Stay-At-Home Seven: June 21 to 27

Telly and streaming picks for the coming week

by Amber Wilkinson

Philly D.A.
Philly D.A. Photo: Yoni Brook
Philly D.A., BBC Four, 10pm and 11pm, Tuesday and repeated Thursday at 11.40pm and 12.40pm

These first two episodes of  Yoni Brook, Ted Passon's eight part documentary series are so good that they were packaged up as a film and played extensively on the festival circuit last year. They follow Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner - who many see as the very definition of poacher turned gamekeeper as prior to taking the job he was a long-serving civil rights lawyer who sued the Philadelphia PD more than 70 times. Krasner is a progressive - and was elected on that mandate - and these first two episodes of what promises to be an excellent series show how he immediately locks horns with many of the old-timers in his department. Krasner is not a man that hangs about and the documentarians, while clearly hoping he succeeds, make room for other voices to be heard as those who consider themselves progressive find themselves uncomfortably on the opposite side of the argument. Read the full review of episodes one and two.

Early Man, BBC1, 2.45pm, Sunday, June 25

It's true that this isn't Aardman's finest hour but if your kids have been hooked on the Euro Football Championships then this is likely to prove an easy win in their schedule. Nick Park's film, while a little less fun than usual, still offers plenty of sight gags, as feisty caveman Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne) and his faithful hog Hobnob challenge a group of French invaders (led by Tom Hiddleston having a whale of a time with zee French vowelles) to a football game in a bid to win back their village. Read the full review.

Anomalisa, Film4, 1.55am, Thursday, June 24

A very different type of stop-motion that is certainly not for children is employed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson in this story of a man who is struggling to connect with others - that offers a melancholy insight into the human condition. Michael Stone (voiced with world weariness by David Thewlis) is a customer service guru who has arrived at a conference, where everyone else, no matter what their sex, looks the same and speaks with the same voice (that of Tom Noonan). When Michael meets an exception - Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) - her difference is as bright as the noonday sun to him. This is a sweetly warm and humanistic film that captures the small moments that make us tick, while also offering rather more scathing satire of corporatisation and consumerism. Read our full review.

Casablanca, BBC2, 4.50pm, Saturday, June 26

Infinitely quotable and featuring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart at the top of their game, there's little wonder Michael Curtiz's film about impossible choices and a reunion between old lovers regularly makes it into lists of favourites. The secondary players are all from the top drawer, too, with Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre all puting in memorable performances. It's the heart of the matter that really makes the film tick, however, and scenes between Bergman and Bogart are economical as well as emotionally rich. Plus, of course, there's the song, As Time Goes By, which gains resonance the more you think about it. Read our full review.

The Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part One, Film4, 6.40pm, Friday, June 25

One of the more successful teenage action franchises in recent years, this film is a bit more brooding than those that have gone before but still has plenty to say about the modern world  of mass media as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is groomed as the figurehead of the revolution - a role that she is less than keen to fill. Inevitably, as Part One of two, this is not as successfully standalone as other films but it still has an enjoyably rebellious streak as Lawrence brings her A-game to the challenges Katniss is up against in the face of the evil president (Donald Sutherland), who has taken Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) prisoner and is using him as a propaganda pawn. The strength of the characters helps this blend of satire, teen romance and action hold together and sets up the final part of the series neatly. Read our full review.

Ice Age, E4, 4.55pm, Saturday, June 26

This amiable prehistoric buddy comedy might not be in quite the same league as some of Pixar's output but it has its moments and is likely to hold particular appeal for the youngest of audiences - certainly they must be doing something right as the series is due to get its sixth instalment, Ice Age: Adventures Of Buck Wild, next year. Here mismatched chums Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo, who deserves to have his unanimated face on camera a lot more) and Manny the Mammoth (Ray Romano) find themselves trying to protect a baby, while saber-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary) who has been sent to capture the kid finds his loyalties torn. The best thing about the film - and, indeed, much of the franchise - is the slapstick character squirrel-like Scrat, whose silent movie failed attempts to get hold of a nut recall the best of Looney Tunes and have gone on to give him a starring role in a series of shorts. Read our full review.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Great! Movies (Freeview channel 33), 6.35pm, Thursday, June 24

Ang Lee's martial arts epic is a thing of sweeping beauty that also features plenty of martial arts mastery and a solid slice of romance. An undeclared love hangs between Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) and  Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh), while at the opposite end of the romance spectrum, a clandestine affair is being conducted by outlaw Lo (Chang Chen) and the higher class Jen (Zhang Ziyi) who, as is the way of such things, is destined to married off to someone else. The action comes courtesy of a stolen sword that sees these tales woven together with prowess and a lot of exquisitely graceful action sequences. Impressive even on a small screen. Read our full review.

Our short selection is Abraham Adeyemi's No More Wings, which explores the way friendships can change down the years as the past meets the present for two men at a childhood haunt. If you're interested in reading more about what he's up to, he wrote an interesting article about his experience of Channel 4's 4Screenwriting programme.

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We're looking forward to the 25th edition of Fantasia, horror favourite Frightfest and the 55th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

We've recently covered the Cannes Film Festival, Tribeca, the Cheltenham International Film Festival, Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ festival Inside Out, New York's Human Rights Watch Film Festival and New Directors/New Films.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.