Stay-At-Home Seven: July 26-31

TV and streaming picks for the coming week

by Amber Wilkinson


Welcome to this week's Stay-at-Home Seven. If you're looking for more streaming inspiration, our most recent Spotlight column has headed to the beach.

Paddington, 5.15pm, Film4, Monday, July 26

As big-hearted as film adaptations come, this film version of Peru's favourite bear has one eye on the nostalgia of adults who grew up with the TV series and another hand outstretched to a whole new generation. The story of Paddington's arrival in London is told from the beginning and features plenty of moments youngsters will remember from the books, including lots of glorious slapstick and the perfectly suited voice talent of Ben Whishaw. Hugh Grant might go on to take the glorious villainy crown in the sequel, but Nicole Kidman's evil taxidermist is a close second. Have marmalade sandwiches on standby for snacking. Read our full review

Unsane, 9pm, Film4, Monday, July 26

There might be a whiff of the predictable about this psychological thriller from Steven Soderbergh but even though he and his writers Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer telegraph quite a few of the plot points, it all adds to its oddly retro charm. He's also very lucky to have Claire Foy in the central role, throwing herself wholeheartedly into the sweaty panic of Sawyer, whose life has been going south since she discovered she has a stalker (Joshua Leonard). When she finds herself admitted to a mental hospital for a week, she becomes convinced her stalker is on the staff, with the question being, will any of the staff - or us - believe her? Famous at the time of release because it was shot on an iPhone, the squared off ratio and flat lighting do add to the claustrophobic chill. Read our full review.

Chappaquiddick (aka The Senator), 11.15pm, BBC2, Wednesday, July 28, then on iPlayer

Andrew Robertson writes: The Senator is Edward Moore, "Ted", of the Kennedys. Youngest of nine, Presidential potential. Until a death, another in the litany of loss. Director John Curran is no stranger to famous faces but also has an eye for the (based on a) true story. Writers Andrew Logan and Taylor Allen have more experience in other roles, yet for a debut feature this is confident in complexities. With strong performances throughout, Jason Clarke's one of many where resemblances start to become uncanny, it achieves further depth of recreation too through cinematography, sound. Everything else is circumstance, setting. The film's alternate title is Chappaquiddick, named for the island. Renamed, it is still a position of power, and how it changes everything around it. Read our full review.

Jamaica Inn, 1pm Great! Movies, Thursday, July 29

Coming hot on the heels of The Lady Vanishes the year before, Alfred Hitchcock's Daphne du Maurier adaptation - which would later be eclipsed by his big screen renderings of Rebecca and The Birds - was less than glowingly received on its release - described as "merely journeyman melodrama" by the New York Times and reportedly hated so much by Daphne du Maurier she almost didn't give him the rights to Rebecca. That, perhaps, was as much to do with how high Hitchcock had set the bar for himself, but this tale of sinister goings on at the titular guesthouse is well worth a look for Charles Laughton's over-the-top central turn as the swaggering uncle of heroine Mary (Maureen O'Hara). It may not be peak Hitch but it still shows his keen eye for visuals and commands a certain gothic charm. Read our full review.

Golden Eye, 9pm, ITV3, Friday, July 20

Pierce Brosnan - who had previously turned down the role of Bond due to contractual obligations with TV show Remington Steele - finally stepped into the shoes of 007 for this 1995 revival of the franchise that had ground to a bit of a halt with Timothy Dalton's Licence To Kill six years earlier. In a fierce update all round, there was also a female M (Judi Dench) and a new Miss Moneypenny (Samantha Bond). This time around the super-spy is on the heels of a Russian general (Gottfried John) and his deadly comrade (Famke Janssen), who provides a whole new meaning to 'having a crush' on someone. Brosnan brings plenty of suave charm to the role, while director Martin Campbell gives the action scenes a modern feel while nodding to earlier films in the franchise. Read our full review.

Looted, 11.05pm, BBC2, Friday, July 30

Rob (Charley Palmer Rothwell), who nicks cars in between looking after his terminally ill dad Oswald (Tom Fisher), is drifting through his life. This is criminal enterprise in a minor key as the suspicion is he does it as much to retain his connection with his bullying mate Leo (Thomas Turgoose in a much tougher role than his usual Jack the lad) as he does through any love of the sport. The possibility of a more equal and caring connection is potentially offered by Leo's girlfriend Kasia (Morgane Polanksi) but first-time director Rene van Pannevis handles this relationship with a lightness of touch. Pannevis finds sharp moments of emotional truth, whether it's Rob pressing ice cubes onto his eyes to stop himself crying or the presence of Kasia that suddenly offers the potential to bridge the emotional gap between himself and his father. The sense of 'no escape' is also heightened throughout, from the unnatural highs Rob tries to get from drink and drugs to Oswald's terminal illness. The film combines its indie drama dad and son relationship dynamics - with Pannevis drawing on his own experience of caring for his terminally ill dad, who had asbestos-related cancer -  with a wider consideration of northern English industrial towns in decay. Hartlepool, where the film is shot, also seems to be drifting with little prospect of escape, although the film holds a hopeful note to the last. Read our full review.

Home Alone, 6.55pm, E4, Saturday, July 31

A little out of season, perhaps, but  the film that catapulted Macaulay Culkin to the big time is always worth a watch. John Hughes was inspired to write the film by a scene in John Candy-starrer Uncle Buck - which Culkin also appeared in - which is based on the simple premise of Culkin's Kevin being left home alone and forced to fend off a pair of burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). Employing the sort of slapstick and weapon ingenuity usually confined to cartoons, Hughes and director Chris Columbus have a blast showing the kid getting the better of the thieves. There's a sugar rush, candy coloured vibe to proceedings - but then who doesn't like a bit of Christmas in July? Read our full review.

Our short selection this week is accomplished stop-motion animation The Astronomer's Son, directed by Simon Cartwright and Jessica Cope, who has gone on to a particularly eclectic career that includes both a Metallica video and Postman Pat.

The Astronomer's Sun from Jessica Cope on Vimeo.

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More news and features

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