Pick of the week
The overturning of Roe v Wade in the US last year has given Audrey Diwan’s 2021 film – set in a 60s France when abortion was illegal – a newfound relevance. It’s a harrowing, occasionally horrific, but always compelling drama, in which Anamaria Vartolomei’s top-of-the-class literature student Anne discovers she’s pregnant and struggles to find a solution to her predicament. Facing male doctors who risk prison for giving advice and female friends whose ignorance about sex doesn’t stop them making moral judgments, Anne becomes increasingly isolated and fearful. Vartolomei is wholly convincing as a girl in turmoil, with her future hanging by a thread.
Thursday 13 July, 11.40pm, Film4
A heartwarming Korean drama about two men who sell abandoned babies for adoption on the black market seems improbable. But in the hands of director Hirokazu Kore-eda, who made Shoplifters, and amiable star Song Kang-ho (the working-class dad in Parasite), it works beautifully. Song’s laundry owner and his young sidekick (Gang Dong-won), who was adopted himself, are joined by the birth mother (Lee Ji-eun) as they hit the road in search of a buyer for her newborn child. An unexpected quirky pleasure.
Saturday 8 July, 10.15pm, Sky Cinema Premiere
Train to Busan
A film that kicks off with a zombie deer is bound to be fun. And so it proves with Yeon Sang-ho’s South Korean action horror. The passengers on a train journey from Seoul to Busan are our focus amid a wider apocalyptic scenario as infection turns the populace into violent, undead killers. A mixed bunch include a neglectful father and his young daughter, a pregnant woman and her husband, and a school baseball team (the bats come in handy). The railway carriages are soon turned into an obstacle course of murder and mayhem, cowardice and courage.
Saturday 8 July, 1.40am, Film4
While You Were Sleeping
It’s part of the romcom genius of Sandra Bullock that she can take her character Lucy – a Chicago train station worker who poses as the fiancee of a comatose commuter she is obsessed with – and make us root for her. In Jon Turtletaub’s delightful 1995 movie, Lucy’s stalkerish tendencies are sidestepped as she is thrown into the midst of her “boyfriend” Peter’s family, including his suspicious – but hot – brother Jack (Bill Pullman). Bullock and Pullman make a lovely couple, with only her fake engagement and a string of lies standing in their way.
Sunday 9 July, 6.45pm, ITVBe
Mr Hulot’s Holiday
This gently satirical 1953 comedy from the great clown film-maker Jacques Tati marks the first appearance of his most famous character: Monsieur Hulot, a pipe-smoking bachelor with a penchant for getting into choreographed scrapes. He’s not unlike Buster Keaton in his uncomprehending insouciance in the face of peril but seems to be having more fun, in a film that takes the seaside resort and its idiosyncratic routines as a microcosm of French society.
Sunday 9 July, 7pm, Talking Pictures TV
A Quiet Place Part II
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. In this sequel to his 2018 nerve-shredder, director (and erstwhile star) John Krasinski delivers more hushed horror for the Abbott family, using the same brilliantly effective premise. This time, Evelyn (Emily Blunt), deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), son Marcus (Noah Jupe) and baby are joined by Cillian Murphy – their former neighbour Emmett – as they tiptoe around the vicious reptilian aliens who hunt solely by sound. The tightly wound narrative splits between Evelyn holed up in a factory and Regan and Emmett’s quest to defeat the invaders.
Sunday 9 July, 9pm, Channel 4
Martin Scorsese’s only Oscar win so far came with this intense 2006 thriller adapted from the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio play two sides of the same coin – one a cocky kid groomed by Jack Nicholson’s Irish mobster Frank Costello to join the cops and be his inside man; the other an edgy police recruit sent deep undercover to inflitrate Costello’s crew. It’s a deliciously stressful situation, as the subterfuge creates identity crises for both, with Damon and DiCaprio giving contrasting performances of equal skill. SW
Friday 14 July, 9pm, Film4