Mysteries and manipulations
We present 23 of the best new film & TV DVD releases this autumn, from returning classics and lost comedies to finely-tuned romance, life challenges and stirring new psychological thrillers.
What will you watch next?
Fresh from his studies, James Herriot sets out to become a vet in the glorious Yorkshire Dales – where gruff farmers and edgy villagers can be tough to please. A delightful new adaptation of the much-loved books, starring Nicholas Ralph as James, Samuel West as Siegfried, Callum Woodhouse as Tristram and Rachel Shenton as Helen.
“The sense of warmth and community, now more than ever, feels nigh on irresistible.” The Telegraph
Martin Scorsese's return to the gangster genre finds him in fine form, alongside Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel. Centring on the fate of Jimmy Hoffa, played by Pacino, the tale is told in flashback. Aging gangster Frank Sheeran (De Niro) recounts his friendship with Jimmy, as he sits in his nursing home, either in voice-over or with Frank looking directly at the camera, gliding, across the decades, tracing Frank’s own ascent, decline, and fall.
“Scorsese is playful and funny… It's good to see the master back where he belongs.” Radio Times
The epic Netflix drama continues with Olivia Colman stepping in as the Queen and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, whose marriage to Lord Snowdon is crumbling as surely as the nation’s economy. Meanwhile Prince Charles takes an illicit interest in Camilla Shand, while Princess Anne takes a shine to roguish Andrew Parker Bowles…
“A lavish return full of royal pains.” Guardian
An intimate portrait of the charismatic footballing legend who helped win the World Cup for England and brought unprecedented success to the Irish national team. Features interviews with key characters from Jack's career, including major figures in football, music, film and politics, as well as Jack's immediate family as he faces his final battles with illness and dementia.
“Gripping, heartbreaking, inspirational.” The Times
This colourful story of passion, politics and romance is the first screen adaptation of Vikram Seth’s classic novel. Written by Andrew Davies and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Mira Nair for BBC One, the groundbreaking all-Indian cast made an international star of Tanya Maniktala as perky bride-to-be Lata.
“A joy from start to finish.” Radio Times
ITV's acclaimed period drama, adapted by Julian Fellowes from his own novel, is a story of scandalous secrets, star-crossed lovers and financial shenanigans in a London society reeling from the Battle of Waterloo and hurtling towards the Victorian era. Tamsin Greig, Harriet Walter, Philip Glenister and Tom Wilkinson star.
“A meaty historical potboiler, bubbling with issues of class and sex.” The Times
After 29 years of marriage, Edward (Bill Nighy) announces he is leaving his wife Grace (Annette Bening) for another woman. Grace is in denial about the fact he isn't coming back, while their son Jamie (Josh O’Connor) tries to help his her deal with the separation and adjust to her new life. Written and directed by William Nicholson (Les Misérables, Unbroken).
“The performances are terrific, especially from Bening who adds yet another deeply nuanced study to her gallery of complicated, smart women of a certain age.” Guardian
In the third BBC One crime thriller based on the books by J.K. Rowling, (under the pen name Robert Galbraith), Strike and Robin (Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger), investigate the blackmail of a government minister and the case of a strangled child. As Robin goes undercover in the House of Commons posing as a ministerial aide, their personal lives collide as they each stifle then explore their true feelings.
“The acting is to die for.” The Telegraph
Hugh Laurie stars as narcissistic Conservative MP Peter Laurence in BBC One’s brand new political thriller, written by David Hare. Hit by a series of public revelations about his private life and his work as a minister, Peter is untroubled by guilt as he attempts to outmanoeuvre his enemies and his past. But Helen McCrory’s ruthless PM Dawn Ellison is ever prepared to pull the rug from beneath him.
“A reminder – as if we needed one – that political ambition is rarely pure.” Guardian
As the residents of a converted suburban house in Manchester go about their disparate lives, the walls that divide their flats keep them apart. But as their stories begin to intersect, hidden secrets connect them in unexpected ways. Alison Steadman, Adrian Lester, Peter Davison and Victoria Hamilton star in the explosive BBC One series from the team behind BAFTA-winning Doctor Foster.
“A smart exploration of the human condition – with just the right amount of sentimentality.” Guardian
Russell Tovey leads the cast in Neil Cross’s thrilling ITV adaptation of his psychological suspense bestseller Burial. A distinctive and tense ghost story, Tovey’s Nathan is trying to escape his shocking memories of young woman who unexpectedly died at a party he attended years ago. Then one rainy night, otherworldly old acquaintance Bob (Bertie Carvel) appears at his door with terrifying news – and learns that Nathan has since married the dead woman’s sister.
