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Causeway to Enola Holmes 2: the seven best films to watch on TV this week | television & radio

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pick of the week


Jennifer Lawrence can do the flashy and fantastical (Don’t Look Up, X-Men, Red Sparrow) but she’s also skilled at the downbeat and down-at-heel. The latter is very much in evidence in Lila Neugebauer’s new drama about Lynsey, an army engineer sent home to New Orleans to recover after an IED hit her truck in Afghanistan. She begins to overcome her physical injuries but the mental side is more problematic, bound up with her conflicted feelings about home and family. The aching heart of the film is her burgeoning friendship with amputee mechanic James (the excellent Brian Tyree Henry), with neither of them willing or able to expose their deep-seated pain to the other.
Out now, Apple TV+

Enola Holmes 2

Enola Holmes 2. Millie Bobby Brown in Enola Holmes 2.
In trouble … Millie Bobby Brown in Enola Holmes 2. Photograph: Alex Bailey/Netflix

After an enjoyable first outing in 2020, it was inevitable that Millie Bobby Brown’s youthful sleuth would return for more fourth wall-breaking Victorian adventures. Now running her own detective agency, away from her famous brother Sherlock (Henry Cavill), Enola takes the case of a missing factory girl that calls on her innate intelligence and nosiness, and all her plucky reserves. With the return of director Harry Bradbeer, not to mention a scene-stealing Helena Bonham Carter as the Holmes matriarch, a breezy time is guaranteed.
Out now, Netflix

Manchester By the Sea

Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck in Manchester By the Sea.
Family matters… Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck in Manchester By the Sea. Photograph: StudioCanal/UPI/Allstar

Kenneth Lonergan doesn’t make many films – this work is only his third to date – but they are always worth the wait. His 2016 drama also takes its time but the emotional payoff is immense as it follows Janitor Lee (an Oscar-winning Casey Affleck), returning to his titular home town after his brother’s death to look after his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Revelations about his former life with ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams, as affecting as ever) are eked out, while we watch Lee struggling with a past that threatens to overwhelm him.
Saturday 5 November, 12.50am, BBC Two


Earl Cameron in Sapphire.
Fighting prejudice … Earl Cameron in Sapphire. Photograph: Alamy

An important film in the history of Black British cinema, Basil Dearden’s 1959 drama uses a murder case to probe the state of race relations in this country. Nigel Patrick’s Chief Inspector Hazard looks into the killing of Sapphire, a young, mixed-race woman who was passing as white to her fiance David (Paul Massie) and his family. A range of racial attitudes are aired and interrogated, from the stoicism of her brother (Earl Cameron) to the unthinking prejudice of Sapphire’s friends and the bigotry of landladies and coppers alike.
Wednesday November 9, 9pm, Talking Pictures TV

wild indian

Michael Greyeyes in Wild Indian.
Long shot…Michael Greyeyes in Wild Indian.

Violence begets violence in this dark, disquieting drama. A fatal shooting when they were children festers in the minds of two Native Americans: Makwa (Michael Greyeyes), a successful but emotionally distant businessman; and his cousin Teddo (Chaske Spencer), a repeat offender who has just been released from prison. Their contrasting ways of dealing with it come to a head in a film from Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr that touches on heritage, identity and the scarring impact of history.
Wednesday 9 November, 12.05am, Film4

The Lady in the Van

Maggie Smith in The Lady in the Van.
Keeping calm… Maggie Smith in The Lady in the Van. Photograph: Nicola Dove/Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

A Maggie Smith double bill kicks off with Nicholas Hytner’s glorious 2015 version of Alan Bennett’s fact-based yarn. She stars as Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman who took up residence in her Bedford van in the writer’s driveway – and never left. Alex Jennings plays Bennett, amused and bemused by the force of nature that is Mary – whose fascinating history and fanciful stories provide most of the film’s comedy and pathos. Smith, of course, is perfectly cast, cowing all before her with a dismissive glare or haughty retort. Her 2014 comedy-drama My Old Lady follows at 10.40pm.
Thursday 10 November, 9pm, BBC Four

My Father’s Dragon

My Father's Dragon.
Best friends … My Father’s Dragon. Photograph: Netflix

Here’s another little gem from Cartoon Saloon, the Irish animation studio that brought us Wolfwalkers, full of colorful action and bizarre but believable characters. Nora Twomey’s film, taken from Ruth Stiles Gannett’s 1948 children’s novel, sweeps young Elmer (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) from rural happiness to urban poverty to a fantastical floating island. There, he and a friendly but inept dragon, Boris (Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo), have to somehow save the land from sinking, while evading wild animals led by Ian McShane’s silverback gorilla.
Friday November 11, Netflix