Cha Cha Real Smooth to House of Gucci: the seven best films to watch on TV this week
Pick of the week
Cha Cha Real Smooth
In his insidiously lovely romantic comedy-drama, writer-director-actor Cooper Raiff explores the existential quandaries of a 22-year-old. His aimless but effortlessly sociable Andrew is stuck in a McJob in his US home town while his girlfriend pursues her dreams in Barcelona. Discovering a talent as a party starter (AKA “jig conductor”), he is hired to supervise his younger brother’s schoolmates’ bar and bat mitzvahs. There he falls for the older Domino (Dakota Johnson), despite her being engaged, and befriends her autistic daughter Lola (Vanessa Burghardt). It’s a warm, friendly embrace of a film, negotiating the central couple’s expectations of life with engaging wit.
Friday 17 June, Apple TV+
Love & Mercy
Parallel timelines make Bill Pohlad’s fact-based drama about head Beach Boy Brian Wilson a more nuanced proposition than your typical rock biopic. Paul Dano plays the 1960s Brian, financially successful but pushing his artistic and mental boundaries with the (vividly recreated) production of Pet Sounds. John Cusack is the sadly diminished 80s Brian, under the thumb of therapist Eugene Landy (a sneering Paul Giamatti) but managing to court Elizabeth Banks’s Melinda – in his own odd way.
Thursday 16 June, 11.15pm, BBC Two
Last Night in Soho
Edgar Wright picks out the glossy highs and seedy lows of swinging London in his lovingly realised psychological horror, which has already inspired walking tours in Soho. Thomasin McKenzie plays shy present-day fashion student Ellie, who begins to have visions of Sandie (a swish Anya Taylor-Joy), a would-be singer in the 1960s whose dreams of nightclub stardom soon turn sour. As her dreams become ever more disturbing, Ellie’s identity begins to merge with Sandie’s. A nostalgic treat saturated in the sights and sounds of an era that never fails to entice.
Friday 17 June, 10.25pm, Sky Cinema Premiere
House of Gucci
The bizarre true story of Patrizia Reggiani – who plotted to kill her cheating husband, Maurizio Gucci, heir to the Italian fashion family – gets the Ridley Scott treatment. Lady Gaga powers through the film as Patrizia, setting plans in motion to put her spouse in control of the company and change its fortunes. It’s an opulent, camp melodrama – like The Godfather with a bigger costume budget – and boasts entertainingly broad performances, not least from a heavily made-up Jared Leto as cousin Paolo and Salma Hayek as Patrizia’s psychic friend Pina.
Friday 17 June, Amazon Prime Video
Finnish national treasure Tove Jansson, the artist responsible for the Moomins, is the subject of Zaida Bergroth’s involving biopic. Less interested in her creation of the enduringly popular characters than her tangled love life, it follows Tove (Alma Pöysti) as she vacillates between relationships with Shanti Roney’s reliable politician Atos and privileged theatre director Vivica (Krista Kosonen), while also seeking to escape the stern influence of her famous sculptor father. A well-drawn portrait of an artist and woman coming into her own.
Saturday 11 June, 9pm, BBC Four
The Narrow Margin
There is no fat on this prime slice of film noir from 1952. Right from the off, we’re deep into a plot involving Charles McGraw’s by-the-book cop Walter Brown. He’s taking mob boss’s widow Frankie (Marie Windsor) on the train from Chicago to a grand jury in LA; trouble is, two hitmen are also on board with Frankie in their sights – if they can find her. Richard Fleischer’s direction keeps the drama taut, as the carriages play host to a claustrophobic game of cat and mouse, with the other passengers unwitting participants.
Saturday 12 June, 1.35am, Great! Movies Action
Two of Us
A steely performance from Barbara Sukowa adds a sliver of danger to Filippo Meneghetti’s tender French tale. She plays Nina, one half of an ageing lesbian couple with Madeleine (Martine Chevallier). Publicly, they are just neighbours but secretly they live together – and are making plans for their future, despite Madeleine’s children being unaware of the relationship. However, a serious incident changes Nina’s status in her lover’s life – and throws up barriers to their happiness. How she strives to overcome them gives the film its drama and poignancy.
Monday 13 June, 2.15am, Channel 4