Paddington to Sidney: the seven best films to watch on TV this week

Pick of the week


Michael Bond’s accident-prone Peruvian immigrant has garnered unexpected prominence since the Queen’s death – his jubilee audience with her has been widely referenced – so a rerun of Paul King’s masterful 2014 comedy is welcome. The CGI bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) blends in seamlessly with his live-action adopted family the Browns, led by Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins, as he comes to London to find the British explorer who met his uncle and aunt in the rainforest. Mild peril comes in the shape of chilly taxidermist Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman), who covets Paddington’s rare hide. The arguably superior sequel can be seen on Monday, also on BBC One.
Saturday 17 September, 7pm, BBC One


The Girl With a Bracelet

Who knows the mind of a teenager? That’s the question posed by this intriguing French film – and also in the courtroom where 18-year-old Lise (Melissa Guers) is on trial for murdering her best friend. Lise is giving little away, not least to her supportive but frazzled parents (Roschdy Zem and Chiara Mastroianni), as Stéphane Demoustier’s drama follows the proceedings from an emotional distance. Missing the tabloid frenzy or baying crowds a British version might include, it’s a focused tale of the tangle of sex and friendship that can sway young lives.
Saturday 17 September, 9pm, BBC Four


Finding Dory

Andrew Stanton’s 2016 sequel to Finding Nemo is as colourful and dramatic as its predecessor but its change of lead fish brings a sadness that will resonate with the grownups. Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) has short-term memory loss but a flashback to her parents sends her – along with Nemo and Marlin – off on a quest to find them. Fantastic new characters, such as Hank the octopus and Destiny the myopic whale shark, bring the comedy – as does Sigourney Weaver’s voice – while the tragedy of forgetting your identity is an undercurrent that the ageing viewer will fix upon.
Sunday 18 September, 3.05pm, BBC One


The Producers

Mel Brooks’s 1968 film debut is one of the great putting-on-a-show dramas – albeit one where the big production number is called Springtime for Hitler. Zero Mostel’s struggling Broadway producer Max Bialystock takes an idea from his accountant Leo Bloom (played as bundle of anxiety by Gene Wilder) that a flop could make them more money than a hit and runs with it – because what could be less successful than a musical about the Nazis? Boundary-pushing comedy, but in Brooks’s world it makes perfect sense. His excellent spoof western Blazing Saddles follows.
Thursday 22 September, 9.10pm, BBC Four


After Yang

Yang (Justin H Min) is a robot bought by Jake (Colin Farrell) and Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) as an elder sibling for their adopted Chinese daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja). Then Jake discovers Yang has been recording his own memories: brief snapshots of beauty, sadness, togetherness – even, possibly, love. The idea of AI revealing the essence of humanity isn’t new, but Kogonada’s mystery ponders the big questions with a delicate touch. SW
Thursday 22 September, 10.05am, 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere



Groundbreaking … Sidney Poitier.
Groundbreaking … Sidney Poitier. Photograph: Bob Adelman/AP

This Oprah-produced documentary about the life of the groundbreaking actor Sidney Poitier, who died in January, may ladle on the affection but he’s one man who deserves it. The son of tomato farmers in the Bahamas, his rise to Hollywood success is told through his own mellifluous words and those of an impressive array of devotees, friends and family members. Poitier’s firsts are numerous – Black lead character, Oscar winner, that In the Heat of the Night slap – and even when Black Power threatened to make him passé, his influence on African American culture and the US as a whole persisted.
Friday 23 September, Apple TV+



A near cousin of Ladj Ly’s superb Les Misérables (Ly is a co-writer here), this tense urban thriller from Romain Gavras plunges us into the middle of an already volatile French estate. Via expertly choreographed extended takes, we hurtle through a chaotic concrete war zone as Karim (Sami Slimane) orchestrates a riot to force the truth about his 13-year-old brother’s killing – seemingly at the hands of cops – out into the open. However, his surviving siblings, soldier Abdel (Dali Benssalah) and drug dealer Moktar (Ouassini Embarek), become obstacles in his path.
Friday 23 September, Netflix