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Apostasy to Lady Macbeth: the seven best movies to see on TV this week | Television & radio

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Choice of the week

Apostasy

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Siobhan Finneran, Sacha Parkinson and Molly Wright in Apostasy. Photography: Curzon Films

Daniel Kokotajlo’s devastating feature debut is drawn from his own experiences as a Jehovah’s Witness. Ivanna (a performance of silent desperation by Siobhan Finneran) and her daughters Luisa (Sacha Parkinson) and Alex (Molly Wright), who has a serious blood disease, are devoted members of a church group in Oldham. But when Luisa becomes pregnant by her unbelieving boyfriend, she is “excommunicated” – cut off from her family and community. This act, and an ensuing tragedy, erodes Ivanna’s life of unconditional devotion, as the rigid rules of faith thwart her love for her child and her sense of humanity.
Saturday January 29, 11:30 p.m., BBC Two


The Truman Show

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Jim Carrey on The Truman Show. Photography: Cinetext/Paramount/Allstar

Before WandaVision’s Big Brother and Westview home, there was Seahaven, a pretty American coastal town where Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) and his wife Meryl (Laura Linney) live – watched around the clock by 5,000 cameras. In Peter Weir’s 1998 prescient satirical drama, Truman is the unwitting star of a hit reality TV show (and has been since birth), with his every move tracked and manipulated for our pleasure. But reality crashes in, and Truman must choose between the perils of the unknown and comfortable compliance of the stockade.
Saturday January 29, 6:55 p.m., Great! Movies


death of night

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Michael Redgrave in Dead of Night. Photography: Aliyah

This 1945 suitcase film is one of British horror’s greatest, if only for the chilling final segment of its Five Tales With A Tale. The brilliant Michael Redgrave embodies a tormented ventriloquist whose model begins to make up his own mind about their relationship. The other stories – done by artists like Robert Hamer and Alberto Cavalcanti – feature a haunted mirror, premonitions of death and ghost children in country houses, plus Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne’s bonus feature essentially taking their Charters and the Caldicott’s double act from The Lady Disappears.
Sunday, January 30, 7 p.m., Talking Pictures TV


In the heat of the Night

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Sidney Poitier in In the Heat of the Night. Photography: United Artists/Allstar

Norman Jewison’s 1967 crime drama is the late Sidney Poitier’s finest film – a fiery denunciation of racism wrapped in a gripping murder mystery and adorned with a superb jazz-blues soundtrack by Quincy Jones. Poitier is Virgil “They Call Me Mister” Tibbs, a Philadelphia detective passing through rural Mississippi who is roped in to help bigoted Sheriff Gillespie (Rod Steiger) investigate the death of a white industrialist. Poitier is magnetic and in constant effervescence, while Steiger nails the difficult transition from Tibbs resentment to respect.
Sunday January 30, 10 p.m., BBC Two


Lady Macbeth

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Florence Pugh in Lady Macbeth. Photography: Sixty-Six Pictures/Allstar

Florence Pugh first showed what a major talent she is in William Oldroyd’s dark 2016 drama, set in 19th-century North East England. She plays the strong-willed young Katherine, married to the son of a mine owner, whose feelings of neglect and humiliation drive her into an affair with groomsman Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis) – which nothing will stop her from. enjoy. Interesting racial subtexts (a black maid is rendered literally speechless) add depth to a passionate and powerful work.
Monday, January 31, 11:50 p.m., BBC Two


Oh my brother, where are you?

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John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson and George Clooney in O Brother, Where Art Thou? Photography: Allstar Picture Library Ltd/Alamy

Have fun spotting references to Homer’s Odyssey or simply revel in the silliest performance of George Clooney’s career – either way, the Coen Brothers’ Great Depression-era comedy boasts great entertainment value. Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson play escaped convicts who hit the road to find supposed buried treasure. Scenes of Chaplinesque comedy rival dramatic encounters with the likes of bank robber Baby Face Nelson, bluesman Tommy Johnson and the Ku Klux Klan – all backed by a stunning folk soundtrack – as the inept trio attempt to reach its goal.
Tuesday, February 1, IMDb TV


The True Story of the Kelly Gang

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The true story of the Kelly Gang.

Justin Kurzel’s Impressionist period adventure takes Booker Prize-winning Peter Carey’s novel about the near-mythical Australian anti-hero Ned Kelly, and makes a good fist of the attempt. George MacKay plays Ned, whose difficult upbringing in a poor Irish immigrant family leads him inexorably into crime – events he writes about in an effort to maintain control of his own narrative. Essie Davis is a fierce presence as Ned’s mother, Ellen, while Russell Crowe has a fine appearance as Harry Power, Ned’s mentor in the bushranger ways.
Friday, February 4, 11:20 p.m., Film4

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