Stay-at-Home Seven: May 9 to 15

Films to watch on telly and streaming services this week

by Amber Wilkinson

Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire, 11.05pm, Film4, Monday, May 9

As always, Danny Boyle brings every ounce of energy to this tale of a teenager who finds himself under police interrogation after he is poised to win the jackpot on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Jamal Malik (played in the present by Dev Patel and Ayush Mahesh Khedekar and Tanay Hemant Chheda in flashbacks) relates the tale of how he came to know all the answers, as we see his childhood unfold in a blend of romance, humour and, of course, tragedy. Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy keep mainstream audiences firmly in their sights but there's plenty of home truths about the plight of street kids in India beneath its shiny surface.

The Personal History Of David Copperfield, on All4 catch up for a month

If Slumdog Millionaire is Dickensian in sweep, you can also treat yourself to the real thing on catch-up in our second film this week to star Dev Patel - in a performance that shows he has grown as an actor in the past decade or so. Young David Copperfield, like Jamal, also has a tale to tell and Armando Ianucci (co-writing with Simon Blackwell) also shows plenty of verve in the retelling as childhood grief gives way to a life of eccentricity and goodheartedness. As with most Dickens adaptations, half of the joy is in the character acting, with memorable turns here including Peter Capaldi as Mr Micawber, Hugh Grant as the delightfully dotty Mr Dick and Tilda Swinton as Copperfield's maiden aunt.

The Post, 6.45pm, Film4, May 10

More than 40 years after [film]All The President's Men[/film[, Steven Spielberg takes another run at events surrounding the Watergate Scandal and broadens it out to consider the way that The Washington Post locked horns with the Nixon Administration over the Pentagon Papers. Writers Liz Hannah and Josh Singer build the film around the relationship between the paper's 'accidental' owner Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) and its editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks). Streep's performance is a masterclass, as she tries to make her presence felt in a world of sexist attitudes. At once a celebration of the best of independent journalism and an exploration of class and social constraints that tried to keep everyone in their designated "places", Spielberg also never lets the tension slip.

The World Is Not Enough, 9pm, ITV4, Tuesday, May 10 There's something attractively 'old school' about Michael Apted's Bond tale, which sees the superspy lock horns with Robert Carlyle, perfectly cast as the villain of the piece. The plot revolves around Bond protecting a murdered oil magnate's daughter (Sophie Marceau) and Brosnan had firmly got the right twist to 007's Martini by this point, slipping smoothly between action sequences and the film's subtler moments in his third outing in the role. While the trajectory of a Bond film is never in doubt, this one takes an impressive run over the familiar jumps, and begins with one of the most impressive opening sequences in the franchise, involving a Thames boat chase.

All The Money In The World, 1.05am, Film4, Thursday, May 12

You might say 16-year-old John Paul Getty III was a victim of circumstance - kidnapped in Rome and with a grandfather who, despite being the richest man in the world, refused to pay the ransom. Ridley Scott's film also found itself in trouble not of its own making when Kevin Spacey - who was playing the billionnaire - became embroiled in sexual assault allegations just as the film was nearly finished. Scott made the decisive move of recasting and reshooting the relevant scenes with Christopher Plummer - a $10 million gamble that paid off as Plummer brings a charm to the miserly patriarch that stops him becoming a cartoon villain and netted himself BAFTA, Golden Globe and Oscar nominations in the process. The rest of the film, as you would expect from Scott, delights in the details, but it's Plummer who remains the biggest draw, his portrayal as rich as his character.

Early Man, 2.05pm, BBC2, Sunday, May 15

This may not be Aardman's finest hour but, then, the animators set a very high bar for themselves. Nick Park's film, while a little less fun than Wallace and Gromit's outings, 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 to a football game in a bid to win back their village. The voice cast are uniformly excellent, including Tom Hiddleston as the bad guy Lord Nooth, having a whale of a time with zee French vowelles and Maisie Williams as Goona, the gal who helps Dug's team shape up and pull together.

Thor, 6.50pm, Channel 4, Sunday, May 15

Some of the superhero tales of late could be accused of taking themselves too seriously but that's definitely not an accusation that could be levelled at Kenneth Brannagh's upbeat tale of the god who finds himself cast into the world of humankind. Chris Hemsworth makes for an amicable lead, somehow retaining a sweetness beneath his character's more bombastic tendencies as he tries to get to grips with life without his powers and Tom Hiddleston, yes him again, gets to have fun with another bad guy, this time the scheming Loki, who is much more ambiguous than usual villains of this ilk. Like many of the Marvel outings, some of the action scenes threaten to become a bit too much but this is, overall, an enjoyable romp.

This week's short selection is Juanjo Giménez's graceful and humanistic Timecode, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2017. He recently showed his ability to create an unusual mood in his short film work was no flash in the pan, with the excellent feature Out Of Sync. Double click below to watch it as full screen.

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