Stay-At-Home Seven: May 10 to 16

Telly and streaming suggestions for the week ahead

by Amber Wilkinson

Capernaum
Capernaum
Capernaum, 11.40pm Monday Film4

The plight of children on the poverty line in Lebanon is put front and centre by Nadine Labaki's neorealist drama about youngster Zain (Zain Al Rafeea, in a performance that doesn't just show him as a victim but as a kid who is railing furiously against the injustices he faces), who runs away from home after his parents sell his sister. The story unfolds in two strands - one showing him scraping by on the street and the other in the confines of a courtroom where he is suing his parents for neglect. Although Labaki leans into the melodrama a little heavily in places, this is nevertheless a deeply affecting film that grips at a visceral level. Al Rafeea is now resettled in Norway, something Labaki told us about. Read our full review.

Tyrannosaur, Thursday, 1.25am Film4

Peter Mullan has carved out a career of strong performances that frequently inner conflict to the fore and he puts in another here in Paddy Considine's directorial debut, which also gave Olivia Colman the opportunity to demonstrate her serious acting prowess beyond her, at that point, more common comedic roles. Mullan plays Joseph, a man on the brink of a constant simmering rage. He strikes up an unusual relationship with a charity shop assistant (Colman), who we come to discover is on the receiving end of violence at the hands of her husband (Eddie Marsan, smaller role, no lesser performance), despite outward appearances. This is a brutal film - but while a more experienced director might have let in a little more light - Considine proves impeccable in eliciting intense performances from the cast. Read our full review.

Twelve Monkeys, BBC iPlayer

Terry Gilliam's Kafkaesque tale of a man sent back through time in a bid to prevent a deadly pandemic finds a fresh resonance in our current Covid world. A lover of twisty conundrums and twisting plots - it might give you your own eerie feeling of deja vu when Bruce Willis's character utters the words, "All I see are dead people" four years before he would make Sixth Sense. Willis plays James Cole, a man on a mission from the future to stop terrorists in the past, and who finds himself mixed up with a psychiatrist (Madeleine Stowe) and a crazy animal rights activist (Brad Pitt, enjoyably unhinged). The look is everything you'd hope from Gilliam, dovetailing his dystopian future world - where plastic is the name of the sartorial game - with a grungy 90s Baltimore and the plot, while taking a while to find its stride, is a satisfyingly ambiguous puzzle box. Read our full review.

The Fits, BBC iPlayer

Anna Rose Holmer's lean and engaging debut is a poised character study of Toni (exceptional newcomer Royalty Hightower, who has done less than you might expect since) an adolescent who is exploring what she wants from her own identity. She finds herself torn between the boxing world she has become immersed in via her brother and the very sort of different camaraderie that is offered by the all-girls drill team - a type of group dance that is popular in the US. Holmer explores the way that people adopt an identity or an attitude according to their chosen tribe, showing how Toni's different 'look' keeps her on the fringes while, as the film progresses, exploring the psychological pressures at play as first one girl and then more begin to experience to "the fits" of the title. Beautifully choreographed with the help of movement consultant Celia Rowlson-Hawll so that all the action has a fluid quality, the emphasis is on the physicality of what is happening, reinforced by a strong clapping beat in the score from Dani Bensi and Saunder Juriaans as Toni decides to what degree she wants to fit in. Read our interviews with the composers and director, plus our full review.

Hot Fuzz, ITV 2, Friday

Edgar Wright had a tough act to follow after his debut zombie spoof Shaun Of The Dead but he solidly replicates the joy with this warmly made parody of an American buddy cop movie that, like Shaun, finds much of its humour in eccentric Britishness. The film reunites Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as a hot-shot city cop sent to the countryside and his small town sidekick who find themselves on the trail of a killer. Pegg and Frost spark off one another perfectly as Wright manages to inject just the right level of silliness while maintaining the action adrenaline. Read our full review.

Manchester By The Sea, 11.20pm, Friday 14th, BBC2

Casey Affleck deservedly took home an Oscar for his intense central performance in Kenneth Longeran's film as Lee, a janitor who finds himself thrust back into his home town by the sudden death of his brother and given the guardianship of his nephew (Lucas Hedges matching Affleck step for step). Affleck's performance - which he told us he knew would be "a challenging and scary part" - allows the pain at the core of his character to shine out from beneath the gruffness as Longeran gradually lets his tragedy unfold with a graceful and effective sweep. Read our interview with Longeran and our full review.

Boyhood, Amazon Prime, until May 16

There's a last chance to see Richard Linklater's tale of childhood that was a dozen years in the making before it disappears from Amazon Prime this month. A brave undertaking, that required long-term commitment from the cast, he charts the story of Mason (Ellar Coltrane), from the age of six on up, and his family - single mum (Patricia Arquette), weekend dad Mason Snr (Ethan Hawke) and his sister Samantha (Linklater's daughter Lorelei). The result is fascinating, not least because it shows how Linklater has developed as a filmmaker over the intervening years. At the outset, he throws a considerable amount of narrative drivers at the film - divorce tensions, new relationships, trouble behind closed doors - but as he matures as a filmmaker, the action becomes much less motivated by the events than by the inner workings of the characters and is all the more moving for the switch. Read what the director and cast said about the film and our full review.

Our short selection this week is offbeat comedy The Wednesdays, directed by Conor Ferguson, that sees an elderly couple come up with an unusual way of spicing things up a bit.

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