Martha Marcy May Marlene for Persuasion: The Seven Best Movies to Watch on TV This Week | Television and radio

This week’s selection

Martha Marcy May Marlene

The role that made Elizabeth Olsen a star was not like a cog in the Marvel machine, it was like a young woman on the edge of Sean Durkin’s disturbing drama from 2011. Olsen plays Martha fleeing a municipality run by the low-key but violent Patrick (John Hawkes) and hides with his sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law Ted (Hugh Dancy) in their home by the lake. As her time in the cult is slowly revealed, Martha’s difficulty adjusting to the “normal” life – and paranoia that Patrick and his aides will track her down – causes her to lose control. A sense of discomfort permeates the film, from the whistling drone of the soundtrack to Martha’s hints of danger, which may or may not be real. SSunday, July 17 at 21.00, fantastic! Movie


Little Women

Sister actors… (lr) Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and Eliza Scanlen in Little Women.
Sister actors… (lr) Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and Eliza Scanlen in Little Women. Photo: Landmark Media / Alamy

Louisa May Alcott’s often filmed novel about the four March sisters from Massachusetts in the 19th century may seem old hatred. But author-director Greta Gerwig highlights its modern relevance while preserving much of the original text. Debates about women’s roles – at home, financially, creatively – are always present when Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh) and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) seek their different places in the world. Choose your favorite and relax in some quality costume drama. Sunday, July 17 at 18.30, Channel 4


Persuasion

Austen power ... Dakota Johnson and Henry Golding in Persuasion.
Austen power … Dakota Johnson and Henry Golding in Persuasion. Photo: Nick Wall / Netflix

For her film debut, theater director Carrie Cracknell gives Jane Austen’s final completed novel a romcom zhoosh, in which she casts the glamorous Dakota Johnson as the enamored, sensible Anne Elliot and decides on a loose relationship with the Regency era speech. It’s a tale of late-flowering romance that lacks the youthful mood of pride and prejudice and chooses quiet tenderness when Anne’s regret over a previous relationship with Cosmo Jarvis’ sailor Wentworth – who had been blocked by her family – reappears when he reappears, still a bachelor, but now much more eligible. Out now, Netflix


Now, Voyager

The Joy of the Rapper… Paul Henreid and Bette Davis in Now, Voyager.
The Joy of the Rapper… Paul Henreid and Bette Davis in Now, Voyager. Photo: Alamy

Despite its array of stars, lush Max Steiner scores, and lavish design, Irving Rapper’s Hollywood drama of 1942 proves to be rather unconventional. Bette Davis shows her great range as Charlotte, the timid daughter of a high-society family in Boston dominated by her monstrous mother (Gladys Cooper). After Claude Rains ‘psychiatrist frees her from her parents’ grip, Charlotte blossoms into a confident, outgoing woman – one who is happy to fall in love on a cruise with the married Jerry (Paul Henreid), a romance that develops in surprising ways. Saturday, July 16 at 15.25, BBC Two


Monsters Inc

The Scare… Sully and Mike in Monsters Inc.
The Scare… Sully and Mike in Monsters Inc. Photo: Alamy / AJ pictures

Pete Doctor’s animated comedy is up there with the finest in the Pixar canon and features some of the most infectious laughter in cinema (courtesy of two and a half year old Mary Gibbs). Billy Crystal and John Goodman voice Mike and Sully, residents of Monstropolis hired to hide in bedrooms at night and jump out on human children whose screams then power the city (“We scare because we worry”). But then a young girl, Boo (Gibbs), overthrows everything they know. A sheer joy, even without the slam dunk of a child running around giggling. Sunday, July 17 at 17.10, BBC One


Full metal jacket

License to drill Lee R Lee Ermey in full metal jacket.
License to drill Lee R Lee Ermey in full metal jacket. Photo: Warner Bros./Allstar

It’s a two-half movie, Stanley. Kubrick’s typically individual 1987 view of the Vietnam War focuses first on the dehumanizing training of a group of U.S. Marines, then on a fateful mission during the Tet Offensive. Matthew Modine’s handsome Private Joker is the link between the two. He witnesses the brutal persecution of the overweight recruit Pyle (Vincent D’Onofrio) by Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (a terrifying R Lee Ermey). Later, in Vietnam as a force reporter, he joins a patrol in an urban wasteland of bombed-out, blazing buildings (no jungle fighting here) in a brilliant sustained exercise in suspense. Monday, July 18 at 23.25, TCM Movies


The Carnival of Souls

After surviving a car accident, church organist Mary (Candace Hilligloss) moves to a new city. But she can not beat a strange feeling of dislocation, aggravated by visions of a ghostly man haunting her, episodes where she seems invisible to those around her, and a strange attraction to a disused pavilion outside the city. Herk Harvey’s only feature, recorded quickly on a low budget in 1962, embraces its limitations by focusing on the atmosphere with a eerie, hypnotic organ soundtrack and images reminiscent of German expressionist thrills. Friday, July 22 at 23.05, Talking Pictures TV

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