Stay-at-Home Seven: April 1 to 7

Films to stream or catch on telly this week

by Amber Wilkinson

Eight For Silver
Eight For Silver Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Eight For Silver, Netflix, from Easter Monday

If the news that Leigh Whannell's Wolfman has been delayed until 2025 has left you howling, then this werewolf twist on the myth should help. Released in cinemas under the much more boring title The Cursed, Sean Ellis' atmospheric period horror is thankfully back under its old moniker for its Netflix release. A silver bullet extracted from a dead man near the start of the film, clues us into the territory we're entering as the film moves back in time to his childhood in rural France. When his heartless father massacres a Romany settlement, the children start to have nightmares... and then begin to disappear. As pathologist John McBride (Boyd Holbrook) suspects something supernatural is at work, Ellis plays around with the werewolf myth that draws on the idea of a beast consuming you from within. Visceral and stylish. read what Sean Ellis told us his approach to transforming the werewolf.

Bee Movie, 2.55pm, ITV2, Easter Monday

A comedy animation in the tradition of Antz, it is likely to appeal most to kids who appreciate an easygoing feelgood formula and existing fans of Jerry Seinfeld, who both co-wrote and provides the voice for lead bee Barry B Benson. As a fresh graduate from college, Barry is less than sure about his hive choices and finds himself befriending a human (Renee Zellweger) much to the upset of her boyfriend Adam (Matthew Broderick). Predictable silliness ensues but the humour is nicely pitched, with plenty of visual gags for the youngsters and just enough nods to more adult humour to keep the whole family engaged. Following its stint in cinemas, the film went on to create an unusual internet buzz some years later as the basis of a colony of memes, including a YouTube video that speeds up 15 per cent every time someone says the word "bee".

Tish, 9pm, BBC4, Easter Monday

This informative and moving documentary celebrates the talent of photographer Tish Murthy - whose extraordinary work at capturing the lives of the working class people she grew up with sadly went unsung in her lifetime. Her daughter Ella adds an engaging personal dynamic to this story as director Paul Sng expertly guides us, using her photos, from her life growing up in poverty in Elswick on the banks of the River Tyne, to the love affair with her camera that would last her a lifetime. Beyond showcasing some of her remarkable work, this film explores how Murthy actively took on her critics, while offering a stinging indictment of the Thatcher years' impact on the arts and considering the levers of social exclusion. Both a testimony to the photographer's work and a reminder that the inequalities she faced haven't been consigned to the history books.

The Mercy, 11.40pm, BBC2, Easter Monday Jennie Kermode writes:A Sunday magazine-style, last item on the news boy's own adventure takes a dark turn in James Marsh's take on the real life story of Donald Crowhurst, whose effort to build his own boat and win a sailing race around the world did not go to plan. Starring Colin Firth, who conjures up a remarkable resemblance to the real Crowhurst, it explores publicity as a double-edged sword, with financial pressures and the demands of sponsors pushing a daydreamer into a corner, creating a psychological trap from which he could not escape. There's a particular kind of romantic Englishness at the heart of the thing, that celebration of hope and ambition which all too easily loses sight of reality. Just when the story seems to be played out, a further emotional gut punch sends it further off its keel. Rachel Weisz is excellent as usual as the woman left behind to worry, and Eric Gautier's cinematography shines.

Trenque Lauquen, MUBI, from Wednesday

Don't be put off by the four-hour running time of this two-part film from Laura Ciatrella, it's well worth it. Her drama is as much about the nature of story and storytelling as it is the tale of a woman who has disappeared. Citarella folds stories of feminism and self-determination, of self-sacrifice and love into her narrative. Over the course of the films, the life of Laura (Laura Paredes) will be interrogated, while she, in turn, investigates other mysteries she encounters. This is a slowburn watch that isn't scared to glide between genres, including historical romance and science-fiction. As Citarella told us: "This is like a moving film, a mutant film. Suddenly you have these fantastical elements and they become like a detective-esque film, but then it is a little bit romantic and then it is contemplative. You don’t realise exactly the moment where the film changes, because it's changing all the time." Hers is a film of multiple pathways, each a journey worth taking.

Girls State, Apple TV+, from Friday, April 5

A companion piece, of sorts, to Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s Boys State this documentary about young women who join a similar programme that aims to build a democracy from scratch takes a very different tack. That's principally because of the everyday sexism that they encounter in the course itself. While the male equivalents all had 'crunchy' subjects like campaign running, the women face much less serious tasks, with things like cake decorating on the agenda. The youngsters themselves start to notice this - as this is the first time the two programmes have run on the same campus - and the film watches as they start to interrogate the hidden mechanisms that seem designed to hold them back. It has a less obvious arc than the first film but is fascinating in a different way.

Captain Phillips, 12.55am, BBC1, Sunday, April 7

A year after the story of the takeover, by pirates, of the MV Rozen was retold onscreen in A Hijacking, Paul Greengrass brought the real-life hijacking of the US cargo ship Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates to cinemas. Tom Hanks is the big name star, of course, and his performance does not disappoint. Phillips may have a surface calmness but we feel the fear lurking somewhere close by. He's matched by the concentrated performance from Barkhad Abdi as lead pirate Muse, whose character is fully fleshed out by Billy Ray's script. Greengrass had form for edge-of-seat tension with 9/11 film United 93 and he repeats the trick here as the situation escalates. Gripping from start to finish.

Given that it's Easter Monday, we've got a seasonal short for you this week. Slobodan Karajlovic's Easter Eggs.

Easter Eggs from Filmerija on Vimeo.

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