Five films to tune into this week

(L-R) Actors Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, and Lucas Hedges attend The 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 11, 2016 in Santa Monica, California.

In our weekly update, we will be running through the best films airing on terrestrial television over the course of the next week.

As opposed to the seven we selected last time out, this week's shortlist is down to five, but that's no reason to feel downhearted, for the offerings are still good. 

1) Manchester By The Sea (Saturday, BBC2 at 9.45pm)

This Amazon Studios production gets its freeview premiere, with the plot focusing on Lee Chandler (an astonishing Casey Affleck), a handyman who spends his time alone in Boston. After the death of his brother (Kyle Chandler), Lee is tasked with taking care of his nephew (played brilliantly by newcomer Lucas Hedges), with the pair needing each other to cope with past tragedies. Kenneth Lonergan's astute direction and excellent, Oscar-winning script are joys to behold, but it's the outstanding ensemble cast (which also includes Michelle Williams and Matthew Broderick) that bring everything together, with Affleck's award-winning turn being a career highlight. 

2) Finding Nemo (Sunday, ITV at 3.40pm)

Pixar's charming, emotional aquatic adventure remains their best work, focusing on clown fish Marlin (Albert Brooks) as he searches for his lost son, the titular character. Throughout his travels across the Great Barrier Reef, he meets a wacky assortment of characters, including Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a Blue Tang with short-term memory loss. Featuring an impeccable voice cast, heartfelt storytelling and breathtaking animation, this is a crowd-pleasing picture that appeals to both adults and children alike. 

3) Inside Llewyn Davis (Sunday, C4 at 1.00am)

This sombre affair from the Coen Brothers was a radical change-up for the acclaimed directing duo, but the tale of a miserable folk singer (Oscar Isaac) is one of their most intriguing and enigmatic works. Though the titular character has talent to burn, his penchant for rubbing people up the wrong way stalls his career, leading to even more doom and gloom. This isn't a particularly uplifting watch, but the music, performances from Isaac and Carey Mulligan, and the control the Coens exude mean this is a worthwhile watch. 

4) Elizabeth (Monday, Film4 at 11.05pm)

You can see Margot Robbie assume the role of The Virgin Queen in Mary Queen of Scots from next week, but she has a sizeable task on her hands if she is to match Cate Blanchett's performance from this 1998 biopic. Covering the early part of her reign, Bessy begins to realise she's woman in a man's world, attempting to simultaneously break free from the shackles and thwart a plot on her throne. The fabulous production design, ravishing costumes and a whirlwind performance from Blanchett make this an enjoyable period drama, with a sequel (The Golden Age) being released nine years later. 

5) Sexy Beast (Friday, Film4 at 10.55pm)

A crime film with a twist from Jonathan Glazer, which stars Ray Winstone as Gal, a former safecracker who is happily retired in Spain. Just when he thinks he's out of the game, a psychotic, motor-mouthed friend (played brilliantly by Ben Kingsley) shows up, attempting to persuade Gal into "one last job". A verbal ding-dong ensues, with the two at loggerheads as to the job, and it is thrilling to watch thanks to a expletive-laden script and an electrifying performance from Kingsley. 

 

 

 

Have something to tell us about this article?