RD Rec­om­mends

Our top picks in TV, books and movies

Reader's Digest (Canada) - - Contents - DANIELLE GROEN

Our top picks in TV, books and movies.

1 MY BRIL­LIANT FRIEND

Two girls grow up poor in Naples: they’re both ra­zor-sharp, but Lila burns a lit­tle brighter and Elena knows it. Their com­pli­cated and com­pet­i­tive friend­ship stretches over the four books and 60 years that make up Elena Fer­rante’s in­ter­na­tional block­buster. For this eight-episode adap­ta­tion of the first novel, set in the 1950s, di­rec­tor Save­rio Costanzo au­di­tioned nearly 9,000 chil­dren be­fore choos­ing his young leads. Nov. 18.

2 ALL THE LIVES WE NEVER LIVED

Anu­radha Roy

Real-life fig­ures—the Ger­man pain­ter Wal­ter Spies, the In­dian singer Begum Akhtar—min­gle with fic­tional cre­ations in Anu­radha Roy’s first novel since Sleep­ing on

Jupiter. The story is told by six­tysome­thing hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ist Myshkin, but its beat­ing heart is his free-spir­ited mother, Gay­a­tri, who ran away from her mar­riage and young son in 1930s In­dia for a life of art. Nov. 20.

3 MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS

House of Cards cre­ator Beau Wil­limon is no stranger to po­lit­i­cal power plays, and his script for this epic bat­tle of the mon­archs doesn’t stint on in­trigue. Mary Stu­art (Saoirse Ro­nan) and El­iz­a­beth I (Mar­got Rob­bie) each be­lieve they’re the right­ful heir to the Bri­tish throne—but only Liz has an on-call ex­e­cu­tioner. The smart money is on one of these stars to claim the best-ac­tress Os­car de­nied to them both last year. Dec. 7.

4 TO THE RIVER

Don Gill­mor

In 2005, at the age of 48, the au­thor’s es­tranged brother, David, parked his truck out­side of White­horse and walked into the Yukon River. Through his ten­der and un­flinch­ing mem­oir, Don Gill­mor chases the ghost of his si­b­ling north of the 60th par­al­lel, try­ing to bet­ter un­der­stand a man he’d hardly known in adult­hood. Dec. 31.

5 MARY POP­PINS RE­TURNS

In this re­boot of the chil­dren’s clas­sic, Emily Blunt picks up Julie An­drews’s lev­i­tat­ing um­brella and Lin-Manuel Mi­randa fares bet­ter than Dick Van Dyke at the cock­ney ac­cent. Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, An­gela Lans­bury, Julie Wal­ters and a still­spry Van Dyke are all on hand as Mary Pop­pins re­turns to the now-grown Banks sib­lings, who find them­selves in need of care and whimsy. Dec. 19.

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