“The Luther creator has crafted an eerie chiller, with Bertie Carvel at his best as a sinister paranormalist.” The Telegraph
This classic 1975 BBC Two adaptation of Daniel Defoe’s bawdy 18th-century novel is a gripping story of opportunism, endurance and survival. Julia Foster stars as Moll, a whore, wife, thief, felon and penitent who survives on seduction, cunning and wit and is determined to live her life on her own terms. Kenneth Haigh and Ian Ogilvy also star.
Prolific indie filmmaker Andrew Jones’ B-movie-style horror sees a team of American parapsychologists despatched to Wales to conduct a study of one of the UK’s most haunted buildings, to fully examine its macabre history of unexplained deaths and supernatural sightings.
Tom Hollander, Saskia Reeves and Sofie Gråbøl star in David Nicholls’ beautifully nuanced adaptation of his bestselling novel about an unravelling marriage. Douglas and Connie, and their university-bound son Albie, are set for a grand tour of Europe, but days before departure Connie announces she wants a divorce. As they set out for Amsterdam and Paris, Venice and Barcelona, Douglas is determined to win Connie back and restore his troubled relationship with Albie. But then love takes a detour…
“Tom Hollander shines in this funny and acutely observed Sunday night drama.” Independent
Keeley Hawes stars in ITV's true-crime drama based on the real-life ‘honour killing’ of Banaz Mahmod. DCI Caroline Goode was given the Queen’s Police Medal for her investigation into the missing 20-year-old., who was murdered by her father and uncle after she left her abusive husband and fell in love with another man.
English student Ophelia Marsh (Emily Reid) falls in love with dazzling married lecturer Michael Callaghan (Emmett J. Scanlan) in Channel 5’s stylish psychological thriller, a sinister tale of lust, manipulation and betrayal. She moves to Ireland to be with him, just as suspicions around his wife's death begin to grow…
“Delivers a satisfying hit of the worst human impulses.” Guardian
In this classic Rank comedy starring Jimmy Hanley and Petula Clark, inverate old lag Harry Denton (Edward Rigby) takes part in the kidnapping of teenaged Sheila Farlaine (Clark), daughter of famous Shakespearean actor Michael (Hugh Sinclair). But things go awry when Sheila prefers to stay kidnapped to get back at her neglectful father – and to get to know Harry’s handsome grandson Jack (Hanley) a little better.
Frankie Howerd and Stanley Holloway star in this 1955 British comedy, affably supported by Joan Hickson, Alfie Bass and Lionel Jeffries. When Willie Joy (Howerd) is fired from his job at a greyhound stadium, he adopts an injured dog that would otherwise be destroyed. Teaming up with affable conman Captain Montague (Holloway) they decide to train the dog to race again – but are conspired against by crooked bookies and race-track spivs.
On a mission to fulfil her late mother’s dream of opening a bakery in desirable Notting Hill, 19-year-old Clarissa (Shannon Tarbet) enlists the help of her mother’s best friend Isabella (Shelley Conn) and her eccentric estranged grandmother Mimi (Celia Imre). The three generations of women must overcome grief, culinary self-doubt and personal differences if they are to honour the memory of their beloved Sarah in the best possible taste.
“Imagine Richard Curtis adapting Bake Off and you’re close to the sugar high of this slice of cinematic comfort food.” Time Out
“Another dose of high-spirited silliness… wonderfully barmy.” Guardian
David Tennant dazzles in ITV’s extraordinary true crime ITV drama, based on the macabre murders of Dennis Nilsen, known to the few who loved him as Des. The story of the investigation, arrest and trial is told through the prism of three different men – Nilsen himself, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay and biographer Brian Masters. Also starring Daniel Mays, Jason Watkins and Barry Ward.
“David Tennant proves his versatility as he plays one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers.” Independent
Penelope Wilton and Gemma Arterton star in this warm wartime drama of love lost and found. Both play Alice, a fiercely independent folklore investigator, who secludes herself in her clifftop study, debunking myths using science to disprove the existence of other-worldly forces. When spirited young Frank, an evacuee from the London Blitz, is dumped into her care, his innocence and wonder unlock painful secrets in Alice's past, and make her rethink what it really means to free your imagination.
“What a lovely, hopeful and rather magical movie this is.” Guardian
Multi-award winner Brenda Blethyn and Jimmy Akingbola star in this snappy odd-couple sitcom from Outnumbered creators Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin.
Kate runs an old-fashioned cafe in a neglected seaside town. Once a thriving business, it is on the brink of going under when Kate develops a strong, if volatile friendship with a highly-educated African doctor and asylum-seeker.
“Kate & Koji is funny – and funny enough to make me snort with laughter. The script is well-honed but what raises this show far above the ordinary are the performances.” Daily Mail
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