17 must-see new film & TV releases on DVD

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Our pick of this month’s new film and TV releases combines captivating literary remakes, star-crossed romance and forbidden passions, family drama, classic comedy and a touch of animal magic.

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New film releases

Emma.

In the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s evergreen matchmaking comedy, Anya Taylor-Joy steps into the title role as the spiky, spoilt daughter of devoted widower father Mr Woodhouse (Bill Nighy), who can’t help but meddle with the path of true love. Directed by prolific rock photographer and music video maker Autumn de Wilde, and adapted by Booker Prize-winning novelist Eleanor Catton, the starry ensemble cast also includes Johnny Flynn, Josh O’Connor, Rupert Graves, Mia Goth, Miranda Hart and Gemma Whelan.

Released 22 June

“Captures the whirl of a predatory society that can no longer hide behind surface prettiness. That sounds a lot like right now.” Rolling Stone


The Personal History of David Copperfield

Armando Iannucci’s exhilarating, groundbreaking romp through the Dickens classic sees Dev Patel as the warm-hearted, misunderstood eponymous hero, whose exploits and ambitions are tracked from cradle to adulthood. In his quest for family, friendship, romance and status, he confronts wickedness, poverty and exploitation in an array of memorable characters including nursemaid Peggotty (Daisy May Cooper), his brittle widowed mother (Morfydd Clark), intimidating aunt Betsey Trotwood (Tilda Swinton), and Betsey’s amiable but deranged lodger Mr Dick (Hugh Laurie).

Released 15 June

“Rattles and zings like a pinball machine… a bracing, entertaining, richly satisfying experience.” Guardian


Portrait of a Lady on Fire

This sumptuous period drama written and directed by Céline Siamma (Tomboy, Girlhood) focuses on a star-crossed romance between 18th-century artist Marianne (Noémie Merlant) and her subject Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), whose portrait Marianne has been commissioned to paint in order to present her to society and secure a suitable husband. A mesmerising, fiercely feminist take on forbidden love and erotic power.

Released 8 June

“Sublime filmmaking makes this love story soar." Little White Lies


Little Joe

Emily Beecham won the coveted Best Actress award at Cannes for her performance in this tense, otherworldy thriller about single mother and botanist Alice Woodward, who has engineered a special new breed of flower that can – under the right conditions – bestow happiness and wellbeing on its owners. Cult Austrian director Jessica Hausner makes her English-language debut, riffing on horror classics like Rosemary’s Baby as well as the recent films of Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) in an unforgettable tale of good intentions gone creepily bad. Ben Wishaw also stars as Alice’s would-be love interest.

Released 15 June

“Emotionally devastating and bizarrely funny... It’s a little film. But it’s epic.” Evening Standard


And Then We Danced

A breathtaking examination of illicit desire, ambition and freedom set against the backdrop of traditional dance in contemporary Tblisi. Dedicated young dancer Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani) has trained at the National Georgian Dance Ensemble since childhood, and longs to travel the world. When talented newcomer Irakli (Bachi Valishvili) joins the troupe they become fierce rivals, but their fates are passionately intertwined. Director Levan Akin was born in Stockholm to Georgian parents, and dissects tradition and modernity in the motherland with unbridled energy and joy.

 Released 25 May

“A luminous tour de force.” Indiewire

 

Anne Frank: Parallel Stories

Oscar winner and national treasure Dame Helen Mirren retraces Anne Frank’s life through readings from her teenage diary, historians’ commentaries and eyewitness accounts of five women who survived the Holocaust as children after being deported to concentration camps. An urgent and powerful retelling of a story not to be forgotten, for viewers of all ages.

Released 8 June

“A heartfelt and valuable documentary.” Guardian


The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice

In this 1952 Japanese classic, director Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story) again finds beauty and magic in the everyday in a delightful drama based around childless middle-aged couple Taeko (Michiyo Kogure) and Mokichi Satake (Shin Saburi) and their niece Setsuko (Keiko Tsushima), who is determined to avoid an empty arranged marriage. A fascinating depiction of family dynamics in post-war Tokyo.

Released 18 May

“Sometimes homely, wholesome and warm is exactly what you need.” BFI


Cats

Gather together Les Misérables director Tom Hooper, Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, an all-superstar cast, and a film remake of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s enduring stage musical adaptation of T.S. Eliot’s much-loved Old Possum poems can only be a… dog’s breakfast – according to film critics everywhere. If your idea of fun definitively eliminates the idea of James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Dame Judi Dench and company in furry, CGI-enhanced leotards, then steer clear. But if extravagant, over-the-top fantasy and a good singalong are your bag, you just might enjoy the ride.

Released 1 June

“Bold and visually striking…. Destined to be an instant guilty pleasure.” Empire


Laughter in Paradise

A box-office hit in 1951, Alastair Sim is at his comic best as retired army officer turned pulp thriller writer Deniston Russell, who has a week to get himself arrested for precisely 28 days so he can claim his share of the estate of recently deceased practical joker Uncle Henry. Fay Compton, George Cole and Guy Middleton are the other heirs assigned out-of-character tasks to get their hands on the promised loot. But all is in place for Henry to have the last laugh. The film also features Joyce Grenfell as Deniston’s prim fiancée; Dad’s Army’s John Laurie as an archetypal swivel-eyed Scotsman – and a fleeting early screen appearance by Audrey Hepburn as a cigarette girl.

