Arts

New to stream, download and watch on DVD: Young Ahmed, Ride Like A Girl, Work It, The Secret She Keeps...

Teresa Palmer, Ride Like A Girl
Damon Smith

FILMS

YOUNG AHMED (Cert 15, 85 mins, Curzon Artificial Eye, Drama/Romance, streaming from August 7 exclusively on Curzon Home Cinema)

AHMED (Idir Ben Addi) is a 13-year-old Muslim, whose behaviour has markedly changed over the past month as he laps up the teachings of a local imam (Othmane Moumen).

The boy professes his right to disrespect his teacher Madame Ines (Myriem Akheddiou) – “A true Muslim doesn't shake a woman's hand” – then openly scolds his mother (Claire Bodson) for not wearing a hijab and drinking alcohol.

When the imam brands Ines an apostate for suggesting students should learn Arabic from sources other than the Quran, Ahmed takes a knife from his home and prepares to stab the teacher.

Before the teenager is taken to a correctional centre, the imam instructs his protege to “be as close to Allah as this vein in your neck”.

A kindly caseworker (Olivier Bonnaud) hopes to disentangle Ahmed from his hatred with outreach work on a local farm but the teenager secretly bides his time.

Shot in the verite handheld style which has become the trademark of Belgian writer-directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Young Ahmed is a provocative portrait of radicalisation that plays like a slow-burning thriller.

Ominous intent tightens a knot of tension in the stomach when a farm girl (Victoria Gluck) makes the mistake of kissing Ahmed then refuses his suggestion to become a Muslim to lessen his sin.

The ending is anticlimactic and feels rushed but Addi's layered performance has us in a choke hold from the moment we see him fashioning a deadly weapon behind closed doors.

RIDE LIKE A GIRL (Cert PG, 98 mins, Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK Ltd, Drama, available from August 10 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, also available from August 10 on DVD £15.99)

WIDOWED racehorse trainer Paddy Payne (Sam Neill) presides over a large family and the majority of his 10 children become jockeys.

Youngest child Michelle (Teresa Palmer) follows suit and she builds a special rapport with a beautiful horse called Prince Of Penzance.

Spurred on by her brother Stevie (playing himself), who has Down's syndrome, Michelle prepares to ride the majestic animal in the 2015 Melbourne Cup, the most prestigious thoroughbred race in Australia.

In the 24-strong field, Michelle is a 100-1 outsider with the bookies.

Drawing on her years of experience and her bond with her mount, Michelle attempts to achieve the seemingly impossible and gallop ahead of favourites Fame Game and Trip To Paris.

Ride Like A Girl is an affectionate biographical drama about the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, which abides by the tropes of an underdog story.

Award-winning actor Rachel Griffiths, who was Oscar-nominated for her performance in Hilary & Jackie, makes an assured feature directorial debut.

Palmer imbues her spunky heroine with warmth to match her steely determination and sparks winning screen chemistry with Neill.

The spectre of tragedy – one of Michelle's older sisters is thrown from a horse and killed – provides a hefty emotional obstacle.

Scriptwriters Andrew Knight and Elise McCredie leap nimbly over it and canter towards the climactic race that would enshrine Payne in the annals of horse-racing history.

WORK IT (Cert 12, 93 mins, streaming from August 7 exclusively on Netflix, Comedy/Drama/Romance)

AN INEXPERIENCED dancer needs to channel her inner Beyonce to scale academic heights in a feel-good comedy drama directed by Laura Terruso, which boasts Alicia Keys as a producer.

Quinn Ackerman (Sabrina Carpenter) is determined to gain admission to a good college but acceptance could rest on impressive extra-curricular activities.

To boost her chances of success, Quinn begs good friend Jasmine (Liza Koshy) to help her get onto the dance team.

The resident dance captain (Keiynan Lonsdale) is deeply unimpressed with Quinn's so-called skills just five months before the high-profile Work It dance competition.

Unperturbed, Quinn vows to form her own squad and ropes in Jasmine to unearth some dancing diamonds in the rough.

They unite a misfit band including Chris (Neil Robles), DJ Tapes (Nathaniel Scarlette), Raven (Bianca Asilo) and Robby G (Tyler Hutchings).

Quinn approaches former championship-winning dance captain Jake Taylor (Jordan Fisher) to choreograph a routine to dazzle the judges.

The one major stumbling block is that Quinn can't dance.

THE SECRET SHE KEEPS (Cert 15, 270 mins, Acorn Media, available now on Amazon Prime Video/BBC iPlayer/iTunes and other download and streaming services, available from August 10 on DVD £24.99, Thriller/Romance)

ADAPTED from Michael Robotham's bestseller, nail-biting thriller The Secret She Keeps arrives on DVD this week following its broadcast on BBC One.

Shelf stacker Agatha (Laura Carmichael) works in a supermarket in an affluent suburb of Sydney. She is expecting her first child and is coping with the pregnancy alone because the baby's father, Hayden (Michael Sheasby), is away on duty.

By chance, Agatha crosses paths with glamorous mummy blogger Meghan (Jessica De Gouw), who is also pregnant. The two women bond over their similar due dates and Agatha becomes fixated on Meghan's filter-perfect life with her TV executive husband, Jack (Michael Dorman).

As Agatha spends more time observing Meghan, she witnesses tensions within the household including potential conflict with best friend Simon (Ryan Corr).

THE RIFLEMAN (Cert 15, 104 mins, Parkland Entertainment, available from August 10 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, available from August 24 on DVD £19.99, War/Drama)

ADAPTED from Aleksandrs Grins's novel Blizzard Of Souls, which was written by the Latvian soldier in the trenches of the First World War, The Rifleman is a sobering meditation on the reality of conflict on the front line.

Sixteen-year-old Arturs Vanags (Oto Brantevics) dreams of becoming a hero as he enlists to fight in First World War alongside his proud countrymen.

He experiences many horrors on the battlefield but the greatest personal losses are at home.

Tormented by the futility of battle, Arturs attempts to rebuild his family and sense of belonging as the nation of Latvia is born from the atrocities of war.

ROB SCHNEIDER: ASIAN MOMMA, MEXICAN KIDS (Cert 15, 44 mins, streaming from August 11 exclusively on Netflix, Comedy)

Born and raised in San Francisco, Rob Schneider made his mark as a writer and cast member on Saturday Night Live before he stormed the big screen in the title roles of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and The Animal.

In this Netflix original comedy special, Schneider returns to his stand-up roots, doling out embarrassing anecdotes about his personal and family life including potty training his young daughters.

The confessional ends with a surprise duet performance with his daughter, singer-songwriter Elle King.

(Un)well (6 episodes, streaming from August 12 exclusively on Netflix, Documentary)

At a time when mental wellness is increasingly under the spotlight and physical exercise has been curtailed in line with public health recommendations, this six-part documentary series delves into controversial wellness fads which inspire scepticism and support in equal measure.

The episodes focus on apitherapy, ayahuasca, breast milk, essential oils, extreme fasting and tantric sex, exploring all facets of each topic to determine the facts behind the fanaticism.

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Arts