Arts

New to stream, rent on-demand or buy on DVD/Blu-ray

Sam Neill, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Rainn Wilson, Kate Winslet, Lindsay Duncan, Susan Sarandon, Mia Wasikowska and Anson Boon in Blackbird
Damon Smith

FILM OF THE WEEK

BLACKBIRD (Cert 15, 98 mins, Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK Ltd, Drama/Romance, available from September 21 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, available from September 28 on DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99)

Starring: Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Lindsay Duncan, Sam Neill, Rainn Wilson, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Anson Boon.

LILY (Susan Sarandon) is terminally ill and has decided to take her own life aided by her doctor husband Paul (Sam Neill) before the pain rippling through her body completely overwhelms her.

She gathers together family and best friend Elizabeth (Lindsay Duncan) for a weekend of celebration and reflection before she bids a peaceful adieu to the world.

Spirited daughters Jennifer (Kate Winslet) and Anna (Mia Wasikowska) are at loggerheads about their mother's plan.

They loudly voice their feelings while Jennifer's husband Michael (Rainn Wilson) and teenage son Jonathan (Anson Boon) and Anna's partner Chris (Bex Taylor-Klaus) play nervous peacemakers.

Lily watches helplessly as loved ones land bruising verbal blows and she reluctantly accepts that she cannot dictate every facet of her tear-jerking final hurrah, which includes an early Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

Based on the 2014 Danish drama Silent Heart, Blackbird is a moving and thought-provoking drama about euthanasia that relies heavily on director Roger Michell to navigate the bumps in Christian Torpe's screenplay including unnecessary angst in the final act.

Sarandon brings quiet dignity to her showy role as a mother hen, who refuses to surrender control to her illness.

She gels convincingly with Neill and Duncan as the steadfast support system, who will help Lily to drift away on a cloud of pain relief.

An elegiac orchestral score composed by Peter Gregson coaxes copious tears on screen and for the most part, we follow suit.

Rating: 7/10

THE TUNNEL (Cert 15, 104 mins, Signature Entertainment, Action/Thriller/Romance, available from September 21 on Amazon Prime Video/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services)

Starring: Thorbjorn Harr, Ylva Lyng Fuglerud, Lisa Carlehed, Per Egil Aske, Mikkel Bratt Silset, Peter Forde.

SNOW plough driver and emergency first responder Stein (Thorbjorn Harr) looks forward to spending Christmas with his teenage daughter Elise (Ylva Lyng Fuglerud).

It has been three years since the death of his wife and Stein anxiously prepares to welcome new girlfriend Ingrid (Lisa Carlehed) to festivities.

When a tearful Elise discovers there will be three for Christmas dinner rather than two, she boards the next express bus to Oslo to spend Yuletide with her grandmother.

The bus zooms into the west entrance of Storfjell tunnel shortly after a petrol tanker truck thunders into the east entrance and collides with a wall.

An explosion fills the tunnel with poisonous, choking smoke, threatening the lives of motorists, tourists and passengers.

Stein and his colleagues Cristian (Per Egil Aske), Ivar (Mikkel Bratt Silset) and Kurt (Peter Forde) race to the scene, unaware that Elise's life hangs in the balance.

Inspired by real events in Norway, where motorists are responsible for rescuing themselves from accidents in tunnels, director Pal Oie's slow-burning thriller embraces the traditions of a disaster movie.

Screenwriter Kjersti Helen Rasmussen swiftly sketches a motley crew of characters, whose grim fates collide in the tunnel and are sometimes resolved in the shadow of tragedy.

Harr is a likeable hero, willing to sacrifice everything even if that means his daughter loses another parent, while Fuglerud strikes a pleasing balance between grief-fuelled recklessness and pluck.

Oie amasses a hefty body count to sustain tension and keep us guessing about who will take their final breath in the billowing darkness.

Rating: 7/10

Sarah Paulson as Mildred Ratched and Cynthia Nixon as Gwendolyn Briggs in Ratched

RATCHED (8 episodes, streaming and available to download from September 18 exclusively on Netflix, Thriller/Drama/Romance)

IN 1976, Louise Fletcher won an Oscar for her searing portrayal of nurse Mildred Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, based on the novel by Ken Kesey.

Ryan Murphy and Evan Romansky imagine the early years of the character in this suspenseful eight-part drama set in 1947 northern California.

Mildred (Sarah Paulson) arrives at a leading psychiatric hospital, which is the epicentre of ground-breaking experiments on the human mind.

She comes with an invitation for an interview, which she has forged to secure employment and secure access to star patient Edmund Tolleson (Finn Wittrock), a serial killer responsible for the murders of four priests.

Once Mildred is firmly embedded in day-to-day life at the hospital, she surrenders to the growing darkness within and a monster is born.

ENOLA HOLMES (Cert 12, 123 mins, streaming and available to download from September 23 exclusively on Netflix, Drama/Thriller)

SOLVING crimes is a family matter in a fast-paced caper based on the book series by Nancy Springer, which puts a fresh spin on the mythology of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's venerated detective, Sherlock Holmes.

In 19th-century England, polite society teeters on the brink of monumental change.

Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown), younger sister of Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin), wakes on her 16th birthday to discover that their mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) has vanished.

In her place are a dizzying array of gifts.

Defying the wishes of her older siblings, Enola refuses to attend finishing school and heads to London to put her sleuthing skills to the test.

She becomes embroiled in the fortunes of runaway Lord Viscount Tewksbury (Louis Partridge) and outsmarts Sherlock to unearth a diabolical conspiracy that could have dire repercussions for the course of human history.

Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor in The Long Way Up

THE LONG WAY UP (11 episodes, starts streaming from September 18 exclusively on Apple TV+, Documentary)

IN 2004, actors and best friends Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman embarked on a motorcycle road trip from London to New York, covering almost 19,000 miles for the seven-part Sky One series The Long Way Round.

The title referred to the duo's route through Europe and Asia to reach their destination.

McGregor and Boorman are back in the saddle of prototype electric Harley-Davidsons for a sustainable new odyssey, which begins in the city of Ushuaia at the tip of South America and moves through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Central America and Mexico.

The first three episodes of this gruelling 13,000-mile trip are available on September 18 and then in weekly instalments.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous

JURASSIC WORLD: CAMP CRETACEOUS (8 episodes, streaming and available to download from September 18 exclusively on Netflix, Animation/Action/Adventure)

Dinosaurs continue to rule the Earth in a computer-animated expansion to the Jurassic Park franchise set during events of the 2015 film Jurassic World.

Counsellors Dave (voiced by Glen Powell) and Roxie (Jameela Jamil) welcome six misfits teenagers to the first Camp Cretaceous on the opposite side of Isla Nublar to the malfunctioning theme park.

When dinosaurs escape their enclosures and go on the rampage, Ben (Sean Giambrone), Brooklynn (Jenna Ortega), Darius (Paul-Mikel Williams), Kenji (Ryan Potter), Sammy (Raini Rodriguez) and Yaz (Kausar Mohammed) realise they must put their difference aside to survive the hostile environment.

Aided by the knowledge of introvert dinosaur expert Darius, the group uncovers hidden secrets to evade velociraptors, swooping pterosaurs and a rampaging indominus rex.

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