Films of the week Are these remakes I see before me?
tackling a Scottish accent at the same time are too much for a native French speaker so has abandoned the second in favour of the first. As a consequence her lines are some of the clearest, though both Fassbender and Thewlis make a decent fist of the brogue. No such problem for David Hayman and Maurice Roëves, who play Lennox and Menteith respectively, and there’s also room in the cast for the always menacing Sean Harris (he plays Macduff, Macbeth’s nemesis) and Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, seen more
recently in The Night Manager. She plays the doomed Lady Macduff.
If all that violence, mud and masculinity-in-extremis shtick appeals to you, check out Kurzel’s latest film, True History Of The Kelly Gang, adapted from Peter Carey’s novel of the same name and starring Sunshine On Leith’s George MacKay as the titular bushranger.
Rakuten TV, Now streaming
Better known as a photographer of rock stars – make that entirely known as a photographer of rock stars: Emma is her debut feature – American director Autumn de Wilde brings that same sense of swagger, glamour and pizzazz to this pastel-hued adaptation of everyone’s third favourite Jane Austen novel.
Barring the frocks, the carriages and the choreographed footmen it could almost be a remake of Clueless, Amy Heckerling’s cult 1995 film which updated the action to a Beverley Hills of pagers, keg parties, high school cliques and Calvin Klein dresses. Only in terms of setting, then, does de Wilde play it straight. Elsewhere she undercuts the mores and manners of the early 19th century with a knowingness that makes her film feel refreshingly modern.
Bill Nighy plays Bill Nighy playing Emma’s doting father Henry Woodhouse (you’ll know what I mean when you watch his typically laconic performance). Elsewhere Rupert Graves is Mr Weston, the always-excellent Gemma Whelan is Mrs Weston, and comedian Miranda Hart plays the comical Miss Bates.
Other than that it’s all about the youngsters. Anya Taylor-Joy is Emma, the girl whose haughty behaviour and match-making activities lead her into all sorts of trouble (and, naturally, a love affair).
She’s joined by musician Johnny Flynn as her taciturn foil George Knightley, ubercool Anglo-Brazilian modelturned actress Mia Goth as her friend Harriet Smith, and Gordonstoun-educated musician and actress Amber Anderson as social rival Jane Fairfax.
The cast is rounded out by
Sex Education pair Tanya Reynolds and Connor Swindells playing Augusta Elton and Robert Martin and, as Frank Churchill, Callum Turner from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald.
A more handsome cast it would be difficult to assemble, making this one of the best Austen adaptation to have hit the big screen in many a year.
Conservationist Giles Clark takes on the illegal wildlife trade, as well as the task of building a bear sanctuary in Laos, South-east Asia, in BBC Two series Bears About The House. Clark talks about filming the yearlong project.
How would you describe the series?
We really try and aim for a perfect mixture of engaging the audience with some incredibly charismatic little characters – in this case Mary the bear – but in this case we also want to tell what the most important message is, which is about the bear trade and the illegal wildlife trade.
If you go too hard I think you sort of end up preaching to the choir people, because people who are ardently interested will watch it but others either switch off or turn over because the harsh reality is it’s unpleasant and it’s confronting.
So if you feel that we tackled it in a way that you can take a breath of fresh air and we still introduce those topics and talk about them – and there’s a sense of hope at the end, that’s fantastic.
How did you get involved in making this?
It’s strange how life works. Matt Hunt, the CEO of Free The Bears, who is in the programme, I met him when I lived in Australia in 2004 and we started a friendship and have grown stronger ever since. And probably up until 2018 when I took the position, every year for the last six to eight years he must have sent me a job description or a position opening, trying to encourage me to work with or do something for Free The Bears.
I was just never in the position in life where it was manageable or achievable until last year – and then I was incredibly lucky, incredibly fortunate in my sort of personal position, that I could effectively take 12 months out and not get
How would you sum up the experience?
It was one of the most incredible, uplifting, and yet challenging periods in my life. I don’t even like to call it a career because all I’ve ever done since I was 15 is work for/with animals and try and do something to have a contribution to conservation.
You talk a lot about the bears as individuals...
When we talk about conservation, and when we talk about the wildlife trade, and when we talk about bears as a species, it is ultimately about them as a species... but for me it’s also about them as an individual.
Because Mary the sun bear, when we confiscated her from the trafficker, or David and Jane, or any of the bears, they don’t know that their species is now starting to become endangered in the wild and if this continues in another five years’ time it could be past the tipping point.
What they know of is what they feel as individuals, which is they feel fear and they feel stress and they’re hungry because quite often most of the bears that we come across are never fed properly.
Given the current situation, what do you think we can learn?
I really feel, whether it’s organisations like Free The Bears or programmes like Bears About The House, for me it’s about having that respect and compassion and kindness towards the natural world.
later he reached a whole new audience when he performed at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in front of a TV audience of two billion people worldwide. However, he’s not the only talent in his family - his six siblings are also gifted musicians. The seven prodigies have been in lockdown together in the family home in Nottingham, and here they stage a remarkable concert and offer an insight into their family life, filmed using remote cameras.
One Day: Sport’s Super Sunday (BBC2, 8.30pm)
Cast your mind back to July 14 last year. If you’re a sports fan, chances are it’s imprinted on your memory, because on that day several must for all devotees of Cold War thrillers. You may have to concentrate to follow the story, but after the first 10 minutes, you’re hooked. Caine, in one of his trademark roles, is on superb form as the devil-may-care leading character.
Mum’s List (2016) (BBC2, 11pm)
Based on a true story, Mum’s List is a moving drama about a terminally ill parent, who leaves behind a bucket list of life lessons and recollections for her two young sons. Singe Greene (Rafe Spall) and his wife Kate (Emilia
major events took place - the British Grand Prix, the netball world cup, the cricket world cup final and the final of the men’s singles at
Wimbledon. And they were just the ones expected to grab the most attention. As it transpired, it was the last two of those fixtures that really grabbed the attention. The nation was torn between what to watch - remote controls across the land were probably close to being worn out as viewers switched back and forth from an epic match between
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, and the sight of England doing battle with New
Zealand at Lord’s. There’s a chance to relive that extraordinary few hours via this programme.