Released 29 June

“Although over half a century old, Laughter in Paradise is based on a situation that’s bang up to date… whereby four people abjectly humiliate themselves for money.” BFI screenonline

 

The Green Man

Directed by Robert Day, who went on to make The Rebel and Two-Way Stretch, this delightful 1956 comedy again stars Alastair Sim with superb support from George Cole. Ruthless assassin Harry Hawkins (Sim) plans to blow up cabinet minister Charles Boughtflower (Terry-Thomas), who has been conducting an illicit affair at the Green Man inn. But silver-tongued vacuum cleaner salesman William Blake (Cole) thwarts the noble cause of bringing down a pompous, arrogant hypocrite at the heart of government.

Released 18 May

“A very silly but enormously entertaining farce.” BFI screenonline

 

The Guinea Pig

This perennial Boulting Brothers fish-out-of-water favourite from 1949 stars a youthful Richard Attenborough as humble tobacconist’s son Jack Read who, as Britain reconfigures its social structures after the end of World War II, is awarded a scholarship to an exclusive public school. But once there, his uncouth tendencies rub up against strict tradition and expectations. Cecil Trouncer shines as forcedly open-minded housemaster Lloyd Hartley, while Attenborough’s real-life wife Sheila Sim plays Hartley’s daughter Lynne and Robert Flemyng is house tutor Nigel Lorraine.

Released 15 June

"Solid entertainment.” Time Out

 

JoJo Rabbit

Writer-director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), brings his signature comedic flair to Christine Leunens’ World War II satire about an obsessive ten-year-old Hitler Youth devotee whose worldview is skewed when he discovers his single mum Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) is concealing Jewish girl Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided by his manic imaginary friend Adolf (Waititi), Jojo must face the lessons of blind nationalism and realpolitik. Child actor Roman Griffin Davis was nominated for a Golden Globe as best actor for his performance as Jojo, while Waititi won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson and Stephen Merchant help pile up the laughs.

Released 11 May

“Tender, daring and sharp… It makes buffoons out of the fascists while lamenting how easily their beliefs can corrupt a nation.” Independent


The Lighthouse

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattison simmer and seethe like a roiling sea in The Witch creator Robert Eggers’ hallucinatory tale of two 19th-century lighthouse keepers marooned together for a four-week stretch on a wind-lashed New England island. Dafoe’s Tom Wake and Pattison’s Ephraim Winslow circle each other’s darkest horrors through bouts of wild drunkenness, strained tension and unforgiving rage. Cinematographer Jarin Blaschke’s stark monochrome and Mark Korven’s haunting score crank up the claustrophobic strain.

Released 8 June

“A droll symphony of bodily functions, bubbling friction and all manner of desires that dare not speak their name.” Financial Times

 


Best TV releases

Primates

Chris Packham narrates BBC One’s definitive three-part documentary about our closest animal cousins. Shot over two years from the volcanic slopes of Congo to Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, remote corners of Sumatra, Malaysia, Brazil, Equatorial Guinea and Sri Lanka – and the heart of our urban landscapes, the series captures unforgettable animal behaviours and unforgiveable human-introduced perils.

Released 18 May

“From the orangutans that lived undisturbed for 700,000 years to the frolicking rhesus macaques of Kathmandu, the BBC’s new nature blockbuster brings us closer than ever to the planet of the apes.” Guardian

 

Northern Exposure: The Complete Series

Nominated for over fifty Emmy Awards and ten Golden Globes, this heartwarming comedy drama from the makers of St Elsewhere, first screened from 1990 to 1995, follows the exploits of fresh-faced New York medical graduate Joel Fleischman (Rob Morrow) as he gets to grips with his posting to the remote community of Cicely, Alaska. Residents, patients and friends who await him include feisty pilot Maggie O'Connell (Janine Turner), mayor Holling Vincoeur (John Cullum) and his naive waitress girlfriend Shelly Tambo (Cynthia Geary), intellectual DJ and ex-con Chris Stevens (John Corbett) and taciturn worldly-wise receptionist Marilyn Whirlwind (Elaine Myles).

The show was celebrated for it's quirkiness, so we unearthed some outtakes, to give you a flavour of the fun the cast and crew had making the show.

Released 8 June

“An outstanding series that can be watched again and again without ever losing any of its charm.” The Digital Fix

 

 

Two films to pre-order now

Who You Think I Am

Juliette Binoche is electrifying as subtly unhinged fifty-something divorcée Claire Millaud, who inhabits a lithe 24-year-old online avatar called Clara, and ensnares her ex-lover’s best friend Alex (François Civil). As passions play out in the virtual world, fiction and lies entangle with reality and mutual infatuation draws the pair into dangerous waters. Safy Nebbou directs this twisty psychodrama with irresistible nods to Vertigo, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Rashomon in its themes of isolation, infatuation, manipulation and shifting perspectives.

Released 6 July

“A very modern drama about age-old anxieties: the fear of ageing and death; the desire for intimacy and reassurance; the allure of artifice and deceit.” Guardian

 

Military Wives

Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) directs this superior feelgood comedy – inspired by multiple real-life events – about a disparate band of women on a military base who form a choir to lift spirits when their partners are deployed to Afghanistan. Kristin Scott Thomas’ Kate leads the chorus, while an initially sceptical Lisa (Sharon Horgan) lends full-throated support as the group prepares for the gig of a lifetime at the Royal Albert Hall.

Released 6 July

“Will have all but the hard-hearted on their feet, cheering and crying.” Radio Times

 

In case you missed it

Parasite

One of our top picks last month, Bong Joon-ho’s multiple Oscar-winning dark comedy thriller pitches the wily, street-smart Kim family against the well-to-do Parks in a savage, underhand battle for dominance that shines a beacon on the injustices and envy of present-day Seoul – and of consumer society the world over. Hilarious, disturbing and endlessly surprising.

Released 1 June

“A gasp-inducing masterpiece.” Guardian

 

Browse our complete collection of new releases on DVD

 

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