Poor Things to Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour – the seven best films to watch on TV this week

Emma Stone is delightfully disconcerting in Yorgos Lanthimos’s Oscar contender, and Tay Tay’s smash-hit concert film can sparkle its way into your home at last

Simon WardellFri 8 Mar 2024 17.47 GMTShare

Pick of the week

Poor Things

A risk-taking performance from Emma Stone is at the heart of the latest, deeply weird yarn from Yorgos “The Favourite” Lanthimos. She plays Bella, a young woman who died but was revived with the brain of her unborn baby by the Frankenstein-esque Godwin (Willem Dafoe). As she learns to walk and talk, she yearns to discover more about life. Lothario Duncan Wedderburn (a hilariously louche Mark Ruffalo) has designs on being her svengali – but Bella has a mind of her own and a unique way of seeing the world. Adapted from Alasdair Gray’s novel and set in a stunning, not-quite-realistic Victorian era, it’s a delightful, disconcerting comedy.
Out now, Disney+

Sam H Freeman and Ng Choon Ping’s debut feature is a deft, complex exploration of queer desire and fear by way of a revenge thriller. Nathan Stewart-Jarrett is Jules, a drag performance artist who endures a homophobic attack from the thuggish Preston (George MacKay) and his mates. Then he spots Preston in a gay sauna and decides to seduce him … The power dynamic between the two shifts constantly as Preston struggles with his true self and Jules begins to soften towards his assailant in a thought-provoking, sensitively acted drama.
Out now, Netflix

The death of her manipulative boyfriend in Part I weighs heavily on upper-class student Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) in the 2019 conclusion of Joanna Hogg’s two-part drama. She’s ostensibly getting on with her film school graduation piece but her grief at Anthony’s unexpected demise – and the gaps in her knowledge of his life and personality – lead her down a different path creatively and personally. With more intensity than the first film, this develops into an absorbing story of emotional survival.
Sunday 10 March, 10pm, BBC Two

War is like an X-ray: all human insides become visible.” So says an embattled doctor in this Bafta-winning documentary, which brings home in devastating fashion the terror of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. TV journalist Mstyslav Chernov was in the south-eastern city when it was besieged by Putin’s troops, but stayed to document the increasingly desperate situation faced by its residents. The terrible human cost is shown in distressing hospital scenes and interviews with people in fear of their lives and those of their children. A difficult but necessary watch. SW
Monday 11 March, 10.30pm, Channel 4

Oscar Isaac stars as another of writer-director Paul Schrader’s self-contained, self-sufficient loners in this 2021 morality tale. William Tell is an expert card player who travels around the casinos of the US, winning just enough to make a living but not so much that he draws undue attention. When he meets Tye Sheridan’s rootless youngster Cirk, who has a link to William’s dark past in the military, a chink of fellow feeling appears. Tiffany Haddish, as an agent for top poker players, adds another entanglement as he belatedly tries to do some good in his life. SW
Wednesday 13 March, 9pm, Film4

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