal of working class strikers as heroes, with writer Bryan Forbes depicting them instead as vengeful wildcats in the face of one man's right to look after his family. Richard Attenborough plays Curtis, the man who refuses to go on strike in the face of ostracisation, revealing the pressure his character is under in sudden bursts of emotion, flaring but quickly stifled. Controversial at the time, it even faced a brief ban in Welsh miners' clubs. In terms of the other actors, this is a bit rough around the edges but Attenborough's magnetic performance and the strong portrayal of women make this well worth a look.
On The President's Orders, BBC iPlayer until October 24
There have been several strong films about Philippines' president Rodrigo Duterte's violent 'war on drugs' in recent years - and this economical and focused documentary offers a good grounding in the situation, which has led to a rash of extra-judicial killings. Co-directors James Jones and Oliver Sabil offer an interesting perspective, in that they include considerable testimony from police as well as the residents of Caloocan city and they also have a keen eye for a strong image - from children in a graveyard to a haircut by candlelight. Those finding themselves intrigued by the funeral parlour director Eusebio, can hear more of his thoughts on his 'booming' business in Aswang, which screened at Sheffield Doc/Fest earlier this year. Read our full review.
Seabiscuit, Sony Movies (Freeview Channel 32), Saturday, August 29, 4.15pm
The true story of the little horse that became a racing superstar during the American Depression is given a comfortingly old-fashioned and glowing retelling in this film from Gary Ross. It focuses on a trio of men, self-made millionaire and horse owner Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges), Red Pollard (Toby Maguire), who finds himself working as jockey as a result of the economic crash and out-of-work cowboy Tom Smith (Chris Cooper), who finds himself training the fleet-footed champ. There's a tried and tested race track formula here and Ross sticks to the rails but the heartwarming truth of the story is so winning it's hard not to get hooked. Read our full review.
We've opted for a creepy little short this week, an early work from director Tom Geens, who went on to make the award-winning A Couple In A Hole ten years later, which saw Kate Dickie win a Scottish acting BAFTA. His ability to quickly generate mood is already full in evidence here.