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The End We Start From to Federer: Twelve Final Days – the seven best films to watch on TV this week
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The End We Start From to Federer: Twelve Final Days – the seven best films to watch on TV this week

Pick of the week

The End We Start From

When Britain is hit by extreme storms, Jodie Comer’s unnamed first-time mum, her husband (Joel Fry) and their newborn son flee flooded London for his parents’ rural home. But as supplies run out and the population descends into anarchy, she finds herself a refugee in her own country. Comer is magnetic as a woman forced to make snap decisions about the important things in life, while hugging her baby through moments of peril. Dystopian fiction is a handy way to distil human morality to its essentials, and in Mahalia Belo’s stirring drama, it all comes down to the meaning of home, motherhood – and how best to connect with the world.
Netflix, Wednesday 19 June

Federer: Twelve Final Days

Federer: Twelve Final Days.View image in fullscreen

With their eulogy for the tennis great, Asif Kapadia and Joe Sabia have created a new subgenre: the “cry-on-the-wall documentary”. Between the announcement of his retirement at 41 and his farewell competition, the Laver Cup in London, there are floods of tears – from the thoroughly nice Roger, his family and friends, sporting bestie Rafa Nadal, even Novac Djokovic. And don’t think you’ll be immune either, as you follow the “Baryshnikov” of tennis (courtesy John McEnroe) in his last weeks as a pro, interspersed with flashbacks to his storied career.
Thursday 20 June, Prime Video

A Man for All Seasons

Robert Shaw and Paul Scofield in A Man for All Seasons.View image in fullscreen

While we wait for the final tranche of Wolf Hall, here’s Robert Bolt’s take on a related tale from the court of Henry VIII – the life and death of Thomas More. It’s a smart political drama, with Paul Scofield reprising his Tony-winning lead role from the original play (and adding an Oscar to his collection). He is mesmeric as the royal adviser, humble and honest but a little too certain in his faith. And it’s this religious pride that gets him into hot water with the king (a hair-trigger Robert Shaw) – and Leo McKern’s scheming Thomas Cromwell – when Henry requires a divorce.
Saturday 15 June, 1.55pm, BBC Two

Bonnie and Clyde

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in Bonnie And Clyde.View image in fullscreen

A precursor of the New Hollywood movie-making revolution that kicked off with Easy Rider, Arthur Penn’s 1967 road movie is in love with the French New Wave – to the extent that Faye Dunaway’s Bonnie Parker wears a beret. It’s a freewheeling caper, with Warren Beatty’s Clyde Barrow luring Parker into a life of bank-robbing and cop-evading alongside a ragtag gang including Gene Hackman as Clyde’s brother Buck and an Oscar-winning Estelle Parsons as Buck’s wife Blanche. Dunaway and Beatty are a fantastically charismatic couple in a hugely influential picture.
Sunday 16 June, 10.30pm, BBC Two

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Enter the Dragon

Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon.View image in fullscreen

Bruce Lee’s 1973 film, released after his death to huge success, is an appealing mashup of kung fu action film, blaxploitation drama and espionage thriller. Lee plays a Shaolin martial artist recruited by a British agent to enter a tournament on an island owned by the shady Han (Shih Kien) and uncover his criminal enterprises. There’s much Bondian action (Han even owns a white cat) as Lee slaps his way to the truth – and the more people he can belt the better. John Saxon and Jim Kelly offer light relief as American fighters while Lalo Schifrin’s score provides the required funk.
Sunday 16 June, 12.10am, Channel 5


Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma.View image in fullscreen

Get ready for a “Jane-off” this week, with Gwyneth Paltrow in Douglas McGrath’s 1996 Austen adaptation up against Anya Taylor-Joy’s 2020 Emma (Sunday, 5.05pm, BBC Two). Of the two excellent performances, Paltrow – near the peak of her film stardom – shades it, the smug benevolence of her matchmaking Regency heroine just the right side of patronising. But it’s a pretty bulletproof story in either case, with Austen’s dialogue zipping wittily off the screen.
Monday 17 June, 10.35am, Sky Cinema Greats

The Addams Family

Christina Ricci, Christopher Lloyd and Jimmy Workman in The Addams family.View image in fullscreen

Tim Burton turned it down, but director Barry Sonnenfeld still puts a very Burtonesque gothic sheen on this blackly comic yarn. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston are perfectly cast as the creepy, kooky Gomez and Morticia Addams, but are constantly upstaged by Christina Ricci’s deadpan sadist daughter Wednesday. There’s a more family-friendly level of weirdness to Christopher Lloyd’s Gordon, the man impersonating Gomez’s long-lost brother Fester. The superior Addams Family Values, with Joan Cusack riotous as a “black widow”, follows straight after.
Wednesday 19 June, 7.05am, Sky Cinema Greats

Source: theguardian.com