From Passing to Ad Astra: the seven best films to watch on TV this week | Movies

Decide of the week


Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson in Passing.
Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson in Passing. {Photograph}: Netflix

Rebecca Corridor’s first movie as director is an assured therapy of a 1929 novel by Harlem Renaissance author Nella Larsen. It’s the story of two light-skinned Black girls in New York and the other ways through which they “move” for white – curiously, shot in black-and-white, so all pores and skin tones are shades of gray. Tessa Thompson performs Harlem physician’s spouse Irene, settled in her bourgeois lifetime of charity work and cliquey soirees. Former schoolfriend Clare (Ruth Negga, channelling Tennessee Williams) has hid her racial identification to the extent of getting a white, racist husband. After they meet by probability, Clare brings pleasure but in addition disruption to the emotionally repressed Irene’s routine.
Wednesday 10 November, Netflix


Tom Hanks and Caleb Landry Jones (as Jeff the robot) in Finch.
Tom Hanks and Caleb Landry Jones (as Jeff the robotic) in Finch. {Photograph}: Karen Kuehn/Apple TV+

Mr Dependable, Tom Hanks, sprinkles his twinkly-eyed everyman stardust on Miguel Sapochnik’s partaking post-apocalypse drama. His eponymous engineer, alone and ailing in St Louis after a photo voltaic flare-inspired catastrophe has left the planet irradiated and dust-blown, builds a robotic, Jeff, to take care of his pet canine when he’s gone. However when a superstorm approaches, the trio have to hit the highway: vacation spot San Francisco. Jeff (voiced by Caleb Landry Jones) has a definite Brief Circuit air to it, which can endear or annoy because it learns about human and canine foibles alike.
Out now, Apple TV+

Portrait of a Woman on Fireplace

Noémie Merlant (left) and Adèle Haenel in Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
Noémie Merlant (left) and Adèle Haenel in Portrait of a Woman on Fireplace. {Photograph}: AP

This luxurious, sensuous drama from the nice French film-maker Céline Sciamma follows Noémie Merlant’s late 18th-century artist Marianne to an island off the coast of Brittany. There, she is commissioned to create a portrait of a younger woman, Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), for her supposed husband – however in secret, as Héloïse refuses to marry and even sit for the portray. The ruse quickly collapses and the two girls start a febrile love affair in an all-female setting freed from the male gaze – with the act of seeing and being seen shifting from restrictive to liberating.
Saturday 6 November, 9pm, BBC 4

I Was a Male Warfare Bride

Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan in I Was a Male War Bride.
Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan in I Was a Male Warfare Bride.
{Photograph}: twentieth Century Fox/Allstar

What a pleasure it’s to see Cary Grant taking part in off a powerful feminine lead. To the likes of Katharine Hepburn and Irene Dunne may be added Ann Sheridan in Howard Hawks’s 1949 comedy, set in postwar Berlin. Her US Military officer has a working relationship of “sexual antagonism”, as she dubs it, with Cary Grant’s French captain, which predictably leads to love. Grant’s typically subversive take on masculinity in his roles is to the fore right here – to the extent of him donning feminine clothes – in a massively entertaining caper.
Sunday 7 November, 3.55pm, Speaking Footage TV

Ad Astra

Brad Pitt in Ad Astra.
Brad Pitt in Ad Astra. {Photograph}: twentieth Century Fox/Allstar

Echoes of Apocalypse Now abound in James Grey’s beautiful-looking, portentous sci-fi drama. Astronaut Roy (Brad Pitt) finds his skilled insouciance crumbling when he’s despatched to Neptune to find the supply of power bursts that threaten the Earth – and which can come from his long-lost father (Tommy Lee Jones, in the Kurtz position). Shot in a stately vogue underpinned by Roy’s pensive voiceover, it’s a slow-burning story, punctuated by impressively realised scenes of peril.
Wednesday 10 November, Amazon Prime Video

My Father and Me

Nick Broomfield with his father Maurice.
Nick Broomfield along with his father Maurice. {Photograph}: Lafayette Movie Ltd

Documentary film-maker Nick Broomfield’s father, Maurice, was certainly one of Britain’s main postwar industrial photographers, creating fantastically lit, romanticised pictures of manufacturing unit employees (on show from at present in an exhibition at the V&A in London). Nick is a extra political, off-the-cuff observer of life and, as such, was initially a disappointment to his mother or father. Right here, the son reassesses his relationship with a person who was a conscientious objector, married a Jewish Czech wartime refugee and owned a Gypsy caravan. It’s a household historical past that additionally serves as a bracingly trustworthy self-portrait.
Wednesday 10 November, 10pm, BBC 4

Lioness: The Nicola Adams Story

Lioness: The Nicola Adams Story
Lioness: The Nicola Adams Story. {Photograph}: Amazon Prime Video

Though girls’s boxing is now an accepted a part of the sporting world (at the least on the novice aspect), the story of Olympic champion Nicola Adams exhibits how hard-won that success has been. Helena Coan’s bruising documentary highlights Jane Crouch’s makes an attempt in the 90s to normalise feminine participation, a baton that handed to a gutsy lady from Leeds with ADHD and a violent father (he denies the allegation), who overcame pig-headed resistance to equality from gyms, the media and the boxing authorities. How she nonetheless got here up smiling is a surprise to witness.
Friday 12 November, Amazon Prime Video

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