Stay-at-Home Seven: July 4 to 10

Films to watch on TV and streaming services this week

by Amber Wilkinson

Cold War
Cold War
Cold War, 2.10am, Film4, Tuesday, July 5

Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski followed up on his Oscar-winning Ida with this beautifully crafted tale of doomed romance. Though the film lost out in its own Oscar race to the equally exquisitely shot Roma, it would have been just as worthy a winner. Inspired by his own parents' relationship, Pawlikowski charts the relationship between music director Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and free-spirited singer Zula (Joanna Kulig, outstanding) as they find themselves on different sides of the Iron Curtain. Shot with such immersive verve you feel as though you could melt into the Sixties, this is a masterpiece in a minor key.

Trainspotting, 11.25pm, Film4, Wednesday, July 6

Danny Boyle's films come at you at the gallop and this blackly comic drama is no exception, starting as it means to go on with Renton (Ewan McGregor) legging it up Princes Street. Adapted from Irvine Welsh's cult novel, this film about the lives of a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh this film made household names of then youngish stars Robert Carlyle - rarely more scary than is here - McGregor, Kelly Macdonald and the rest. Boyle's brutal bounce has lost little of its impact with the passing of the years. Looking for something to watch? As Renton might say: "Choose this".

Dangerous Liaisons, 9pm, BBC4, Thursday, July 7

The sexual scheming of the 18th century French aristocracy is brought to vivid life in Stephen Frears' costume drama, adapted by the consistently good Christopher Hampton and propelled by star power. John Malkovich and Glenn Close spark off each other as a rake and a marquis embarked in psychosexual gamesmanship over the bedding of a virginal youngster (Uma Thurman), which spirals into a greater challenge - the deflowering of the virtuous and God-fearing Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer). Although Malkovich flirts with overplaying his character, Close skewers every line with precision and Pfeiffer's performance also fits the brittle Madame like a silk glove.

Rebecca, 5.25pm, Talking Pictures TV, Friday, July 8

Alfred Hitchock's only Best Picture Oscar winner is a masterclass in the slow creep of fear. The second of three films Hitch would adapt from Daphne Du Maurier books - after Jamaica Inn and before The Birds - he was forced to remain largely faithful to the source material by producer David O Selznick, in what was his first American film. Joan Fontaine - who would go on to win an Oscar the following year for Suspicion - puts in a gripping performance as the new wife of a widower (Laurence Olivier) who moves to his Manderlay mansion only to find herself living under the shadow of her predecessor. Equally impressive is Judith Anderson as sinister housekeeper Mrs Danvers. Go to Manderlay - for the first time or again - and you won't regret it.

Spider-Man: Homecoming, 10.30pm, BBC1, Saturday, July 9

One of the more successful reboots of the Marvel universe, Tom Holland's Spidey is a likeable lad, with this entry in the franchise striking an enjoyable balance between crime-fighting/world-saving element and coming-of-age themes. Director Jon Watts steps up from the rock-bottom of Cop Car to CGI Central with the skill of a director (and co-writer) who remembers no matter how much web slinging or exploding is going on, character must come first. Holland, a younger actor than previous incarnations, finds it easier to slip under the skin of the teenager, while the supporting cast all make their mark, with Marisa Tomei, as Peter's Aunt May again reminding the world what a travesty is she doesn't get cast front and centre more often.

The Girl And The Spider, MUBI

Ramon Zürcher and Silvan Zürcher have a style that's all of their own, making tensions spring up from what have previously appeared to be the most benign of environments. Their follow up to Strange Little Cat centres on  Lisa (Liliane Amuat) who is preparing to move from the place she shares with Mara (Henriette Confurius) and Markus (Ivan Georgiev) and into a new one where she will live alone. A real spider will make its presence felt across this web of relationships but the mood is dominated by the desire for connections that ebbs and flows over the course of a couple of days.

In The Loop, BBC iPlayer

As the various governmental scandals rumble on, why not remind yourself of when satire still sounded like an exaggeration of fact rather than a documentary? Armando Ianucci shows no signs of nerves as he makes his directorial debut and transports The Thick Of It's Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) into a trans-Atlantic web of spin, as politicians in the US and Britain spar for and against an unnamed war in the Middle East. Battle lines are drawn between Secretary Of State Linton Barwick (David Rasche) - who is gung-ho for a fight - and dove-like General (James Gandolfini) and US Assistant Secretary for Diplomacy Karen Clarke (Mimi Kennedy) as hapless minister for Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) and his aide Toby (Chris Addison) find themselves in deep. All this complexity is garnished with a heavy sprinkling of Iannucci one-liners delivered with precision by the excellent cast as he spins it to win it. Read our interviews with Gandolfini and Kennedy, Addison, Iannucci and Capaldi

You'll need to pop over to Vimeo to watch this week's short selection. It's Justin Perkinson's Spider Fang!

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