Mandy to I Blame Society: the seven best films to watch on TV this week


Pick of the week
Mandy

Nicolas Cage in Mandy.Nicolas Cage in Mandy. Photograph: XYZ Films/Allstar

This bizarre 2018 film is another staging post in the cult renaissance of Nicolas Cage – one that will probably reach its apogee this Friday with the release of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, a comedy in which he stars as himself. Here, director Panos Cosmatos plunges Cage into a phantasmagorical revenge horror – part giallo, part S&M nightmare. He plays lumberjack Red, living in rural bliss with artist partner Mandy (Andrea Riseborough), until a messianic cult turns up and its leader, Linus Roache’s Jeremiah, takes a shine to her. An exercise in extreme gothic style, it’s gory and gobsmacking, with a near-silent Cage at the top of his psychotic game.
Saturday 16 April, 12.45am, Film4


I Blame Society

Gillian Wallace Horvat in I Blame Society.Gillian Wallace Horvat in I Blame Society. Photograph: Blue Finch Film

Gillian Wallace Horvat’s gleeful mockumentary is part satire on cinematic authenticity and part Lady Vengeance-tinged horror. After being told she’d make a good murderer, struggling but overly self-confident Los Angeles indie film-maker Gillian (Wallace Horvat) documents herself putting the theory into practice, step by ever more bloody step. You can see all this as a metaphor for the cut-throat nature of the movie business, but it’s also a glorious black comedy about finding your calling and really going for it.
Saturday 16 April, 11pm, Film4


The Lion King

The Lion King.The Lion King. Photograph: Walt Disney/Sportsphoto/Allstar

It’s the Easter holidays, so how do you entertain the kids? Hakuna matata, folks – there’s always a Disney animation to watch, and this 1994 movie is one of their best. The story of young lion Simba and his quest to avenge his father’s murder has the ring of Greek tragedy about it (and even a touch of Hamlet), but it’s a much more light-hearted family affair. Plus, there are songs by Elton John and Tim Rice and vivid supporting animals – special mention must go to Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella as meerkat/warthog double act Timon and Pumbaa.
Sunday 17 April, 5.45pm, BBC One


The Beguiled

Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell in The Beguiled.Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell in The Beguiled. Photograph: American Zoetrope/Allstar

Nicole Kidman is the headmistress of a girls’ school in civil war-hit Virginia who decides to nurse Colin Farrell’s injured Union soldier back to health after he is found nearby. Soon, he begins to work his charms on her charges – in particular on Kirsten Dunst’s naive teacher. Clint Eastwood’s 1971 dark melodrama is a film ripe for a less macho remake, and Sofia Coppola’s 2017 take makes her female characters more three-dimensional while retaining the original’s hazy atmosphere of sexual attraction and jealousy.
Sunday 17 April, 11.25pm, BBC One


Crossing the Line

Lily James and Tessa Thompson in Crossing the Line.Lily James and Tessa Thompson in Crossing the Line. Photograph: Tango Entertainment/Allstar

Candyman director Nia DaCosta’s debut feature is a compellingly acted, messily human drama about the hard choices poor people – and often poor women – have to make to survive. Tessa Thompson stars as the resourceful Ollie, nearing the end of her probation for smuggling prescription drugs from Canada to the US but facing eviction from the family home. Her sister Deb (Lily James) is flakier, a single mother living in a trailer whose unexpected pregnancy drags Ollie into an illegal, and increasingly dangerous, race against time to find the cash to save the house.
Sunday 17 April, 11.05pm, AMC


The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie.The Lego Movie. Photograph: Warner Bros/Sportsphoto/Allstar

Astoundingly mercenary it may be, but Christopher Miller and Phil Lord’s product placement-heavy animated comedy is undeniably enjoyable. Chris Pratt adds an air of friendly befuddlement to a caper that riffs shamelessly off the Matrix and uses the limitations of the titular toy bricks for much of its humour. In a highly regulated Lego world, Pratt’s nondescript builder, Emmet, is chosen as “the Special”, a leader who it is prophesied will free everyone from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell). In this task he is aided by Elizabeth Banks’s Wildstyle and Will Arnett’s scene-stealing Batman.
Monday 18 April, 6pm, Sky Showcase


The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game.The Imitation Game. Photograph: Black Bear Pictures/Sportsphoto/Allstar

A band of plucky, if mismatched, Brits join forces to break an unbreakable Nazi code and turn the tide of the second world war. So far, so generic, but Morten Tyldum’s gripping thriller is also the tragic true story of Alan Turing, the brilliant, gay mathematician who invented the computer that cracked the Enigma machine but whose conviction for “gross indecency” led to his suicide in 1954. Benedict Cumberbatch is affecting as Turing, while Keira Knightley brings her usual intelligence and pep to Joan Clarke, who defied the misogyny of the age to play her part.
Friday 22 Aril, 10.40pm, BBC One


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