Pick of the week


Michael Mann lets loose his inner petrolhead in this operatic drama about famed car manufacturer Enzo Ferrari. We meet Enzo – an opaque, silver-haired Adam Driver – in 1957 in Modena, Italy. His firm is facing stiff competition from Maserati, while he’s struggling to divide his time between wife Laura (a firecracker turn from Penélope Cruz) and secret mistress Lina (Shailene Woodley), with whom he has a son. The upcoming Mille Miglia – a ridiculously dangerous endurance race held on open roads – may be his last chance to turn his company round. The driving scenes are exhilaratingly hectic, pell-mell affairs but Mann is more interested in Enzo’s fraught domestic life. Friday 1 March, 6.45am, 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere


The Commitments

The most successful adaptation of a Roddy Doyle novel, Alan Parker’s 1991 Bafta-winning comedy-drama is a freewheeling joy. It follows young, working-class Dubliner Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) who decides to create a soul band from a bunch of friends, neighbours and musical misfits. But with such a ragtag bunch, friction is inevitable. The take-no-prisoners humour is grounded in the social hardships of Jimmy’s community, but the soundtrack of stone-cold soul classics elevates the group’s pursuit of their faint dreams of fame.

Saturday 24 February, 10.15pm, BBC Two


Quo Vadis, Aida?

The 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia is one of the most horrific episodes in modern European history, and one of the most shameful in UN history too. Jasmila Žbanić’s wrenching drama bears witness to the ethnic cleansing by Ratko Mladić’s Bosnian Serb army of thousands of people – who had sought refuge with Dutch forces – through the eyes of a local UN translator, Aida (Jasna Đjuričić). Impotent to influence events, she can only watch the war crimes in progress, while UN soldiers follow orders and let it happen. Enraging and, depressingly, still relevant.

Saturday 24 February, 11pm, BBC Four


The Masque of the Red Death

In medieval Italy, a poor region is lorded over by sadistic satanist Prince Prospero (Vincent Price). But when the Red Death turns up – literally, in the shape of a hooded man – Prospero retreats to his castle for a party with aristocratic friends and lackeys, taking God-fearing peasant girl Francesca (Jane Asher) with him for sport. However, death has other plans for them all. Roger Corman’s seventh version of an Edgar Allan Poe tale may be his best – a brilliantly lurid, wholeheartedly gothic horror, strikingly shot by future film-maker Nicolas Roeg.

Saturday 24 February, 11.40pm, Film4


Roman Holiday

This was Audrey Hepburn’s first Hollywood film – and a star was born. She plays Ann, a European princess on tour but sick and tired of the diplomatic routine. So when in Rome she does a flit and bumps into Gregory Peck’s journalist Joe, who sees a scoop in the making. With both hiding their identities, he joins her as she samples normal life in the Eternal City. William Wyler’s romance uses its locations to fine effect, and Hepburn’s sparky persona works well in tandem with the amiable Peck.

Sunday 25 February, 4.35pm, Film4


Bobi Wine: The People’s President

Given added resonance by Alexei Navalny’s death, Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo’s bold documentary shows what can happen when the will of the people comes up against tyranny. Bobi Wine is a socially engaged pop star in Uganda who turned his attention to politics. President Yoweri Museveni has had a total grip on power for three decades – but Wine’s charisma and popular appeal threaten his autocratic rule. Cameras follow the brave singer and his team though a presidential campaign disrupted by arrests, state violence and murder.

Sunday 25 February, 11pm, National Geographic



A sci-fi film from the director of Chernobyl that stars Adam Sandler and a giant talking spider? If you’re still not intrigued, Johan Renck’s odd future drama also features Carey Mulligan and has echoes of Solaris and 2001. An introverted Sandler plays Czech astronaut Jakub, who is on a solo mission to investigate a mysterious gas cloud near Jupiter. But then an alien (or is it a hallucination?) appears in the form of an arthropod – voiced by Paul Dano – who acts as therapist to nudge Jakub into reassessing his failing marriage to Lenka, played with real feeling by Mulligan.

Friday 1 March, Netflix

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