Stay-At-Home Seven: May 17 to 24

Films to watch on TV and streaming services this week

by Amber Wilkinson

Double Indemnity
Double Indemnity
Welcome to this week's Stay-At-Home Seven - the UK maybe, thankfully, opening back up again but there's still plenty to catch on TV if you are staying in. As thoughts turn to hugging our loved ones this week, we've also turned our Streaming Spotlight on families.

Double Indemnity, Sony Pictures Classic (Freeview channel 51), 6.45pm, Wednesday, May 19

Featuring dialogue that rattles on with the pace of a freight train and the hand of master craftsman Billy Wilder at the tiller, this sizzler of a thriller has lost little of its grip down the decades. Fred MacMurray plays against his usual nice-guy type as salesman Walter Neff, whose path crosses that of Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) with the crackle of desire. The only fly in the ointment is Phyllis' husband and so the pair plot what they hope will be the perfect crime. Told in a flashback that suggests the plan may not have been as watertight as they imagined, this film is so taut you could bounce a coin off it. Fun fact: Wilder was so fed up when he didn't snag any Oscars that he deliberately tripped up Going My Way director Leo McCarey as he went to pick up his Best Director gong. Read our full review.

The Florida Project, Film4, 11.55pm, Monday, May 17

Sean Baker's Oscar-nominated film about a precocious six-year-old and her mum is a candy-coloured exploration of life on the fringes in America. The Magic Castle hotel might not hold many tricks up its sleeve for single mum Hallee (Bria Vinaite) but it's an enchanted playground so far as little Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her friends are concerned. They run - and skip and frolic - through the film with an infectious energy, while illustrating the unique pressures that exist for those families who live in these sorts of circumstances. Young Prince is a natural and it's a treat to see Willem Dafoe in a warmer role for once, as the benevolent Magic Castle manager Bobby trying to nudge the older members of the community into line. Read our full review.

Blues Brothers, ITV4, 9pm, Thursday, May 20

If you like great music and the sight of a good cinematic car crash - and who doesn't? - then this anarchic tale of two criminal brothers (Dan Akroyd and John Belushi) trying to raise the cash to save the orphanage where they grew up is hard to beat. No fewer than 103 cars go to meet their maker across the course of a film that sees music royalty like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Cab Calloway pop in to lend a tune. John Landis' film famously went off-schedule and over budget, not least because of John Belushi's drug use, with Aykroyd on the record as saying they "had a budget for cocaine". Still, none of that trouble comes across on screen, just the extreme amount of fun that seems to be being had. Sunglasses and a full tank of gas required. Read our full review.

Get Low, Sony Movies (Freeview channel 33), 5.55pm, Tuesday, May 18

This engaging fable from Aaron Schneider, loosely rooted in a true story, stars Robert Duvall as the curmudgeonly Felix, a hermit who has lived so long on his own that no end of myths have sprung up about him in the local community. Fearing he is reaching the end of his life, he decides to throw his own funeral party in an attempt to lay to rest the ghosts of the past. Schneider had been a career cinematographer up to this point and it shows in the way the film drinks in the landscape. The ending may be a little predictable and tending towards schmaltz but these are small quibbles with an entertaining exercise that also offers fine support from Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray and Lucas Black, whose character is reminiscent of a grown up version of American Gothic's Caleb Temple. Murray is also involved with Schneider's latest project, Bum's Rush, voicing a stray dog who strikes up a relationship with Anne Hathaway's bootmaker. Read our full review.

The Secret In Their Eyes, Amazon Prime, from May 14

Argentinian filmmaker Juan José Campanella masterfully blends romance and thriller elements to tell  a tale of unrequited love, set against the backdrop of political upheaval in Argentina while also offering up a crime mystery as the central character Benjamín Esposito (Ricardo Darín), a court employee, attempts to unravel a murder that happened a quarter of a century ago. That said, Campanella would dispute the use of the term 'thriller', he told us: "I don't think that it's a 'thriller', there are no deaths seen in the movie, there's a body but we actually don't see any violence" - all of which is true, but the director works wonders with implication as Benjamín tries to unravel the truth about the rape and murder of a woman in a story that runs neatly alongside a will they/won't they? romance between Benjamín and his boss Irene (Soledad Villamil). Beyond the deftness of the script, the craft of the film is also on point, including a lynchpin scene which sees the camera swoop down from the sky into a football stadium where Benjamín in what looks like a single take. Read our full review.

The Night Listener, Sony Movies (Freeview channel 33), Sunday, May 23, 12.55am

This got a mention in our Streaming Spotlight on films centring on radio a couple of weeks ago, but it's worth another mention as this week you can catch it for free. Adapted from Armistead Maupin's book, which the writer describes as "a thriller of the heart", Robin Williams stars as Gabriel Noone, a late-night radio host who forms an unusual relationship with a teenager who is dying of AIDS. When something happens to make him question the veracity of what he has been told about the boy, he embarks on an obsessive journey to discover the truth. Much is often made of Williams comic timing but he also brought a resonant emotional depth to serious roles like this one and his measured, understated performance here is one of his best.

Ida, Film4, Tuesday May 18, 2.10am

Quietly contemplative, Pawel Pawlikowski's tale of a novice nun who meets the aunt she didn't know she had is unfussy and absorbing, 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. Read our interview with Pawlikowski and our full review.

This week's short selection is Joanna Quinn's Britannia an animated and sharply satirical consideration of the rise and fall of the British empire and imperialism that, if anything, has only gathered weight since it was made in 1993.

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