Stay-at-Home Seven: May 23 to 29

Our weekly round-up of films to catch on TV and streaming services

by Amber Wilkinson

The Revenant
The Revenant
The Revenant, 11pm, ITV4,  Monday, May 23

The weather may be warming up but this tale of a frontiersman bent on vengeance thrusts us back into a bleak midwinter. Even the name of Leonardo DiCaprio's character - Hugh Glass - suggests it might well shatter in the cold. Alejandro González Iñárritu's film excels in its action sequences, in particular, Glass's mauling, visceral encounter with a bear, which will set in motion his revenge mission against bad guy John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). DiCaprio deservingly won an Oscar for his role - something he certainly went the extra mile for, even eating raw bison liver despite being veggie (he reportedly said at the time that "the bad part is the membrane around it"). Although the film relies to a degree on stereotypes, it gets hold of you with an icy grip that's hard to shake.

Hobson's Choice, 3.50pm, Tuesday, Talking Pictures TV

The passing of more than six decades has done little to diminish the charms of this adaptation of Harold Brighouse's play about a domineering bootmaker whose daughter falls for his beleaguered employee (John Mills). Lean gets an opportunity to show his touch for comedy here, particularly in the boozy hallucinations of Hobson - played with suitable verve and bombastic screen presence by Charles Laughton. Featuring Prunella Scales in one of her earliest film roles, this remains an adept skewering of the class system with a sweet romance at its heart.

Sightseers, 2.40am, Film4, Sunday, May 29

You'll never look at a knitting pattern in quite the same way again after watching Ben Wheatley's dark tale of a caravaning couple who go on a killing spree. The frumpy and downtrodden Tina (Alice Lowe) is the last person you'd expect to turn murderous, which makes it all the more deliciously funny when, thanks to her new boyfriend Chris (Steve Oram), she does. Filled with potshots at the sort of passive aggressiveness small town Britain excels in - and a good dollop of gore - this is a bloody, and bloody funny treat. Read what Wheatley, Oram and Lowe said about the film here.

Not Suitable For Children,, free on demand

This cancer comedy - yes, you did read that right - went straight to DVD in the UK but it's well worth catching up with if you like your laughter to come with a bit of something to think about. Ryan Kwanten is Sydney playboy Jonah, who has a rude awakening when his latest one-night stand spots a lump on his testicle. After he's told the treatment he needs will make him infertile, he decides the raise is on to become a dad. Although there are some below the belt jokes to be hand, as befits a film featuring a cancerous testicle, there's a lot more going on in Michael Lucas' script than that, as he explores ideas around modern fears of commitment and illness - and he makes space for his female characters, with Sarah Snook just about stealing the film out from under Kwanten as one of Jonah's best pals.

The Miseducation Of Cameron Post, BBC iPlayer

The repugnant subject of gay conversion therapy has been back in the news of late and it gets roundly and wittily tackled by writer Desiree Akhavan in this Sundance Grand Jury winner, adapted from an Emily M Danforth novel. Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) finds herself packed off to a gay conversion therapy boarding school after being caught in a lesbian clinch. There born-again straight guy Reverend Rick (John Gallagher Jr) and his sister Lydia (Jennifer Ehle) attempt to show their wards the error of their ways - a move that is plainly ridiculous. Even though the idea of the place is to make the teenagers hate what they are, there's no self-doubt about Cameron, who quickly makes friends with others in the same predicament. Funny and moving by turns, the film's heartwarming message is that the kids would be all right, if you'd just let them be themselves.

A Hijacking,, free on demand

Jennie Kermode writes: Arriving on cinema screens the year before Paul Greengrass' Tom Hanks-starrer Captain Phillips, Tobias Lindholm's film brought the true account of a Somali pirate hijack of a boat in the Indian Ocean to the screen. The film benefits from its avoiding Hollywood gloss in favour of more documentary-style sweaty, gritty thrills with the action unfolding largely in the wake of the hijacking itself - no doubt added to by the fact that much of it was shot on a boat in similarly dangerous waters. As the ship's cook (Pilou Asbæk) finds himself trying to negotiate the ransom by phone with the CEO (Søren Malling) as the crew become pawns in a claustrophobic money game.

Patti Cake$, Disney+, from Friday

The story of a New Jersey kid who dreams of being a rapper may flirt with a lot of familiar ideas but Geremy Jasper's feature debut has enough energy to make you forgive all that - not least thanks to the breakout performance from Australian actress Danielle Macdonald at its heart. She became an instant Sundance star thanks to her ability to spit rhymes like a pro and there's an authenticity to the script that cuts through cliche. The film is also notable for the supporting turn by cabaret-star-turned-actress Bridget Everett, who proves there's a lot more to her game than 'funny side-kick' as Patti's drunken and emotionally complex mum Barb.

And we've got a slice of animation for you as our short selection this week, Karolina Specht's An Incredibly Elastic Man.

Nieprawdopodobnie elastyczny czlowiek / An incredibly elastic man from Karolina Specht on Vimeo.

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